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SR-71 Intercepted 169 Times

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posted on Nov, 4 2007 @ 01:20 AM
I’m a bit late, but no matter.

Intercepted means a firing solution was reached and that refused the target to achieve its planned mission, it doesn’t mean that the missile was fired and destroyed the target.

U-2 WAS shot down while it was thought to be untouchable, F-117 WAS shot down while it was though to be untouchable, MiG-31 WAS designed to intercept high speed targets such as SR-71.

Point in fact, naturally MiG-31 is not going to attack the Blackbird with it’s guns, it will attack with its mission specific weapon, R-33;

The R-33 long-range missile was created for arming MiG-31 fighter-interceptors. It became operational in 1980 and is capable of engaging SR-71 strategic reconnaissance aircraft, B-52 and B-1 bombers, aircraft of front and transport aviation, and also helicopters and cruise missiles.

SR-71 WAS regularly intercepted, that means that a R-33 firing solution was reached, which in turn forced the Blackbird to deviate from its flight plan in order to escape R-33s kill zone.

That is called mission intercept, and not the actual firing upon and destruction of the target.

Case closed, have fun.

posted on Nov, 4 2007 @ 01:20 AM

posted on Nov, 7 2007 @ 08:05 PM
Intercepts? Not sure about aircraft, buts let's recall two losses from the Vietnam era of which there has always been speculation about a SAM-7 take down.

A12 (60-6932 / 129) Destroyed June 5, 1968. Always a mystery, even rumored to be a defection. Wrecked (assumed) into the South China sea during a covert mission over North Vietnam. Nineteen minutes after refueling the BirdWatcher system began transmitting the first of three trouble cries from the wounded bird; high egt from the right engine, reduced fuel flow, and finally, rapid descent. Originally listed as a SR-71 to protect the CIA, no cause ever officially listed.

SR-71A (61-7969 / 2020) Destroyed May 10, 1970. Attributed to a flame out created by turbulence from weather related activity. Rather generic, eh. If you back track it's crash point in(near) Thailand using standard altitude and speed specs with listed flight path, it could have been tagged east of Hanoi and glided in. Maybe, who knows?

Speculation and rumors, yes. But these rumros have circulated in high circles from day 1. After the second crash, the birds were completely pulled from Okinawa, and overflight parameters radically altered. Why do that?

IMO, no aircraft is totally immune from being taken down.

In a loosely related subject, if you really want to stir up argument, mention the AV-11 88-0332, Kosovo, and Chinese tech in the same sentence on these boards, Ha!

posted on Nov, 7 2007 @ 08:18 PM
There were several flights lost due to unstarts in the SR-71. One of the last ones to go down was believed to be due to that same problem. They tried to fix it through the life of the airframe but were never able to.

As for operating from Okinawa, they were there until 1990. They spent 22 continuous years there.

6932 was lost on an FCF after an engine change. Which, oddly enough, corresponds nicely to the engine related trouble calls. At the time of the crash, the right EGT had climbed initially to 850 degrees C. Shortly after the fuel flow was down to 7500 pounds per hour, and the EGT was up to 860+C. At that point the aircraft was in a decent. It sure sounds to me like an engine fire. It was not an operational flight, and was NEVER over hostile territory, so HOW could it have been shot down?

7969 was lost and the crew recovered. They were just off the tanker, and the SR-71 after refueling was a BEAST to fly. They simply couldn't climb high enough, fast enough to get over the thunderstorms. Then once the RPMs got below a certain point the engines wouldn't light, because of the high flash point of the JP-7.

posted on Nov, 7 2007 @ 08:56 PM
Pardon me, the A12s were removed from Okinawa after the 68 crash. In hindsight my post was vague in calling them all 'birds', sorry. Yes, the telemetry could indicate engine failure, but also resembles a shrapnel wound. Seen a ton of them, though not on Blackbirds obviously. As I said, pure speculation and conjecture. As to whether or not it was in an overflight, heh... Where had it gone in those nineteen minutes? Original press release: It wasn't an A12 and it wasn't flying covert.

