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SR-71 Intercepted 169 Times

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posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 03:13 PM
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I’m not going into this thing. There was a great film about the Arrow, and I especially remember when the plant workers were all laid off with out prior warning and just told to go home, there was a swarm of recruiters from every single American aerospace company handing out business cards on the spot.


So, that doesn't mean they went on to design everything south of the border after the "Deif" shut the Arrow down.


Actually the Canadians were the ones to first start really working with titanium, and it was exactly what made the Arrow so special. It was the first aircraft that extensively used titanium.


Not according to the men who built the SR-71. The Skunk Works had to learn almost from scratch how to fabricate most of the titanium parts that went into the SR-71. No plane at the time used it as extensively, because no plane operated at the speeds, altitudes and temperatures the SR-71 did. This also went for the fuel which had such a high ignition point you could drop a match in it and it wouldn't light, or the oil which had to work across a huge temperature range or even the tires which were made from an aluminium compound so they would burst from the heat.


Hold on there, I seem to remember Astra radar/FCS, and a very ambitious Sparrow II program which US Navy chose not to tackle.


It was the massive cost overruns on the weapons system that killed the Arrow, it was costing almost twice as much as the aircraft itself.


There was a problem with radar return “ghosting” though, and I seem to remember that Bears were able to ghost their returns in a radius of 300 kilometers.


It had no problem shooting down the QB-47 drones in tests at all altitudes and ranges.


In any case, why the mystery? If sustained Mach3 80 mile intercepts was the name of the game, what happen? Tomcat?


Part of the problem was the classified nature of the program, not many people knew about the capabilities of the SR-71 in the early 1960s. Another was politics, the SR-71 helped kill the B-70 program which people like Curtis Lemay were backing. They weren't inclined to give business to Johnson after that. And a Mach 3+ interceptor was just to revolutionary for some, same with the bomber.


What does that have to do with anything?

104 is a completely different bowl of soup, and on that note MiG-21 kind of took the 104 out of the game from the start. A far as I recall the first recorded supersonic air combat took place between the Pakistani 104 and Indian 21, which resulted in a victory for the 21.


You were claiming that the Arrow team formed before the Skunk Works. In fact they both have their roots in WW II. You also made the claim that the Arrow team did most of the foundation work for supersonic design which is nonsense. Bell designed the first aircraft to go into controlled supersonic flight, the X-1 and as I pointed out, the F-104 was the first Mach 2 fighter designed and built by Kelly Johnson and the Skunk Works.

The MiG-21 appeared a few years later and was the contemporary of the F-4. In 1954 when it first flew the F-104 was the hottest thing in the sky.

[edit on 14-1-2008 by what-lies-beneith]

[edit on 14-1-2008 by what-lies-beneith]




posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 04:50 PM
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reply to post by what-lies-beneith
 



So, that doesn't mean they went on to design everything south of the border after the "Deif" shut the Arrow down.


I didn’t say everything.


The Skunk Works had to learn almost from scratch how to fabricate most of the titanium parts that went into the SR-71.


I’ve read Skunk Works books and never came across that they started titanium fabrication from scratch. It’s like conducting an orchestra, from scratch.


No plane at the time used it as extensively, because no plane operated at the speeds, altitudes and temperatures the SR-71 did.


OK, here’s a good link;

CF-105 Avro Arrow Achievements;

www.globalaircraft.org...


It was the massive cost overruns on the weapons system that killed the Arrow, it was costing almost twice as much as the aircraft itself.


It’s not what the Avro people have been saying for years. Watch the movie.


Part of the problem was the classified nature of the program, not many people knew about the capabilities of the SR-71 in the early 1960s.


So good and so secret that it wasn’t meant to be I guess.


Another was politics, the SR-71 helped kill the B-70 program which people like Curtis Lemay were backing. They weren't inclined to give business to Johnson after that. And a Mach 3+ interceptor was just to revolutionary for some, same with the bomber.


Wow, if SR-71 was so ahead of its time that it was practically a UFO that could zap Soviet bombers and penetrate their airspace at will, naturally it must be the politics that didn’t allow it to be what it was meant to be. I surrender.


You were claiming that the Arrow team formed before the Skunk Works. In fact they both have their roots in WW II.


Alco Hydro-Aeroplane Company – 1912 Lockheed Aircraft Company – 1926
Skunk Works – 1943.

A.V. Roe and Company – 1910, Saunders-Roe (jets) – 1928, Hawker Siddeley Group/Victory Aircraft – 1950

So?


You also made the claim that the Arrow team did most of the foundation work for supersonic design which is nonsense.


