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's 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 -- from 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's operational career. The book features many hitherto unpublished photos.
Yefim Gordon is an aviation journalist and photographer who has been researching Soviet/Russian aviation history for more than forty years. He has authored and co-authored more than 120 books on the subject and published hundreds of features and photographs in Russian and foreign aviation magazines. Dmitriy Komissarov is a translator and journalist whose work has been associated with aviation since 1993. He has translated or authored/co-authored more than seventy books on Soviet/Russian aircraft and written numerous features for Russian and foreign aviation magazines. Vladimir Rigmant started working in aviation engineering in 1963 and has been working for the Tupolev aircraft design bureau since 1986. He is the director of the Tupolev Joint-Stock Co. museum. 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.