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First Pic: Russia’s Newest Spy Plane

by John Reed on May 29, 2012

I’ve been looking for this for a long time. It’s a picture — the first public one, actually — of Russia’s Tu-214R spy plane on a recent test flight near its factory in Kazan.

No one is quite sure what it will do. Some say it will serve as an airborne command post (those radomes make me think an E-8 JSTARS –style ISR/C2 plane rather than an E-4B or an E-6 Mercury) while other say it will be used to scoop up massie quantities of electronic and signals intelligence (ELINT/SIGINT) the way the RC-135 Rivet Joint does. Both theories make sense given the size of the plane and the shape of its numerous radomes. Still, the lack of a massive canoe-saped radome containing a ground-scaning radar on the belly of the plane seems to suggest the Tu-114R is designed for ELINT and SIGINT missions.

This particular bird, number RA-64511, first flew in 2009 and is expected to complete flight testing next year. A second Tu-124R is being built right now with an in service date of 2014.

Via the Aviationist and Russianplanes​.net.

 

 

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

McPosterdoor May 29, 2012 at 1:43 pm

No one takes my massie quantities and gets away with it.

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Richard May 29, 2012 at 2:01 pm

unless they have a massive canoe-saped radome.

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Logan May 29, 2012 at 2:31 pm

Containing a ground-scaning radar, no less.

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Mark May 29, 2012 at 3:18 pm

While sipping a hot cup of java.

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rubberbum August 26, 2012 at 6:45 pm

while watchin porn on government computers

Marcase May 29, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Those “cheeck” arrays could be SLARs, no need for real “canoes” anymore with todays EM wavers. I’d go for JSTARS equivalent sprinkled with some Rivet Joint.

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Pat May 29, 2012 at 2:14 pm

I know this is totally irrelevant, but does anyone know what class or kind of ship is going to replace the Ticonderoga Class cruisers???

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PMI May 29, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Flight III Arleigh Burkes

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Ara May 29, 2012 at 2:16 pm

Cewl!

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Sulaw00 May 29, 2012 at 3:24 pm

No one is forcing you to read this.

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Gary Sanders May 29, 2012 at 3:32 pm

So it’s come to this. Every other post now is of something David Cenciotti put out a week ago. Wow.

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Lance May 29, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Definitely got the idea of this plane from the E-8 JSTAR and or a EC-135. Nice looking plane though.

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Thomas L. Nielsen May 31, 2012 at 1:49 am

Or maybe, just maybe, the Russians are capable of coming up with stuff on their own?

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

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Liam June 2, 2012 at 12:04 pm

True true, Russia is certainly not China, they've got great ideas.

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matt May 29, 2012 at 6:10 pm

The JSTARski

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Boswell May 29, 2012 at 7:32 pm

So is it a Tu-214R, Tu-114R, or Tu-124R?

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So? May 29, 2012 at 10:16 pm

Tu-214.

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Consultant In Action August 29, 2012 at 12:38 am

We can thank P. Obams for many of our shortcomings for the next twenty years
For he's more of a Socialist, well, OK Communiist or sympathiser at best. Do you recall his telling Putin, wait until I'm ReElected, I'll have more Flexibility??????What did he mean by that?????? He meant he will eliminate most if not all our Military Commitments. He will be giving all of the Mid East Muslims a boost, Illegals a Vote and yes, he will be selling out America….Vote Romney

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Consultant In Action August 29, 2012 at 12:41 am

Fix the F 22, Fix the VA, Fix the Debt by getting people back to work. Next, we need to get prople off Welfare, Food Stamps and above all, Pay our Military What they Deserve.
These Men and Women, the Finest Military in the World, they represent us, they Defend our Principles and they Give their lives for us, yes, you and I, we the American People…Vote for Romney/Ryan – Keep the Dream Alive and God Bless America

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guest June 6, 2012 at 1:50 pm

If your hardware is hacked before it is installed; well, that can be a bigger headache down the road than software. Wonder how many China chips the Russians use on their military equipment.

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DNCAE3 August 24, 2012 at 2:48 am

I wonder if they used it to take done our Reaper?
ECM,EW. They jammed us up with something.

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