Well, that’s a point of view.


Bell designed the first aircraft to go into controlled supersonic flight, the X-1


You sure Germans didn’t have anything to do with that?


and as I pointed out, the F-104 was the first Mach 2 fighter designed and built by Kelly Johnson and the Skunk Works.


It was, it did, and after one year it was overshadowed.



The MiG-21 appeared a few years later and was the contemporary of the F-4.


Nope, they were (and still are) in a completely different class.


In 1954 when it first flew the F-104 was the hottest thing in the sky.


It was until 1955 when E-5 took flight. Let’s not go there, because it’s all been done before.

104 sets the records, MiG-21 breaks them.

106 sets new records, Ye series MiGs break them.

And so on.



posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 05:35 PM
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I’ve read Skunk Works books and never came across that they started titanium fabrication from scratch. It’s like conducting an orchestra, from scratch.


From Ben Richs "Skunk Works":


Only one small U.S. company milled titanium, but sold it in sheets of wildly varying quality. We had no idea how to extrude it, push it through various shapes or weld or rivet or drill it. Drilling bits used for aluminium simply broke into pieces trying to pierce titaniums unyeilding hide. This exotic alloy would undoubtably break our tools as well as our spirits.


The Skunk Works craftsmen eventually became experts in the use of titanium because most of the SR-71 was made from the alloy. They learned how to cut, shape and drill the metal. They learned you couldn't wash it with chlorinated water or use cadnium coated tools on titanium parts. They even rolled their own stock because of the difficulty of getting consistent quality sheets from suppliers.

Ironically most of the titanium that went into the Blackbirds originated in the Soviet Union and was bought through a dummy company.


OK, here’s a good link;

CF-105 Avro Arrow Achievements;

www.globalaircraft.org...


I still don't think you understand the difference between the Blackbird and the interceptors designed at the time. Aircraft like the CF-105 had the ability to use afterburners for short periods of time for supersonic dash. Most of the time they operated at high subsonic speed. The SR-71 was designed from the start to operate in full afterburner and cruise at high supersonic speed through long portions of it's mission. For sustained high speed there was no contemporary to the Blackbird.


It’s not what the Avro people have been saying for years. Watch the movie.


The Canadian Defence Staff wanted an aircraft that could engage and defeat six targets with a high degree of certainty. The technology wasn't there and wouldn't be for several decades but they were spending millions trying to get it to work.


Wow, if SR-71 was so ahead of its time that it was practically a UFO that could zap Soviet bombers and penetrate their airspace at will, naturally it must be the politics that didn’t allow it to be what it was meant to be. I surrender.


It was practically a UFO and if it was built today it would still be an amazing accomplishment. It was politics and cost that kept it from being produced in large numbers. Like with the Arrow when the later run SR-71s were cancelled the DoD had all the tooling and jigs destroyed to ensure no more Blackbirds could be built.


Alco Hydro-Aeroplane Company – 1912 Lockheed Aircraft Company – 1926
Skunk Works – 1943.

A.V. Roe and Company – 1910, Saunders-Roe (jets) – 1928, Hawker Siddeley Group/Victory Aircraft – 1950

So?


So the Skunk Works and the rest of the US aerospace industry was well established before the influx of ex-Avro employees.


You sure Germans didn’t have anything to do with that?


The Bell X-1 design was based on the shape of the .50 bullet, something that was known at the time to be aerodynamically stable above Mach 1.




[edit on 14-1-2008 by what-lies-beneith]

[edit on 14-1-2008 by what-lies-beneith]

[edit on 14-1-2008 by what-lies-beneith]



posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 06:24 PM
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“Only one small U.S. company milled titanium, but sold it in sheets of wildly varying quality. We had no idea how to extrude it, push it through various shapes or weld or rivet or drill it. Drilling bits used for aluminium simply broke into pieces trying to pierce titaniums unyeilding hide. This exotic alloy would undoubtably break our tools as well as our spirits.”

And then a miracle happens.

what-lies-beneith, believe what you want.

On one hand we have a crew that literally developed titanium use in aircraft, they were all out of their jobs, and most end up working for US companies.

On the other hand we have a crew that’s been operating since 1943, and taking on a project of such magnitude with out ever worked with titanium, and end up creating a Mach 3 UFO.

I believe in miracles too, but when it comes to aerospace engineering, it’s a learning curve based on trial and error.

Advanced aircraft like SR don’t just appear from nowhere, previous and extensive experience with high speed, high temperature, high tolerance EVERYTHING is simply necessary.

