Explosion Hits Engels-2 Airbase, Russia, Reportedly Damaging At Least Two Tu-95 Bombers

Engels-2 attack
Screenshot from the CCTV showing the explosion in Engels-2 airbase on Dec. 5, 2022. In the box, a satellite image of Engels-2 airbase from Google Maps.

According to the first reports, at least two Russian Tu-95 Bear bombers were damaged in the attack.

Engels-2 airbase, located in Saratov Oblast, some 400 km southeast of Moscow and roughly 700 km from the border with Ukraine, came under attack early in the morning on Dec. 5, 2022. Images recorded by CCTV cameras and shared on Telegram show a huge explosion occurring at 06:04AM LT. Early reports say three people were killed, six wounded and two Tu-95 strategic bombers were damaged as a result of the air strike.

Engels-2 is one of the key Russian airbases and the home of the 121st & 184th Heavy Bomber Aviation Regiments, respectively operating the Russian Aerospace Forces Tu-160M Blackjack and Tu-95M Bear strategic bombers. The airfield has been used to launch many of the Moscow’s air strikes with Kh-101 cruise missiles in the recent weeks: satellite imagery released few days ago showed 8 Tu-95s and 4 Tu-160Ms parked side-by-side at Engel-2.

Another explosion also hit Russian military base near the city of Ryazan, killing three people and wounding five. Reportedly, the blast in Ryazan was caused by the detonation of a fuel truck.

At the time of writing, the Russian MOD has not released any statement on the incidents nor has the Ukrainians claimed responsibility for the alleged attacks, so the situation is unclear, despite many outlets are suggesting the explosion in Engels-2 was the result of a Ukrainian long range drone strike.

Ukrainian company Ukrobonoprom has recently developed and successfully tested a suicide drone with a 75 kg warhead and a range up to 1,000 km. “After we successfully test the drone under the EW influence, we hope to be able to test it in combat use. We promised to do so by the end of this year, and we are trying to live up to that promise,” said the company spokeswoman, Natalia Sad, yesterday.


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.