Flyf15 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (8 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 29511 times:
So, everyone knows that the US conducted spyplane flights over Russian territory during the cold war, most famously with U-2s and SR-71s. I don't know much about this topic, so pardon my ignorance, but did Russia ever conduct similar flights over the US?
And if so, what aircraft were used? Anything on a large scale like the US flights, or just a few random flights where they got lucky?
And if not, any idea why not? Were they not capable of developing aircraft that could fly through the airspace with immunity?
Ptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3921 posts, RR: 18
Reply 1, posted (8 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 29546 times:
Nothing on any scale.
The Russians didn't have the aircraft for it, but then they didn't even try to build them.
The reason for this is simply that the need wasn't there, because of the openness of Western society. Not many things you can actually photograph from a plane were really secret in the West. Also, spies, once in, could travel around freely.
In the USSR, citizens could not even get a map of their home town, and in 1945, the Americans had very little in the way of maps, hence the big US effort.
Under General LeMay, the constant overflights were also pure intimidation. LeMay made a point of using bomber-type aircraft for it - he despised the U-2.
The Russians didn't complain much as that would show weakness, but in fact, they were always much annoyed and worried about it - it fueled the Cold War.
Read a British book, Spy Flights Of the Cold War by Paul Lashmar, if you're interested. It's fascinating.
The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
Lehpron From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 7028 posts, RR: 21
Reply 3, posted (8 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 29448 times:
Quoting JakeOrion (Reply 2): but because the U-2 and SR-71 flew so darn high the could see the entire continent.
Pardon my semantic involvment here, but at 15 miles up, considering the average radius of the Earth is 3956 miles, the farthest you could see (assuming line-of-sight) was just under 350 miles, 700 all around.
To see the entire continent of what was USSR, which was over 7,000 miles, you'd have to be orbit at least 2300 miles up -- hence the investment in spy satellites.
The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
Broke From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 1322 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (8 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 29267 times:
I had friends who were stationed on the radar site at Cape Lisbourne Alaska. They told me that they were regularly overflown, usually by Tu-16 Badgers. When they would launch an intercept from Elemendorf AFB at Anchorage, the aircraft would turn back out over the Bering Strait into international waters.
This was in the early 1960's and the unit at Elemedorf was equipped with F-102A's.
N328KF From United States of America, joined May 2004, 6484 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (8 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 29233 times:
Quoting Broke (Reply 10): I had friends who were stationed on the radar site at Cape Lisbourne Alaska. They told me that they were regularly overflown, usually by Tu-16 Badgers. When they would launch an intercept from Elemendorf AFB at Anchorage, the aircraft would turn back out over the Bering Strait into international waters.
Too bad we never got to the point of having the F-22 operational during the Cold War. It'd be amusing to see the Soviets try that and then be lit up without their knowledge.
When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' T.Roosevelt
Broke From United States of America, joined Apr 2002, 1322 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (8 years 5 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 29168 times:
Actually N328KF something like that did happen. In the early 1960's, 4 F-106A's went to Elemendorf AFB for cold weather testing. These aircraft were equipped with both VHF and UHF radios and with drop tanks.
Well, one of the Tu-16's came across the Bering Strait and the F-106A's were launched using civilian VHF frequencies and call signs. They climbed out in a cruise mode and went north.
They caught the Tu-16 while it was still in US airspace. Overflights stopped for a very long time while the Soviets tried to figure exactly what happened.
Bushpilot From South Africa, joined Jul 2007, 0 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (8 years 5 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 29058 times:
Quoting N328KF (Reply 11): Too bad we never got to the point of having the F-22 operational during the Cold War. It'd be amusing to see the Soviets try that and then be lit up without their knowledge.
Id rather have not seen that, especially being an Alaskan and living quite close to cape lisbourne. If there would have been a purposeful shootdown of either a russian or american bomber flying in international airspace would have led to events none of us want to imagine.
RC135U From United States of America, joined May 2005, 293 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (8 years 5 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 28976 times:
Quoting Bushpilot (Reply 13): If there would have been a purposeful shootdown of either a russian or american bomber flying in international airspace would have led to events none of us want to imagine.
Check out Aeroweenie's link in post 9 above. You'll see that over the years the Western powers paid a pretty high price in lost aircraft over international airspace (not to mention the crews who usually didn't return).
And they still do, refueling at the UN... it's common knowledge
Uh...KC135TopBoom is right about the Soviets flying by Shemya after the crash landing of the Cobra Ball on 13 Jan 1969. Minor detail - it was six hours not four hours later that the Badgers showed up. This link describes it a bit better from someone who was there at the time: http://www.6srw.com While the site is very descriptive of RC-135 recon ops, page eight relates to the crash landing and the subsequent overflight of a couple of Badgers.
KC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12134 posts, RR: 51
Reply 22, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 28774 times:
The funny thing about the Rivet Ball and Cobra Ball airplanes is that both carried the USAF MDS of RC-135S. This is very unusual because about the only thing the two airplanes had in common was they were built from the C-135 airplane. The Rivet Ball RC-135S started out in life as a KC-135A and had J-57 turbo-jet "steam-jet" engines (water injection). After the airplane crashed, some of the cameras were transferred to the new airplane. But, that was about it, as the Cobra Ball RC-135S (which started out in life as a C-135B, then became a WC-135B, equipped with TF-33 turbo-fan engines) had the "squerral cheeks", no bubble on top for an observer, and new, updated, recording and monitoring equipment.
BTW, the Cobra Ball also crashed on Shemya, but that was around 1976, or so. A new Cobra Ball RC-135S was built
SLCPilot From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 581 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 28764 times:
I guess this is an OK subject for this site and forum.
How about the "wandering" Aeroflot flights out of the US? While I know very little, it seems I've read at times they'd fly the route of their choosing on the way out. What did they overfly and did we know what they were gathering? Elint? Photos? Other?
I don't like to be fueled by anger, I don't like to be fooled by lust...
Why would they? They just bypassed that step and went straight to putting missiles in Cuba. They didn't have the money for the expensive flights and had no real airbase to begin them from, that wasn't already on our watch-list. So, why waste the time when you can just cut to the chase and arm Castro?
Unfortunately, this was really their line of thinking.
Crye me a river
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