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SR-71 Intercepted 169 Times

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posted on Aug, 18 2007 @ 03:09 PM
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Personally, I think The SR-71 was replaced with something else, after all, even spy satellites have known orbits and only limited fuel for direction changes, and hefting satellites up into orbit isn't exactly cheap either..

Whether "Aurora" was/is the replacement, or at least a feasibility study into a possible successor I have no idea, but even news of that seems to have dried up.. Maybe the replacement was replaced with a cheaper stealthy UAV system?




posted on Aug, 18 2007 @ 04:17 PM
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Basid on what I've read in "AirForce Monthly the Su-27's and MiG-31's kept scaring them off especialy when it was coming from Finiand, but the "Official Reason" was "It was too expensive to operate"



posted on Aug, 18 2007 @ 10:49 PM
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I'm sure I speak for many here when I say that we thank you for your opinion. But in the end, it is just that: An opinion. One day when you're sitting at the bars, you know, once you've actually reached adulthood and bragging to your drunken buddies how the SR-71 was intercepted "169 times" you're always going to remember these two things: How successful were the actual intercepts and in reality, no SR-71's were ever shot down.

You can pride and prejudice yourself all you like and believe whatever you want. Hey, who am I to stop you from believing what you will? Reality is that none were shot down and that 169 were intercepted... well, that's a wide definition here buddy! If that interception number were minus 100 then I think there would be a clause to argue... possibly bragging rights even! I'm sure ya know what I mean


Not saying it's impossible. There are many secrets to be revealed about the cold war.... both good and bad for either side. But this story... well, gotta have a good load of vodka to believe. Hey, I'm always in for some good booze!! Send some my way and I may give ya a good reportage. I said good booze mind you! Never said I was a cheap drunk



posted on Aug, 19 2007 @ 01:03 AM
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Ben Rich's (former head of Skunk Works post Kelly Johnson) book entitled Skunk Works has some interesting information on the A-12/SR-71 and its conception & birth for those who are 1.) inclinded to inform themselves on a matter in which they seek to gather information and 2.) familiar with the antiquated literary source called "books". Included within said book are former SR-71 pilot testimonies of missions and their activities. Of which, some make reference to flights over northern Russia and their encounters with Mig-25's, SA-5's, etc, and their ineffectiveness against the blackbird. But don't take my word for it, read it yourself!



posted on Aug, 19 2007 @ 01:19 AM
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Originally posted by SmokeyJo

Can you answer me this?
Is Aurora likely, or is this just propaganda? Surely the US Government has something hidden in their Air arsenal that they are not telling the public about. I don't mean these fictional shaped flying saucers. Im talking about a jet propelled V shaped winged mobile. (AirPlane)

(V Shaped winged mobile. Sounds like a Cadalliac on Roids)


I honestly don't know. There have been volumes written about the project and funding has been identified for a black project of that name, however, I would suggest that claimed 'sightings' have died down in the last few years.

In line with my previous observation, if the aircraft exists and is in service, then it must have sufficient range to operate worldwide from a single, secure operating base and recover back to that base, otherwise there would have been many more verifiable sightings. Therefore I would tend to think it doesn't exist as an operational platform.

On the other hand, I'm sure that the likes of the 'Skunk Works' have not been sitting on their hands all these years, so some of the sightings may have been prototypes of 'something' (which may include Project Aurora, or otherwise) that they have been working on. There is also the possibility that the triangle shaped aircraft that have been reported could have been subscale development prototypes for the A-12 Avenger II program which was canceled a few years ago.

Personally, my feeling is that entities such as the Skunk Works would probably be hard at work on UCAVs these days, rather than an SR-71 replacement.

The Winged Wombat



posted on Aug, 19 2007 @ 01:28 AM
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no SR-71's were ever shot down.


Is any other explaination needed?


All the rest is he said she said bs.



posted on Aug, 19 2007 @ 06:10 AM
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Have to say i don't post much, but people need to get off the SR's near mythical status, yes it was one of the most awsome planes ever to fly, truely remarkable even more so for its era of birth.

