In the years after WWII, aircraft used for special missions appeared in the world’s leading air forces, including the Soviet Union. The first airborne early warning and control aircraft was the early 1960s vintage Tupolev Tu-126, superseded in the 1980s by the Ilyushin/Beriyev A-50. Aircraft used for photo reconnaissance, electronic intelligence, nuclear/biological/chemical reconnaissance and radiation intelligence, included specialised versions the Tu-16 and Tu-22 bombers, the An-12 transport and the Il-22PP.
Communications relay aircraft ranged from modified Lisunov Li-2 transports of the 1950s to the current Tu-214SR. In-flight refuelling tankers including versions of the Tupolev Tu-16 and Myasishchev M-4/3MS series bombers and the Il-78. Search and rescue aircraft, such as the naval An-12PS, also are featured in this comprehensive and heavily illustrated book.