If you really believe that a crew that never worked with titanium can put together a bird that actually stretches in flight, and did it with out outside help, I can only say that Iranians might as well miraculously come up with a 5th gen stealth fighter, even though they never worked with composites.

p.s.


I still don't think you understand the difference between the Blackbird and the interceptors designed at the time.


Are you kidding? I sure hope so.



posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 06:43 PM
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Originally posted by what-lies-beneith

I still don't think you understand the difference between the Blackbird and the interceptors designed at the time. Aircraft like the CF-105 had the ability to use afterburners for short periods of time for supersonic dash. Most of the time they operated at high subsonic speed. The SR-71 was designed from the start to operate in full afterburner and cruise at high supersonic speed through long portions of it's mission. For sustained high speed there was no contemporary to the Blackbird.


This thread is in danger of being seriously off topic even though you guys are having a great debate.

What WLB says above is key though we ARE talking about DIFFERENT ways that a role was approached and though both planes or designs could be interceptor they where very different planes designed 10 to 12 years apart. The F-104 is in my opinion what can be compared to the CF-105 though is flew slightly after by a year or 2. The CF-105 had alot more potential and the problem is its true stats will never be knowen for 100%.

I'f you guys want to debate the tech and companies behind the plane I'm all for it but a new thread would probably be a smart idea.



posted on Jan, 14 2008 @ 06:46 PM
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reply to post by Canada_EH
 



I'f you guys want to debate the tech and companies behind the plane I'm all for it but a new thread would probably be a smart idea.


I agree entirely, its way off topic now, let’s get back to the issue at hand.

Personally I think it’s ironic that it’s the SR-71 that gets intercepted and not the other way around.



posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 05:05 AM
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Text
reply to post by what-lies-beneith
 


There have been many points in this discussion where I have wanted to come over all schoolmasterly and correct some misconceptions but have resisted because I didn't want to break the flow of such an entertaining discussion, an example being the claim that the MiG 21 appeared several years after the F-104 when there was less than 12 months between them and they were direct contemporaries with the MiG being decidedly superior to the F-104, as was the EE Lightning not previously mentioned.

However when reading this;



Like I've been trying to point out to you the SR-71 was unlike any aircraft at the time or even the present. It was designed and built to CRUISE at high supersonic speeds at great altitude.


I was struck by the though that how much more impressive, technically, was the Concorde. The absolute figures were lower than for Blackbird, naturally, but this marvel was designed to do what is mentioned in the text on a DAILY basis while carrying 100 passengers and all their luggage, which it did successfully for 26 years without a hitch that could be attributed to the plane itself. Pretty bloody astounding when you look at it that way. I also believe that it is a fact that BA Concorde captains amassed more Mach 2 time than any military pilots in the world (BA utilised its aircraft more than Air France, I'm not being biased).

Oh well, after that interlude, back to the topic at hand



posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 06:40 AM
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Originally posted by waynos
I also believe that it is a fact that BA Concorde captains amassed more Mach 2 time than any military pilots in the world (BA utilised its aircraft more than Air France, I'm not being biased).


I've always found it interesting that, at the time of its construction, there wasn't a fighter plane in the world that could actually keep up with it over the range it flew.

Imagine if someone had the balls to convert it to a bomber



posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 12:19 PM
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Originally posted by waynos



Text
reply to post by what-lies-beneith
 


There have been many points in this discussion where I have wanted to come over all schoolmasterly and correct some misconceptions but have resisted because I didn't want to break the flow of such an entertaining discussion, an example being the claim that the MiG 21 appeared several years after the F-104 when there was less than 12 months between them and they were direct contemporaries with the MiG being decidedly superior to the F-104, as was the EE Lightning not previously mentioned.

However when reading this;



Like I've been trying to point out to you the SR-71 was unlike any aircraft at the time or even the present. It was designed and built to CRUISE at high supersonic speeds at great altitude.


I was struck by the though that how much more impressive, technically, was the Concorde. The absolute figures were lower than for Blackbird, naturally, but this marvel was designed to do what is mentioned in the text on a DAILY basis while carrying 100 passengers and all their luggage, which it did successfully for 26 years without a hitch that could be attributed to the plane itself. Pretty bloody astounding when you look at it that way. I also believe that it is a fact that BA Concorde captains amassed more Mach 2 time than any military pilots in the world (BA utilised its aircraft more than Air France, I'm not being biased).

Oh well, after that interlude, back to the topic at hand


Go ahead and get schoolmasterly, I don't know everything and love to learn new facts about the planes I've spent a lot of my life trying to get to know.