Lets get down to the gritty part.

The SR was very very interceptable, Many Nato and non Nato crews praticed this, Swedes threaten to blow it out the sky after they found how to bring one down, RAF also use to pratice, so did norway, the SR's main weakness was its lack of planning due too its mytical status, Birds would regularly run the same routes mission after mission, thus making it very easy for AF's to work out a solution for intercept.

Interceptors would launch before the SR arrived in the area, Depending on the interceptor as little as 150mls lead was needed, As the SR approached, the interceptors would be at near its max height, depending on the plane involved this could be from 65,000ft to 75,000ft, as the Bird came ever closer, the shot or lock would be gotten as the bird flew above them, several aircraft would sometimes be used.

This is apparently what Su-27 and Mig 31 crews started doing from 1986 onwards, although according to my source, theres a reason the Mig 31 was backward fitted with the giant AA-6's this is because the AA-9 didn't have enough speed advantage to catch the Bird, apparently the AA-9 took awhile to get going and only hit M3.8 by which time the Bird would be several miles infront. where as the the AA-6 Wasnt far of M5. this is one of the main reasons they made sure the AA-13's speed was higher than Mach 5.



posted on Aug, 19 2007 @ 11:23 AM
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I think it's one thing to throw around empty threats and another to act on them.

No SR-71 was ever shot down during interception.

Shattered OUT...



posted on Aug, 19 2007 @ 12:00 PM
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Back in the 70's Tactical Air Command practiced SR-71 interceptions under a program called EAGLE BAIT using F-15's

The SR flew on a predetermined course /time travelling at Mach 2.85 and 70,000 feet. also dumping fuel for 15 seconds to show their position.
They did not use thier DEF systems.

The F-15 pulled up to about 60,000 and claimed a kill on the SR-71.
The following day TAC asked for the same condiations whereas the SR crews said they would be in the target area but refused to give any details as they told TAC that they didnt need them as they cliamed they could shoot down an SR-71.

The SR came in at mach 3.2 and 85,000 feet. TAC refuted their previous claim about being able to shoot down an SR-71.

The SR-71 flew a predetermind flight path over the Baltic Sea ( mach 2.8, 70,000 feet)

It took the Mig 29 and Mig 31, 16 minutes to get up to altitude 64,000 feet, to intercept the SR flying at 70,000. If the SR-71 thought there was any danger, remember they were flying in internatioanl airspace on a tight flight plan they would have pushed up the speed and gained altitude to 85,000 and changed directions long before the Migs got into position.

Travllling at 2000mph the SR-71 could have travelled 500 MILES in 15 minutes away from the interception point.

Both sides were monitoring all commuications, the Soviets knew when the SR-71 coming and the SR crew knew the Migs were taking off.

As it never happen with both aircarft performing at the top limits of performace it will never be known if the Migs could have ever shot down an SR-71.



posted on Aug, 19 2007 @ 12:32 PM
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Originally posted by ajsr71
Back in the 70's Tactical Air Command practiced SR-71 interceptions under a program called EAGLE BAIT using F-15's

The SR came in at mach 3.2 and 85,000 feet. TAC refuted their previous claim about being able to shoot down an SR-71.


Yeap, heard about that before.


Originally posted by ajsr71
The SR-71 flew a predetermind flight path over the Baltic Sea ( mach 2.8, 70,000 feet)

It took the Mig 29 and Mig 31, 16 minutes to get up to altitude 64,000 feet, to intercept the SR flying at 70,000. If the SR-71 thought there was any danger, remember they were flying in internatioanl airspace on a tight flight plan they would have pushed up the speed and gained altitude to 85,000 and changed directions long before the Migs got into position.


Yeap, again, true.


Originally posted by ajsr71
Travllling at 2000mph the SR-71 could have travelled 500 MILES in 15 minutes away from the interception point.



