How A Soviet-Era Reconnaissance UAS Became A Cruise Missile

The Tu-141

The Tu-141 was designed as a reconnaissance system that could see hundreds of kilometers behind enemy lines.

Credit: Piotr ButowskI
On Dec. 5, Russia planned a series of air strikes against Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, similar to others it had conducted periodically. Tupolev Tu-95MS bombers and Tu-22M3 bombers—from Russia’s Engels and Dyagilevo air bases, respectively—were preparing to attack that day. But at 6:04 a.m. local...

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