My point about the F-104 had more to do with the contention that most of the knowlegde of high-speed design was a technology transfer from Avro to the US after the Arrow cancellation. While the F-104 was the first Mach 2 fighter on the scene it was quickly outclassed by the fighters that followed soon after. This was at a time when advances were being made monthly in jet aircraft, and like many Skunk Works programs it was crash developed to fill a specific need and never did gain acceptance with the USAF as a light fighter.

The Concord was impressive, but in the end not really practical due to it's limited cabin space, expensive ticket price and large noise footprint. It never was much more than a luxury for the rich or the few who were able to afford charters.

The Blackbird on the other hand was an unquailified success in the role it was designed for and never had a serious rival during its operational life.

Which IS what this thread is about



[edit on 15-1-2008 by what-lies-beneith]



posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 04:57 PM
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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.


Mach 3.2+ Sustained cruise.
85,000 ft+ altitude.
Over three decades service in some of the most hostile skies in the world.
4000 missiles shot at it with no loses.
Photos and other intel that probably stopped WW III from starting on more than one occassion.

Sounds pretty damn tough to me.



posted on Jan, 15 2008 @ 10:48 PM
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Originally posted by what-lies-beneith
...Photos and other intel that probably stopped WW III from starting on more than one occassion...


You have GOT to explain that one to me!



posted on Jan, 16 2008 @ 02:42 AM
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And I have got to know abut this one!


4000 missiles shot at it with no loses.



posted on Jan, 16 2008 @ 04:36 AM
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reply to post by what-lies-beneith
 



My point about the F-104 had more to do with the contention that most of the knowlegde of high-speed design was a technology transfer from Avro to the US after the Arrow cancellation.


That is true enough. The exodus from Avro to the US only happened after 1960. An awful lot of research and project development (including the airframe design for what became the SR-71) was already underway long before then. The A12 was flying by 1964, not nearly enough time for a bunch of immigrants to arrive and make it work.


Your paragraph on Concorde and SR-71 is purely subjective though. You cannot seriously say that the Concorde was not a success. Using your own paragraph I will show what I mean by subjective with my alterations appearing in parentheses to completeyl change its meaning without saying anything that is actually untrue (just a game, stick with me)

"The [Blackbird] was impressive, but in the end not really practical due to it's [intensely complex operating procedures, expensive price and operational costs]. It never was much more than a luxury for the rich [country that actually managed to invest in its creation]The [Concorde] on the other hand was an unquailified success in the role it was designed for and never had a serious rival during its operational life."

Equally true, but no less jaundiced and just a bit of fun to show what I was getting at. In reality Both aircraft were massively successful and impressive. Which is all I wanted to say.

Of course the events of 1973 (four years after it flew) made Concorde commercially unjustifiable for any airline that was actually expected to pay for it, but that in no way diminishes the immense technical achievement of actually making it all work flawlessly in a realm too hostile for military aircraft of the time (or even today).

Anyway, back to the subject (at last) a question does occur to me about something that was written several times in the past. A point was made about the SR-71 changing direction to avoid a missile while cruising at M3.2 or thereabouts, I would appreciate more information about this as, as far as I thought anyway, ANY sort of turn at that speed is completely out of the question, much less a 90 degree one to fox an incoming missile.

I'll put the concorde stuff into a new thread in case you want to continue so I don't keep diluting this one.

[edit on 16-1-2008 by waynos]



posted on Jan, 16 2008 @ 08:24 AM
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Originally posted by waynos
........"The [Blackbird] was impressive, but in the end not really practical due to it's [intensely complex operating procedures, expensive price and operational costs]. It never was much more than a luxury for the rich [country that actually managed to invest in its creation]The [Concorde] on the other hand was an unquailified success in the role it was designed for and never had a serious rival during its operational life.".....



Priceless Waynos, absoultely priceless!



posted on Jan, 16 2008 @ 09:36 AM
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reply to post by waynos
 


There is a first hand story from a swedish pilot who flew the viggen about getting a lock on to a SR-71 during a encounters and he also mentions this in his article and frankly I'm in no postion to say he is wrong and it makes sence to me


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.

uplink.space.com...

Interesting to say the least so here is my end of the leg work other then finding the article. The story mentions 4 places Åland - Stockholm implying a turn passing between Öland and Gotland. So lets look shall we




My thinking right now tells me with a turning radius like that at mach 2.54 at mach 3 turning away from a missile is ver minamal though even small turns will put large amount of add space between a threat due to speed away from previous course how ever small.
Anyone have any more thoughts?



posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 02:03 PM
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Originally posted by Daedalus3

Originally posted by what-lies-beneith
...Photos and other intel that probably stopped WW III from starting on more than one occassion...


