Developed to meet a Soviet Ministry of Defense requirement for a fast bomber that would counter the threat posed by NATO, the Tu-16 was a ground-breaking project. It was the first Soviet medium bomber to feature swept wings, and it was built around a pair of turbojets that were the world? most powerful jet engines at the time. First flown in 1952, the Tu-16 filled such roles as nuclear bomb delivery, missile strike, reconnaissance, and Electronic Counter Measures. It also served as the basis for the first Soviet jet airliner, the Tu-104. Nearly 1,500 were built for the Soviet Air Force and the Soviet Navy, and the Tu-16 showed remarkable longevity, the final examples being retired in 1993. The type saw quite a bit of combat?rom the Six-Days War of 1967 to the Afghan War. The Tu-16 was also produced in China and remains in Chinese service to this day. All known versions are described, as is the Tu-16? operational career. The book features many hitherto unpublished photos.

Yefim Gordon was born in 1950, in Vilnius, Lithuania (then part of the Soviet Union) and graduated from the Kaunas Polytechnic Institute in 1972. He has been researching Soviet and Russian aviation history for more than forty years and has one of the world? largest photo/document archives on the subject. A professional aviation journalist and photographer since 1989, Yefim Gordon has published hundreds of features and photographs in Soviet, Russian and foreign aviation magazines. He has also authored and co-authored more than 125 books on Soviet and Russian aviation which are published in seven countries. For twelve years, Yefim Gordon was Executive Director of the Moscow-based publishing house Polygon Press Ltd. specializing in aviation literature.
Dmitriy Komissarov was born in 1968 in Moscow and graduated from the Moscow State Linguistics University in 1992. He has worked as a translator ever since, and starting in 1993, most of his work has been associated with his interest in aviation. Dmitriy Komissarov has authored two books on Soviet/Russian aircraft and translated or co-authored more than seventy-five others. He has also written numerous magazine features in Russian and English on Soviet and Russian aviation.
Vladimir Rigmant was born in 1945 in Moscow, and graduated from the All-Union Correspondence Course Polytechnics Institute, starting his career as an aviation electric systems designer at the Yakor?design bureau in 1963. In 1986, he became an electric equipment operations engineer at the Tupolev aircraft design bureau. Since 1994, he was director of the company museum, working as the Tupolev Joint-Stock Co. President? aide responsible for contacts with the media. Currently Vladimir Rigmant continues in his capacity as Tupolev JSC museum director. He has authored several hundred magazine features on aviation and is also the author/co-author of more than twenty books on Soviet/Russian aircraft.

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