I dunno, I certainly didn't start these rumors; they've been in the community for years and years. And when engineers put their heads together and think about it, they always come back to these two flights as the best chances of having a blackbird knocked down. Not trying to insult your intelligence, you obviously know your stuff.

Keyword: Speculation...

posted on Nov, 7 2007 @ 09:06 PM
Except it wasn't an operational mission. There was NOWHERE the A-12 or SR-71 could overfly in 33 minutes from Okinawa. At the time if crashed the aircraft was only 33 minutes out of Okinawa, and 19 minutes post refueling. It would have still been getting up to speed, and there's nowhere it could have overflown in that time. A-12s and SR-71s were required to fly FCFs after engine changes just like any OTHER plane out there. But even if it was a mission, 19 minutes wasn't even CLOSE to enough time to get anywhere.

Yes it COULD be shrapnel damage, but it's a LOT more likely that it was an engine fire caused by some damage to the engine that they missed when they changed it. I've seen a lot more incidents post engine change because something wasn't right in the engine.

Yeah, the shot down theories have been around forever, but mostly because of the odd circumstances involved in their losses. It didn't happen often, and when you had oddities like this people tend to think things like it was shot down. The biggest problem with both those being shot down is that they were OUTBOUND, one was a post engine change FCF, and neither one was airborne long enough to get over hostile territory unless it was a LOT faster than people think.

[edit on 11/7/2007 by Zaphod58]

posted on Nov, 7 2007 @ 09:20 PM
No need to talk bold to me
I hear you loud and clear.

posted on Nov, 7 2007 @ 09:23 PM
Sorry, old habit.
I got used to talking to people on other boards that just didn't get it, so when I really wanted to stress something I'd have to bold it for them. Didn't mean to insult you or anything.

posted on Nov, 7 2007 @ 10:55 PM
reply to post by Templarum

The A-12's were already in the process of preparing to redeploy back to the USA when this crash happened on a FCF with the loss of Jack Weeks.

Details of the crash are on the Roadrunners Internationale /Area51 Speical Projects web sites.


posted on Jan, 5 2008 @ 08:08 PM
Blackbirds’ massive cost, immense maintenance requirements, stretching, leaking, upstarts, chokes, etc, all of that doesn’t bother me a bit.

I only have one reason to despise the Blackbird, it has a name - Avro CF-105 Arrow.

SR-71 is a Canadian aviation and engineering dream corrupted and bastardized by (insert your own here)…

Soviets were getting ready for the Arrow before the first one was assembled, and to think that by the time Blackbirds fell out of its nest the Soviets were caught with their pants down is simply foolish.

In the 50s Russians were thinking hypersonic, not supersonic, and there are plenty of conceptual designs available online, just run a search.

posted on Jan, 8 2008 @ 07:19 AM

Originally posted by SmokeyJo
Can somebody explain why the SR-71 is no longer in service, and if so, what replaced it as a recon plane?

I am no way any expert (just curious), but I understand that better stealth now exists. Why cant this be added to the SR-71. (Shape?)

At least why dont they develop a plane with the SR-71 top speed, but the stealth of the B2 or F/B-22? Maybe they already have??

Has it got anything to do with heat signature?

Whats more important, Top speed with a reduction in stealth, or Stealth with a reduction in speed??

The big reason for the retirement of the SR-71 flee was the same one that explains a lot about government. Cost. The Blackbirds burned a specific and unique blend of fuel, which meant that to keep them flying, you also had to keep a special logistic chain operational...dedicated tankers, dedicated fuel transport trucks, dedicated fuel manufacturing facilities. There's also the question of age...from what I've read, most of the airframes were in good shape despite their age (one explanation I've heard for that is that the airframes get re-tempered every mission...not sure how accurate that is), bu t most of the avionics were very long-in-the-tooth...more unique and expensive parts, diagnostic equipment, and special training. At some point, it's simply a matter of benefit no longer outweighing the cost of the program.

