The BBC reports another Tu-160 interception on 15 Jan 2018 and it's clear that there is a large message painted on the side of the bomber.

Looking at the Wikipedia page, it seems this style of nose-art is common among the Tu-160 community; the style is similar, but whatever it says, they're all different.

It would be interesting to know what's being said here, and who is making the choices. Official propaganda, or personal messages?

Tu-160 intercepted by RAF 15 Jan 2018 (source: BBC)


3 Answers 3


enter image description here(wikimedia.org)

Most of the Tu-160 in service are named, much like the B-2 bombers are.

The one in the image is S/N: 7-02 "Василий Решетников / Vasily Reshetnikov" named after a WW2 pilot.

You can find the names of the other ones on the Russian Wikipedia.


Most Tu-160's are named after notable Soviet military pilots. English Wikipedia doesn't have a complete list; here's a link to the Russian version. Out of 16 currently active Tu-160's, 9 are named after military or test pilots and 4 after aircraft designers (including famous helicopter designer Igor Sikorsky). The rest, for some reason, bear the names of a famous Russian general, a Soviet wrestler champion and a Russian folk hero (though it may be a reference to WW1 Russian bombers of the same name). The names are official.

This one is named after Vasily Reshetnikov, a WW2 bomber pilot who later became head of Soviet Long Range Air Force (Link to the Russian Wikipedia article).

The nose colors are from the Russian Air Force or Soviet Air Forces flag:

Russian Air Force Soviet Air Forces flag


Both messages are Russian names: Vasily Reshetnikov (flew 307 missions in WWII mainly as a pilot for a long-range bomber, Hero of the Soviet Union) in this picture and Alexander Novikov (Chief marshal of the aviation for the Soviet Air Force, involved in nearly all exploits of the air force during WWII, twice a Hero of the Soviet Union) in Wikipedia.

Probably these texts are the names of persons notable in Russian aviation (not necessary pilots). They are different for different planes.


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