SR-71 Interceptions

Cold war, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm - up to and including for example the A-10, F-15, Mirage 200, MiG-29, and F-18.
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parrothead

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Unread post18 Dec 2005, 09:00

TC wrote:Uh...AC?...Shev, is that you?

I'm confused here. So, the Sovs were either a controlling, oppressive people, or they were great folks to hang out and study with. Which is it? You can't have it both ways.


2 :D !!!

I was wondering the same thing - Control defined them, but they weren't oppressive :? ? Sounds like lawyer speak to me :lol: !

TC wrote:I'm not sure that Belenko said that the Foxbat was a bad jet. Rather, we found out that the Foxbat was nowhere near the jet we thought it was, and that we had actually over-designed the F-15 in order to counter it.


While I'm not familiar with Viktor Belenko's insights, everything I've read has said that the Foxbat was an OK jet, just not what we'd imagined it to be. Kinda like finding out that the Lamborghini you bought is actually a kit car built on a VW chassis with a Dodge Viper V-10 - it might be fast, it might be fun, but it just ain't in the same class as the Lamborghini :wink:

So we thought we were going up against the Lambo and we built the Ford GT-40 of fighters - it might not be quite as fast overall, but it'll kill the souped up VW in handling :twisted: ! So we overdesigned the F-15 - GREAT :D !!! Almost anything (except Weed :nono: !) that's worth doing is worth overdoing :crazypilot: :thumb: !
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TC

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Unread post19 Dec 2005, 03:30

parrothead wrote:Control defined them, but they weren't oppressive :? ? Sounds like lawyer speak to me :lol:


Awww...c'mon Parrothead! :wink: The attorneys I work for aren't THAT foxtrotting stupid! :lol:

Beers and MiGs were made to be pounded!
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parrothead

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Unread post19 Dec 2005, 04:02

Well, I've heard many that will argue the point both ways in court, if you know what I mean.

Hmm... I seem to remember a certain (former) member of the Arkansas bar assn. saying that it all depends on what the meaning of "is" is :lol: ...
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JR007

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Unread post19 Dec 2005, 06:12

Sounds like ACSheva... :roll:

Three!!! :lmao:

Hey TC,

I personally know that "pudknocker" from AR. I've spent about an hour talking 1 v 1 with him about issues relating directly to that state, many years ago. He was a great showman, but darn I was glad that I had my cowboy boots on!!!
Burning debris never reversed on anyone…

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duplex

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Unread post19 Dec 2005, 13:34

<<We never lost an SR-71 to hostile action, and Belenko confirmed that as soon as the MiGs got to an intercept altitude, they arrived just in time to see the Blackbird streak past. The Foxbat and Foxhound were both very ineffective against the Blackbird<<<

It is obvious that both Foxbats and Foxhounds have seen only the contrails left behind the Pratt&Whithey's awesome J-58's..The Soviets would have made a big big deal out of this if any interception had really taken place...
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snypa777

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Unread post19 Dec 2005, 16:27

Sure the Mig -31 could have shot down the Blackbird, in theory. The USAF pilots would have had to HELP them do that though! Belenko said that the missiles carried by the Mig-25 COULDN`T have shot down an SR, they had neither the speed nor agility of movement/ processing power to do it even in a head on shot!, i.e, the weapons could not adjust fast enough if the SR made any kind of move.Now, the `31 carries the AMRAAM ski!, a capable missile, the carriage of these missiles blunts it`s performance though...
Remember, the max` speed AND altitude of the `25 and `31 are limited by the external stores they carried. The cosmic altitude and speed figures were only managed by unarmed aircraft. The Mig that was tracked over Israel at M3.2 in 1973 landed and and it`s engines were literally scrap metal AND it was a recon`/unarmed plane....
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akruse21

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Unread post21 Dec 2005, 00:32

ere's an interesting story from a former Viggen pilot. It's a pretty long read, but well worth it.


It was the 1980s. The USA would frequently fly over the Baltic Sea with its SR-71 Blackbird at very high altitudes and up to three times the speed of sound. Despite the fantastic performance of the aircraft, Swedish interceptors were able to get a lock-on with its weapon systems during several different occasions.

This was just one of many examples recovered from the now finished Viggen epoch. An epoch which started nearly 40 years ago and has served throughout the Cold War and into the new age of the modernized, flexible, and network-centric warfare based Armed Forces.

Pilot Per-Olof belongs to the exclusive group who have had a first-hand encounter with the Blackbird, high above the Baltic Sea near Swedish airspace.


It was fairly routine during the Cold War that Swedish pilots would have to intercept aircrafts belonging to other nations. Usually the individual fighters that were in incident-readiness would suddenly be given orders to identify unkown aircrafts, and would sometimes have to reject some from entering Swedish airspace.

In the beginning of the 1980s, Per-Olof was one of the first pilots to introduce the JA 37 Viggen to the Swedish Air Force at F 13 in Norrköping. That was also when he became a part of the exclusive group of pilots who, with the JA 37, managed to get a lock-on on the US Air Force's most advanced reconnaissance aircraft - the SR-71 Blackbird.