As for stealth at the speed of an SR-71, that's not likely. Even assuming that you could create a shape that was simultaneously stealthy and stable at mach 3+ (and with enough computer modeling, you might be able to do that), the thermal signature will be immense, either from the engine exhaust, or from friction-heating of the aircraft skin. It might also be possible for a really potent X-band radar system with a HUGE computer system filtering returns to track the shockwaves trailing the aircraft. In any case, you can (essentially) be either high-mach or low can't get both.

posted on Jan, 8 2008 @ 07:27 AM

Originally posted by Brother Stormhammer
As for stealth at the speed of an SR-71, that's not likely. Even assuming that you could create a shape that was simultaneously stealthy and stable at mach 3+

In Ben Rich's book "Skunk Works" he states quite categorically that the SR-71 had a significantly lower radar cross section than the B1-B, although he does not go into specifics.

The Blackbird was, essentially a stealthy aircraft, the chines made a huge difference to the RCS, as did the slanted tails.

Of course, as far as infra-red goes it was a Christmas tree, but visually Lockheed used an additive nicknamed "panther piss" to break up contrail formation.

posted on Jan, 8 2008 @ 08:43 AM
AFAIK the Blackbird, while it did have a low RCS it could be detected easily as its exhaust plume reflected radar due to it becoming ionised(?).

posted on Jan, 8 2008 @ 09:28 AM
reply to post by C0bzz

When is it easy to track that? well once its past you. So in order to use that as a means fo tracking and defense there will have to be a very large distance between the tracking station and the missile defense. Also since alot of recon was done with sideways looking equipment there is also the fact that the 71 never or it was not as needed to overfly a country directly. So I'm unsure about tracking the 71 from behind is the best option.

posted on Jan, 8 2008 @ 09:37 PM
reply to post by Canada_EH

Um, ok.

I'm pretty sure it could be tracked easily because of exhaust plume, even infront of aircraft. I am no expert nor do I have any sources. Ehrm, I'll try to find a link.

posted on Jan, 9 2008 @ 12:36 AM

Originally posted by neformore
The Blackbird was, essentially a stealthy aircraft, the chines made a huge difference to the RCS, as did the slanted tails.

That's like calling modern Russian fighter export aircraft 'stealthy'. They tend to have reduced RCS, but are hardly difficult to pick up on radar at a reasonable range.

The sr-71 didn't survive so well because it was stealthy; it was purely the speed and altitude. Hence why it is now out of service; I imagine that giving it's capabilities an s-400 missile would have no problem intercepting such an aircraft, and an s-400 costs a heck of a lot less than an sr-71.

As for if it was intercepted 169 times, if anything, giving the mig-31's capabilities, that's a fairly low number. All interception means in the context is that you in some way deter the aircraft away via aircraft approach. NATO did it with tu-95's constantly during the cold war, and still does it now that Russia has massive amounts of tu-95 flights again as of august.

posted on Jan, 9 2008 @ 12:20 PM

Originally posted by uberfoop

Originally posted by neformore
The Blackbird was, essentially a stealthy aircraft, the chines made a huge difference to the RCS, as did the slanted tails.

That's like calling modern Russian fighter export aircraft 'stealthy'. They tend to have reduced RCS, but are hardly difficult to pick up on radar at a reasonable range.

The sr-71 didn't survive so well because it was stealthy; it was purely the speed and altitude. Hence why it is now out of service...

We are talking about a aircraft that much in the same was as the YB-49 had accidentail stealth characteristics. The Russian aircraft are stealthy, for the most part they are 4th gen aircraft that have had their RCS looked at and lowered. Are they true stealth aircraft? Most people would say no. Yes your right the 71 was a success almost purely on speed and height. Its reason of being out of service is the fact that there wasn't alot of room to grow in the enginering and speed of the airframe with 80's tech and the budget was becomeing a issue for the CIA and the goverment.

posted on Jan, 9 2008 @ 01:08 PM
One of the requirements for the SR-71 was that it have as low an RCS as possible, Eisenhower didn't want to just be able to spy on the Soviets, if possible he didn't want them to know the Americans were there. They tried a number of marginally successful techniques with the U-2 like radar absorbing paint and wire strung from the wing and fuselage.

