The cold war lasted for four decades after the Second World War until Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan agreed to put an end to the hostile positions taken by their respective sides. The forward-looking posture and positive decisions of these charismatic leaders put an end to the competitive militarization drive and the huge expenses associated with these ventures.
However, the cold war and the remnants of those times still play a part in the current world. Even though on a smaller scale, the ammunition, missiles, tanks, aircraft, warships etc. that were built to strengthen their respective sides during those tense times continue to serve them even today – in one form or the other.
Build â??Em Quick, Build â??Em Cheap
One of the main strategies of the Russian military planners during the cold war was to build a large number of aircraft and overwhelm the Americans with their sheer number. As a result of this, they created tens of thousands of these military aircraft. The most prominent and memorable were the MiGs. The majority of the aircraft remained with the Russian air force.
MiGs for Sale â?? Rock Bottom Prices
Some of the aircraft were given to their allies in countries like China, Vietnam, Cuba, India, and Iran. In addition to these, the Russian government did sell some of these aircraft to friendly countries from around the globe. Many Arab governments bought their military aircraft from the Russians. Some of these MiGs are currently seen in action during the ongoing fight between pro-democracy fighters and governments of countries like Syria, Libya, Egypt and Bahrain.
Now the cold war is over, a large amount of the Russian military aircraft of the past are lying idle in various stages of worthiness, particularly experimental craft that didnâ??t quite make the grade. Itâ??s hard to sell a plane that doesnâ??t have a good track record. Some of them are kept and taken good care of by military museums where they are showcased. Some of these cold war aircraft are simply lying around across the country without proper care.
Remnants from the Past
There is a third category of these aircraft that are used to create monuments of the might of the communists from the past. In fact, these monuments are located in far off locations all around Russia and its cold war allies. You may find some of them located inside housing estates where thousands of civilian population lives their daily lives, which can be a rather surprising sight to come across. Some of these monuments are very well taken care of, while some others were literally abandoned to their own fate. In addition to these aircraft seen in towns and villages, you can find many more of them at aviation museums and various military bases to boost the morale of the people working there.
Cold War Aircraft â?? Still Flying High
Some aircraft from the cold war period are still maintained in the best shape and fighting prowess and can even threaten enemies as strong as the USA. The Tupolev TU-95 bomber is a very good example of such an aircraft that is still capable of threatening its enemies. During the cold war period, this huge bomber was considered a liability due to its huge size and slow maneuverability. However, the Russians are able to find a good use for this aircraft in current times. It can safely stay in the sky out of the reach of the antiballistic batteries of the US and launch cruise missiles. As cruise missiles are a lot harder to intercept than their ballistic missile counterparts, they pose a very credible threat to the enemy. Thus Russia is able to continue to get good use one of one of its behemoth weapons from the cold war period even today.
By Alisha Webb. Alisha is a British writer and content developer for Baltic Travel Company – helping to organize your trip to Russia.