Higher than anything else

The SR-71 is one of the fastest aircrafts built and was used on reconaissance missions at extremely high altitudes, more than 20 000 meters (~ 65 620 ft). The top speed was also very impressive - Mach 3, three times the speed of sound which is about 3 600 km/h (~ 22 370 mph). Despite the high performance of the aircraft, Swedish interceptors managed to at several occasions 'meet' the Blackbird over the Baltic Sea and get radar-guided missiles to lock-on. It often happened with a very short notice for the pilots involved.

Per-Olof Eldh says the factors that helped them accomplish this feat was that the jet fighters were in maximum readiness and ready-to-go at the time along with the fact that some of the encounters occurred during regularly scheduled training passes. The latter was the case when he himself met the SR-71 for the first time. Per-Olof was participating in an air-defense exercise when the situation suddenly changed.

"The target came flying in south of Åland outside Södertörn when I was led to a direct attack in the forward sector at a target altitude of 21 500 meters."

It was by then already outside the opening of Bråviken and P-O Eldh locked his radar onto the target. He was being guided by ground control the whole time and says that the radar was engaging at its maximum range with the semi-active anti-radar Rb 71 Skyflash as his weapon of choice. The event sounds dramatic, but this is how P-O Eldh describes the event afterwards:

"It was routine for me, but I was at a very high altitude. The digital control data that was presented to me confirmed it was either one of two possible aircrafts - a Soviet MiG-25 or a SR-71. I looked at what was happening on the radar to see if there was any attempt at jamming, and then pursued the target."

He then had a look to see if he could get a visual on the Blackbird.

"That was when I saw a graphite-grey aircraft pass me a few thousand meters above."

To this day he still does not want to reveal the exact altitude at which he was at, but it was much higher than he had been earlier. The first thing P-O Eldh noticed was that the sky had suddenly become dark.

"From being blue just a few minutes earlier, it was now black. On my way down again, I could also clearly see the curvature of the earth."

The method Per Olof Eldh used to reach the neccessary altitude was this:

"Let's assume my altitude was 8 000 m so I would be able to accelerate to Mach 1.35. I would then raise the nose about 3-5 degrees and continue accelerating during the ascent."


Fast-paced situations

P-O Eldh remembers how the SR-71 pilots liked to fly near or touching the border. In the beginning, they usually flew at Mach 3 when they came from the east, south from Åland heading towards Stockholm. Later on they would slow down to Mach 2.54 to get a better turning radius, and then hit full throttle between Öland and Gotland.

He encountered the SR-71 five times during his career. One of those events occured January 9th, 1986. Together with two colleagues, they took off from Bråvalla for a routine exercise. But before they even got the landing gear up they recieved new instructions and the group was assigned a course heading for Öland with the intent to carry through a so called "high-energy intercept" against the Blackbird.

"We climbed to 8 000 meters, turned around and accelerated over the Gotska Sea towards the Stockholm area and made contact with the target. Everything happened so fast, you're met with a relative speed of Mach 5. The mission only took 9 minutes."

The whole thing went fine for two of the pilots, but the aircraft of the third pilot suffered a high-temperature stall because of the high altitude and was forced to take emergency measures in order to re-start it.

"To fly the way you had to at an altitude of 16 000 meters involved very high risks."


Professionalism

General Lennart Petterson is the chief of the Tactical Flight Command but also he was a fighter pilot back in the days. He clearly remembers how fast everything went which missions against the SR-71 involved and describes these events as the highlights of his career.

"Each time was just as exciting and interesting. Intercepting the aircraft was tremendously difficult because of the high speeds and altitudes but it was one of the most extreme missions you could be a part of. When we succeeded, which we did most of the time, and afterwards could conclude that we actually would be able to shoot the SR-71 down if it were a live mission, it was quite pleasing since it was at the same time an evaluation of our professionalism."

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snypa777

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Unread post21 Dec 2005, 09:41

An interesting read Akruse 21! The pilots themselves said it all though, the SR made no attempt to jam radar or use countermeasures. The SR flew over friendly airspace so saw no real threat. No counter manoeuvres, no special flight profile to evade defences. Probably not at max` speed and altitude. They even slowed to get a better turn radius. Even if they got the missile lock, would the SR just end up "outrunning" the missile?

All of the above things would surely have been done differently in a "real" mission. Also a good deal more that I don`t know about! I would like to think that it wasn`t just the speed and altitude that kept the SR safe. In no little way the planning and piloting skills kept the plane from being shot down for so many years....I wonder if any other friendly airforces had time to "play" with the Blackbird :wink:
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duplex

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Unread post21 Dec 2005, 12:50

An interesting link about Foxhound..




