Thursday, August 17, 2017

Russian bomber destroyed by fire during takeoff

A Russian Cold War bomber, which was previously reported to have sustained a minor malfunction, has actually been burned beyond repair in a takeoff fire resulting from unknown causes.

The Tu-95MS "Bear-H" turboprop missile carrier's mid-February departure was aborted shortly after takeoff due to smoke in a service compartment. At the time of the incident, the Russian defense ministry announced that the fire was quickly extinguished and nobody involved was injured, Russia & India Report reports.

Earlier this week, defense officials confirmed that the bomber's damage rendered it fully inoperable and repairs for the aircraft were cost-prohibitive.

Engineers point to a malfunction in the plane's electronic equipment as the cause of the fire, however the investigation is still ongoing. Crews performed maintenance work totaling $9.5 million on the Tu-95MS last November, extending its scheduled service life an additional 2,000 flight hours, according to Russia & India Report.

The Tu-95MS involved in the incident was manufactured in 1982. The model was discontinued in 1992. A replacement aircraft is expected to go into production before 2025.