Not true. You are assuming an instantaneous 90 degree turn, the SR-71 wasn't great with g loadings. A couple of hundred miles would be your top change IMO.


Originally posted by ajsr71
Both sides were monitoring all commuications, the Soviets knew when the SR-71 coming and the SR crew knew the Migs were taking off.

As it never happen with both aircarft performing at the top limits of performace it will never be known if the Migs could have ever shot down an SR-71.



I reckon, with the correct intercept pattern and 20-25 mins warning, a squad of Foxhounds would have a very good chance of intercepting a Blackbird.


However, 1 MiG-31 wouldn't have a chance.



posted on Aug, 19 2007 @ 01:39 PM
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Originally posted by ajsr71
Travllling at 2000mph the SR-71 could have travelled 500 MILES in 15 minutes away from the interception point.



Not true. You are assuming an instantaneous 90 degree turn, the SR-71 wasn't great with g loadings. A couple of hundred miles would be your top change IMO

Should have read that section a bit more before sending - Oven was on Re-heat and burning my dinner. LOL.

The SR-71 could pull a 45 degree banking turn at Mach 2.8 Allthough they usally limited this to 42 degs to save any drop in altitude.
Still 200 miles is a long way away- The Baltic is about 200 milies wide and if needs be I'm sure that they would have flown over Sweden at high speed and altitude. The Flak would have come from the Swedish Goverment later.



posted on Aug, 19 2007 @ 02:59 PM
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Originally posted by ajsr71
Should have read that section a bit more before sending - Oven was on Re-heat and burning my dinner. LOL.


I know the feeling!



Originally posted by ajsr71
The SR-71 could pull a 45 degree banking turn at Mach 2.8 Allthough they usally limited this to 42 degs to save any drop in altitude.
Still 200 miles is a long way away- The Baltic is about 200 milies wide and if needs be I'm sure that they would have flown over Sweden at high speed and altitude. The Flak would have come from the Swedish Goverment later.


Uhh, whats that, 1.3g or so I think.

That would be about right if what I've heard about the Blackbird's g loading limitations is correct.


Mach 2.8 is about 825 m/s or 3000 km/hr (ish) at 60,000ft.

Thus the minimum turning radius of a Blackbird turning at Mach 2.8 is around 75-80 km, and it takes a Blackbird around 2 and a half mins to execute a 90 deg turn.



posted on Aug, 19 2007 @ 03:36 PM
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My dads bigger than your dad


Ben Rich's book "Skunk Works" is a must read on the SR-71. It covers most of the bases discussed here. Basically it states that the SR-71 never overflew Russian airspace directly. It did, however, fly over Warsaw Pact Airspace along the Polish borders on Reagans orders in the 80's after the declaration of martial law in Poland.

It also paints out the SR-71 to be something of a tempremental beast, and cites a couple of occasions where oil pressure and engine problems resulting in the aircraft having to perform emergency landings - the most noteable one comes to mind is a story of South Korea scrambling fighters to get in the way of North Korean fighters chasing a '71 with engine trouble.

The only clear "intercept" mentioned in the book is that of a Mirage III, intercepting a '71 over France, after the pilot of the '71 aborted his planned route back to Mildenhall because of an oil pressure warning and overflew France without clearance. The book says he lit the burners and left the Mirage standing. It doesn't mention what happened to him after landing but I imagine he had hell to pay.

As for the poster asking about Aurora and whether it exists/existed- I personally believe it did, and I believe the programme was suspended after a crash - but thats another post altogether



posted on Aug, 20 2007 @ 01:54 AM
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Originally posted by The Winged Wombat

It is obvious that the interceptors did not actually fly up and formate on any SR-71 as this would have immediately resulted in some pretty good chest-beating propaganda.


And as such, even a mach 6 head-on/angular flyby would not result in decent photo-shoot opportunity?
I'm not well-versed with the high speed recce cam technicals esp in the area of shutter aperture times etc.
If that has happened I'm sure there are photos in existance, even if they're not made public.




