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51 years ago today... Operation Skyshield 1

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Just picked this up from the Vulcan to the Skies guys...

 

Today is the 51st anniversary of operation Skyshield I, in which seven of eight participating Vulcan B.2 bombers (like XH558) successfully penetrated US airs defences during a joint exercise, made their way to their targets and returned unscathed. A tremendous achievement for the Vulcan crews who’s tactics were masterful, and for the engineers who’s aircraft and electronic countermeasures proved to be the world’s finest. Years later, the Americans were still denying it.

 

The above is what was written I did not write it...

 

http://www.sonicbomb.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=121&mode&order=0&thold=0

 

I read it then checked the website and found it fascinating... :drinks:

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Well, with 20/20 hindsight, it is no secret that air defenses at the time were extremely vulnerable to treetop level flying. Ultimately, that is what the B-52 crews were trained to do. If you have ever looked at the effectiveness of F-101s and F-102s versus bombers, you might not find it that surprising that only one Vulcan was intercepted. But you can be sure that the rules were set up to favor the air defenses as the point of the exercise was probably to prove how safe and secure the US was from air attacks by nuclear bombers. The fact that the Vulcans got through is a testament to their crews' ability to use their aircraft to its full capability despite any handicaps present in the exercise. Unfortunately, it also meant that skilled Soviet crews could do the same, so it is no surprise that no one would publicly admit any failures of US air defense forces. Why tell the enemy where your weaknesses are? As it stands, those defenses never really got put to a live test, so it ultimately didn't matter. I would be curious to see how vulnerable the US is today. Despite all of the satellites, radars, and aircraft available, I am pretty sure a surprise attack on select targets is still feasible.

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On the other side of the iron curtain similar exercises were made. In one exercice mid 60th over the GDR (east germany)around 50% of the "intruders" made their way to their targets and back.

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If you poke around airplane sites, you sometimes find rare accounts by souls on the ground -- souls not involved in any way with these ops, but who still knew what they were at the time -- who watched these things happen, way, way up there. The key was the contrails, can seeum far away, kinda like sky writing...lol never thought of that before.

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What about the Flogger defections to Key West? No one seemed aware of anything till the Cuban plane was landing...

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Also Victor Belenko made it to Japan without them knowing until he parked his Mig-25 on the Runway... Also for those who own the Book Phoenix Squadron there is a part in there where they cut the US ADIZ near florida and where not intercepted even though they advertised they where coming through... on the way back though they where visited by a pair of F-102's...

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