You have GOT to explain that one to me!


It was during the Yom Kippur war in 1973. The Israelis intially were thrown back by the Syrians and Egyptians but eventually gained the upper hand. An amored brigade led by Sharon crosed the Suez and was heading for Cairo with the intent of knocking the Egyptians out of the war making business permanently. The Soviets didn't like this and made it clear they'd go nuclear if the Israelis weren't stopped.

It was surveillance photos of the respective military buildup of both sides in the Sinai taken by the SR-71 and supplied to both sides that helped diffuse the situation. I'm sure there are other examples we don't know about.



posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 02:30 PM
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Originally posted by waynos

That is true enough. The exodus from Avro to the US only happened after 1960. An awful lot of research and project development (including the airframe design for what became the SR-71) was already underway long before then. The A12 was flying by 1964, not nearly enough time for a bunch of immigrants to arrive and make it work.


The thousands of Avro workers that did travel south of the border made a big difference in US aerospace, they helped NASA put man on the moon among other things. Lockheeds Advanced Development Projects (Skunk Works) was a small and very secretive facility, it's doubtful many ex-Avro employees would have ended up there whatever their credentials in the 1960s.


Your paragraph on Concorde and SR-71 is purely subjective though. You cannot seriously say that the Concorde was not a success. Using your own paragraph I will show what I mean by subjective with my alterations appearing in parentheses to completeyl change its meaning without saying anything that is actually untrue (just a game, stick with me)


How much of a real influence on modern air travel was the Concord. The future was in large heavy-lifters like the 747 and other widebodies that followed. The Concord had more to do with the past view where air travel was seen as a luxury. With it's small cabin space it was never going to be a mass mover and the thousands of planes required to make it a mass mover would have made living under an SST route intolerable.


"The [Blackbird] was impressive, but in the end not really practical due to it's [intensely complex operating procedures, expensive price and operational costs]. It never was much more than a luxury for the rich [country that actually managed to invest in its creation]The [Concorde] on the other hand was an unquailified success in the role it was designed for and never had a serious rival during its operational life."


Really? I guess the Cold War was just a fantasy and we really didn't need to know just what those misunderstood Soviets were up too. Sticking your head in the sand is never a good idea when someone is out to kick your butt. Without the SR-71 keeping constant surveillance on the Soviet military who knows what the outcome of the Cold War would have. Maybe it was more important that Mick and the boys and their ilk could get to New York in an hour if the urge hit them. Personally I have more respect for the men who strapped themselves into the hottest thing to take to the skies and put their lives on the line for us. Just my opinion.

Personally I'm starting to find this debate silly.



posted on Jan, 17 2008 @ 08:22 PM
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Originally posted by what-lies-beneith

It was during the Yom Kippur war in 1973. The Israelis intially were thrown back by the Syrians and Egyptians but eventually gained the upper hand. An amored brigade led by Sharon crosed the Suez and was heading for Cairo with the intent of knocking the Egyptians out of the war making business permanently. The Soviets didn't like this and made it clear they'd go nuclear if the Israelis weren't stopped.

It was surveillance photos of the respective military buildup of both sides in the Sinai taken by the SR-71 and supplied to both sides that helped diffuse the situation. I'm sure there are other examples we don't know about.


Not quite the way I have read about the situation. When the initial assault from the Egyptian army was more successful than anticipated, it looked very likely that Egyptian tanks would reach Israeli soil. The Israelis viewed this as an embarrassment that could not be tolerated and had their SRBMs ready to go in the Negev desert, for launch the moment Israeli sovereign territory was invaded.

The SR71 flights confirmed to the USA that the nuclear threat from Israel was real and that information was passed on to the Russians in a backdoor attempt to defuse the situation. This all became academic when the Egyptian pincer movement left a gaping hole between tank divisions, Sharon drove through to the Suez canal and captured or destroyed the SAM-6 sites that had been such a problem to the IAF. From then on, the fight in the Sinai became one-sided, as the IAF decimated the Egyptian armour.

KW



posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 05:58 AM
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Personally I'm starting to find this debate silly.



Well from the tone of your reply I would guess that is because you completely missed the point. I already moved the Concorde discussion somewhere else.



posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 06:36 AM
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Originally posted by KwazyWabbit
...The SR71 flights confirmed to the USA that the nuclear threat from Israel was real and that information was passed on to the Russians in a backdoor attempt to defuse the situation...
KW


This is(was) my interpretation of events too..
How did the Soviets respond to this leak?
They threaten to use nukes as well? Or did they try and coax the Egyptians to step it down a notch?





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