Since the quoted article goes so much against existing evidence (not least of which is a lack of wreckage on display in red square!) I would suggest that some corroborating reference sources are required for the article in question before one jumps to any conclusions.

The Winged Wombat


Those mach 6 photos sure would help aye?




[edit on 20-8-2007 by Daedalus3]



posted on Aug, 20 2007 @ 07:59 AM
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Originally posted by owell
Have to say i don't post much, but people need to get off the SR's near mythical status, yes it was one of the most awsome planes ever to fly, truely remarkable even more so for its era of birth.

Lets get down to the gritty part.

The SR was very very interceptable, Many Nato and non Nato crews praticed this, Swedes threaten to blow it out the sky after they found how to bring one down, RAF also use to pratice, so did norway, the SR's main weakness was its lack of planning due too its mytical status, Birds would regularly run the same routes mission after mission, thus making it very easy for AF's to work out a solution for intercept.

Interceptors would launch before the SR arrived in the area, Depending on the interceptor as little as 150mls lead was needed, As the SR approached, the interceptors would be at near its max height, depending on the plane involved this could be from 65,000ft to 75,000ft, as the Bird came ever closer, the shot or lock would be gotten as the bird flew above them, several aircraft would sometimes be used.

This is apparently what Su-27 and Mig 31 crews started doing from 1986 onwards, although according to my source, theres a reason the Mig 31 was backward fitted with the giant AA-6's this is because the AA-9 didn't have enough speed advantage to catch the Bird, apparently the AA-9 took awhile to get going and only hit M3.8 by which time the Bird would be several miles infront. where as the the AA-6 Wasnt far of M5. this is one of the main reasons they made sure the AA-13's speed was higher than Mach 5.

AA-9 at M3.8 is 2891.8 mph the SR-71 is M3.2 which is 2435.2 mph so the AA-9 would be slamming in the back of the SR-71 at 456.6 mph so the AA-9 can shoot down the SR.

[edit on 20-8-2007 by YASKY]



posted on Aug, 20 2007 @ 10:46 AM
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Originally posted by YASKY
AA-9 at M3.8 is 2891.8 mph the SR-71 is M3.2 which is 2435.2 mph so the AA-9 would be slamming in the back of the SR-71 at 456.6 mph so the AA-9 can shoot down the SR.


Umm..

Range?

The AA-9 only had a maximum range of 65 NM, it's successor had a range of 175 miles but that wasn't in service until 1988..

Not to mention flight ceilings of both the missile and the MiG31 itself..

At the 31's ceiling of 67,600 ft, any launched missile would need to climb another 20,000 ft to even get to the same level as the SR (if the SR decided to go higher, it was certainly capable of notching up to 95,000 ft).

Realistically, unless the MiG pilot caught the SR crew asleep, the missile would most likely run out of fuel before it got anywhere close.

The only way they'd get close would be a multiple aircraft co-ordinated intercept.


edit: found a reference - www.spyflight.co.uk...


Apart from the cost of maintaining the SR-71 fleet, another factor may have been that may have been taken into consideration was the knowledge that the aircraft had become vunerable. This had been demonstrated on 3 Jun 86 over the Barents Sea, when 6 MiG-31 Foxhounds performed a SR71 co-ordinated intercept against an SR-71 that would have subjected the aircraft to an all-angle AAM attack that even the high speed/altitude and ECM capability of the aircraft would have had great difficulty in defeating.


Bit more info here: www.wvi.com...

and here: www.everything2.com...

So even this story seems dubious.

The best seemingly reliable intercept stories come from the Swedish..

uplink.space.com...

So at the end of the day, the real story is.. "Who knows?"

No SR ever had a missile sent it's way, let alone being shot down..

Personally, I think that at the end of the 80's the chinks may have started to show, but then I'd expect that after over 25 years of unchallenged service!