With the SR-71 the chines that give it its distinct cobra shape siginificantly lower its RCS as well as the inward slanted vertical stabilizers. IIRC they use RAM materials wherever possible and RAM paint. One thing they couldn't hide was the huge heat signiture as it blazed along at over Mach 3.

Also, getting a missile lock on the SR-71 is a lot different than being able to hit it. As has been pointed out already, according to Ben Rich and the men who flew the plane, any missiles shot at it detonated several miles behind. It was in constant afterburner and could easily outmaneuver missiles that were at the edge of their envelope and delta V.

The SAM-5 could have hit the SR-71 in theory but the missions always planned routes that avoided the threat areas. While the Mig-31 could have possibly shot the SR-71 down, considering most of missions against Soviet targets were flown in international airspace using side looking radar and cameras, this would have been considered an act of war.

And I doubt that a shoulder launched SAM-7 with an altitude of not much more than 10,000 ft. could have brought an SR-71 or A-12 down over Vietnam. The SA-2 was pushing its limits at 60,000 ft.

As for airframes, the SR-71 fleet was in better shape at the end of its life than at the start. Each flight did in fact temper the titanium airframe and make it stronger. The engines and avionics needed an upgrade, but the main reason for killing it was the cost ( at the time I think it was about $200 million to keep the small fleet operating each year) and the fact it was such a small fleet of planes. For advancement in the airforce it looks better on your record to have commanded a large number of combat aircraft compared to a small number of surveillance craft.

[edit on 9-1-2008 by what-lies-beneith]

[edit on 9-1-2008 by what-lies-beneith]

posted on Jan, 9 2008 @ 03:56 PM

Originally posted by YASKY
Thats right Ladies and Gentalmen, in the new Aug/September 2007 Vol 8 No 4. Issue of "Combat Aircraft" (The one with the MiG-31 on the front cover)
A 7 page Article was written and between August 1984 and Jan 1987 the SR-71 was intercepted by the MiG-31 14 times near the Soviet Union, then threw-out the rest of the year (1987) the MiG-31 intercepted the SR-71 a total of 69 times, and in 1988 a total of 86 interceptions of the SR-71 by the MiG-31 took place.
So much for all that tough talk about SR-71.

[edit on 17-8-2007 by YASKY]

[edit on 17-8-2007 by YASKY]


SR-71s routinely flew directly over the USSR. Additionally, yes - a Mig-31 could potentially "intercept" an SR-71 in the fact that it could get within weapons range, flying a near head-on interception. However, the Mig-31 lacked the weapons capabilities to actually hit an SR-71. The most likely used missile would be the R-77 (or AA-12 "AMRAAMSKI") - using an inertial guidance system to close in on the target before activating a terminal Infra-Red or Active Radar guidance system to make the kill.

Quite simply - that weapon doesn't have the capabilities to track and destroy an SR-71 (not to mention we also had it pretty well defeated by electronic countermeasures). It's doubtful the onboard computer would be capable of placing itself in a position so that its shrapnel-cloud would damage the SR-71 (missiles explode before they hit their target - they are like a guided, airborne claymore mine).

So it's more like saying I intercepted a B-2 while driving down the highway and I passed under it as it landed at Whiteman AFB to say that a Mig-31 intercepted an SR-71.

posted on Jan, 9 2008 @ 04:33 PM

Originally posted by uberfoop
That's like calling modern Russian fighter export aircraft 'stealthy'.

It had the radar cross section of a single engined Piper Cub apparently, which, for a plane 107ft long and with a 55ft wingspan wasn't doing so badly, was it?

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