MiG-31 is probably the best Russian Air-Defense fighter with long-range missiles and highly advanced radar. As one of the later models following a long line of successful Soviet- manufactured aircraft, the Mig-31 Foxhound is an all-weather interceptor plane which entered service in Russia possibly as early as 1976. Touted as the forerunner to the MiG-23, Su-15, and the MiG-25, the Foxhound "B" was endowed with the capacity for two fliers, supersonic velocity close to three times the speed of sound, dual turbofan afterburners, and folding wings. Its aerodynamic design includes a high degree of slope and twin outward cantered fins. As a highly refined aircraft, the current versions of the MiG-31 have introduced many technical innovations to its various combat theatres.
AVIONICS

RP-31 Zaslon radar

The N007 Zaslon was the first phased-array radar to enter service on a fighter aircraft. Zaslon is double the weight of the AWG-9, the largest US fighter radar. The NIIP team believed that the advantages a phased-array radar gave in terms of near-instantaneous scanning and multi-target engagement capability (a typical mechanically-scanned antenna can take 12-14 seconds to complete a scan) were worth the weight and cost penalties. In 1981, MiG-31 aircraft carrying the Zaslon radar entered service with the Air Defense aviation, and became fully operational in 1983. The 1.1m diameter phased array antenna weighs 300kg, the whole radar weighing in at 1000kg. Zaslon uses an Argon-15A computer (first airborne digital computer designed in USSR). Zaslon operates in 9-9.5 GHz band. It detects and engages targets down to 25m, including cruise missiles. Maximum possible search range is 300km for a large airborne target.

Range Search (kms) Track (kms)
Bomber 180-200 120-150
Fighter 120 90

Communication: R-862 UHF, R-864 HF, P-591 voice warning system, SPU-9 intercom; SRO-2P IFF transmitter and SRZ-2P receiver; SO-69 transponder. Flight: A312 Radikal-NP or A-331 Shoran, A-723 Kvitok-2 Loran. Marshrut long-range and Tropik medium-range nav systems. ARK-19 radio compass, RV-15 radar altimeter, RPM-76 marker beacon receiver. Mission: In four-aircraft group interception mission, only lead MiG-31 is linked to AK-RLDN automatic guidance network on ground; other three MiG-31s have APD-518 digital data link to lead aircraft, permitting line-abreast radar sweep of zone 430 to 485 n miles (800 to 900 km; 495 to 560 miles) wide by 140º sector scanning angles. Semi-retractable Type 8TP IR search/track sensor under cockpit; tactical situation display. BAN-75 command link; APD-518 digital air-to-air datalink; Raduga-Bort-MB5U15K air-to-ground tactical datalink; SPO-155L RHAWS; Argon-15 digital computer.


WEAPONS


The MiG-31 Foxhound was designed to fly high and fast to defeat threats like Pershing-II missile and Sr-71 aircraft with long-range missiles. So to complement the RP-31 Zaslon radar, the R-33 Amos missile was developed. The R-33 is the first Russian air-to-air missile to use an onboard digital computer, which has stable characteristics compared with analogue devices. It is fitted with an active radar proximity fuse and impact fuse as well as with an HE-fragmentation warhead. Much like the American Phoenix, the Amos has a range of 160 Km, and races to the target at Mach 4.5. With a load of Six R-33, the MiG-31 becomes the ultimate launch-and-leave missile platform.

Other weapons include the R-40 Acrid from the MiG-25's arsenal, the R-60 Aphid self-defense missile and R-73 Archer missile was added in later models. A proposed ground-attack variant was to carry missiles like Kh-31, Kh-59 and PGMs, but it did not become operational.

POWER PLANT

Two Aviadvigatel D-30F6 turbofans, each 93.1 kN (20,930 lb st) dry, 151.9 kN (34,170 lb st) with afterburning; internal fuel capacity 19,940 litres (5,268 US gallons; 4,386 Imp gallons) in seven fuselage tanks, four wing tanks and two fin tanks. Provision for two under wing tanks, each 2,500 liters (660 US gallons; 550 Imp gallons); semi-retractable flight refueling probe on port side of front fuselage.

The MiG-25 had a maximum speed of over Mach 3.0 at altitude, but it is said that it seldom achieved that speed as after doing so, the engines broke down and had to be replaced, and also the airframe was subjected to a lot of damage. Whether the same problem has persisted with the Foxhound, only Russians can tell.
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Unread post18 Jan 2006, 03:58

KarimAbdoun wrote:I read a book debrief in AFM describing 2 books adjacent to each other, one was about the MiG-31 Foxhound, and the other was about the SR-71, both seem to talk about in their pages about how there was at least one occation on which the Foxhound successfully intercepted a Blackbird and how they drove it to abandond its mission in one book, the other talks via the words of a Major Mikhail Myagkiy(retrd) who himself participated in one interception mission of an SR-71 on August 21, 1984. He even described the procedures taken when intercepting the blackbird revealng the Soviet's quest in shooting a Blackbird.

So does anybody can confirm this, did the blackbird get intercepted? if so how many times? was anyone shot at? or shot down(HAHHAHAHA, that I won't believe)?


It never happened. It's not possible.
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