[edit on 20-8-2007 by Stoo]



posted on Aug, 22 2007 @ 05:45 PM
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Wrong, at 65 NM thats 343,200 feet so even if the MiG-31 was 20,000 ft below the SR it would be able to shoot it down.
BTW an "Intercept doesn't mean a "Shoot down" take a look at the U.S. Intercepts of the Tu-95's those were also called "Intercepts" but they weren't shot down. www.google.com...



posted on Aug, 22 2007 @ 06:06 PM
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According to dictionary.com, to intercept would be (when in reference to aircraft) to either destroy or disperse.

I think it either means to shoot down the plane or force it to go back without completing its mission. Maybe that's what interception is meant when referred to the SR-71? An incomplete mission due to intervention?

Shattered OUT...



posted on Aug, 22 2007 @ 07:40 PM
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To intercept, within the context that we are talking here, means you can manoeuvre your jet into a position to get a valid fire control solution with a reasonable probability of kill. Intercepting high fast flyers is a particular challenge for interceptors. If you start on the ground you save fuel, but you have to be spot on with your geometry or you miss an engagement opportunity. If you start airborne, it is easier to get to a particular point in the air, however depending on how long you've been on station, you might only have fuel for a full burner intercept for a few minutes (aircraft dependent of course). Hence why CAPs soak up so many resources.

Most missiles bleed speed badly once their boost and sustain phases (if they have a sustain phase) ends. They might be fired at M3, but they certainly won't maintain that through the entire time of flight. And if the target changes course then the missile will bleed more energy still (depending on the trajectory logic). Add a 20 000 foot height differential (shooter low), and it becomes even harder. While it may not have been impossible to shoot down an SR-71, it certainly would have been damn hard.



posted on Aug, 22 2007 @ 09:19 PM
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Here are a few points that might explain some of the questions posted by SomoeyJo...

1. The SR71 requires a great deal of expertise to keep it airworthy. Many of the Airforce personnel only stay through their first enlistment. After two years of school and training, they are on the job less than two years before they leave. That turnover is very hard on the maintenance staff.

2. Consider that the surfaces of the SR71 often exceed 400 degrees F in flight. the leading edges of the wings and the chine (that smooth transition between the fuselage and the wing) are made of heat resistant composite material and is designed not to expand. However the rest of the aircraft surfaces are mostly Titanium and they do expand. Due to the constant cycling of heating and cooling, the actual shape of the airframe distorts. After many flights, no two SR71s can use the same parts. Replacement parts must be fitted to match.

3. The fuel that is used in the SR71 is not normal jet fuel. It is much thicker and must be heated before it can be fed to the engines. Fortunately heat is not hard to come by at cruising speed. However, the fuel is quite expensive as is the special hydraulic fluid that will withstand the heat in flight.

4. Stealth is the SR71's middle name. It is the first stealth aircraft. As I recall, the RCS (radar cross section) is similar to that of a bird the size of a raven eg. Blackbird. (Well, possibly.) The entire body of the aircraft IS covered by radar absorbing paint. That is what makes it so black. By the time the Russians (or Soviets) saw it on their radar (and recognized it) it would be many miles away. So an "intercept" would be very unlikely unless a MIG 25 got very lucky.

4. The main reasons for the demise of the SR71 program is cost. What with replacement parts, personnel turnover and logistics, the same result could be had with less cost from a satellite. Consider that after take-off, the SR71 must very quickly meet up with a tanker (one that had SR71 fuel) and top off the tanks. One of the last official flights of an SR71 overflew Los Angeles on its way to New York. The LA to NY time was just over an hour. That plane landed and is housed at the Smithsonian in Washington DC. Try to imagine intercepting a plane that is traveling over 1,000 mph faster than your top "dash" speed and over 10,000 feet higher than your ceiling. GOOD LUCK!

Cyberdude78 is right in most of his points. Satellites can do much of what the SR71 could, except be over a particular point at a particular time. Don't believe what you see in the movies. You can not steer a satellite, Nor can you read a license plate from orbit. The cameras in the SR71 are still super secret and can not be equalled by any satellite system.





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