TU-126 MOSS gallery

This is the prototype of the Tu-126 Moss, which made its first flight on 23 January 1962. A series of tests were extended until its entry into service in 1965, although the first images of this aircraft were seen in a 1967 movie.
The Tu-126 had an 11-meter-diameter rotodome that housed the “Flat Jack” scanning radar. According to Western sources the radar was not effective in detecting targets on land but was effective on water.
The Tu-126 Moss‘s Liana radar was 1.83 meters larger than that of the E-3A Sentry but less effective. It also had 21 small fairings distributed throughout the fuselage containing the avionics, antennas and electronic equipment.
Tu-126 Moss has a crew of 12 members comfortably installed inside the wide fuselage. In fact, this was one of the main reasons for the choice of the Tu-114 as a carrier aircraft for the radar system. In addition, this aircraft had excellent performance and autonomy.
During the Cold War it was quite usual that these aircrafts to approach the U.S. Navy’s combat groups  to gather information, which forced the carrier fighters to frequent interceptions, fortunately pacific.
Tu-126 Moss was considered as an interim model within the Soviet Aviation, because this aircraft suffered from deficiencies such as the lack of effectiveness in the low flight aircrafts detection, leaving a serious crack in the Soviet defenses.
During the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War, an example was ceded to India, but it was not exported to any country. It is estimated that about 100 Tu-126 Moss would have been necessary to have had an effective aerial surveillance network that would have covered all the USSR’s borders, as the Soviet Air Force intended.

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