North Korea almost shot down a USA spy plane

Before drones and/or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles existed, countries would spy on each other using high altitude aircraft.

The USA had the famous SR-71 Blackbird ; the fastest and highest-flying jet aircraft in the world (to this day), achieving altitudes of over 85,000 feet and reaching speeds of Mach 3.3–that’s more than 3,500 kph (2,100 mph) and almost four times as fast as the average cruising speed of a commercial airliner. It was the perfect aircraft for reconnaissance missions.

Its incredible speed enabled it to gather intelligence in a matter of a few seconds while streaking across unfriendly skies. From 80,000 feet, it could survey 100,000 square miles of Earth’s surface per hour.

No SR-71 has ever been lost or damaged due to hostile action. The aircraft was extremely difficult for enemy radars to find.

On Aug, 26, 1981, in the midst of major exercises in North Korea that had people worried about a possible invasion, one of these Mach 3-capable spy planes was sent to track North Korea’s forces.

The United States wanted to get intelligence about missile sites in the very secretive country, and the Blackbird was often the aircraft of choice.

What made the Blackbird’s Aug. 26, 1981 mission unique though, was that this time, the regime of Kim Il-Sung took a shot at the speedy plane as it made a pass over the Demilitarized Zone, known as the DMZ. The mission profile often involved multiple passes.

Maury Rosenberg and Ed McKinn were making their third pass when they saw the rising plume of a missile. Rosenberg calmly turned his plane to the right, going away from North Korea, and he and McKinn watched the missile detonate.

Thanks to the SR-71’s high speed, the aircraft and the crew escaped the hit.

In response to the development of the the SR-71, the Soviet Union built the MiG-25 Foxbat to counter both the spy plane and the planned B-70 Valkyrie bomber. But even the Foxbat couldn’t stop the SR-71 from going where it wanted, when it wanted.

What did stop the SR-71? Budget cuts at the end of the Cold War.

Why did they retire the SR-71? In spite of the plane’s unparalleled service record, it was simply too expensive for the U.S. Air Force to continue to run after the end of the Cold War. Air Force officials were frank about this fact in 1989 hearings.

Is it an act of war if a country snags a manned spy aircraft in its territory,say an unsanctioned C130 reconnaissance flight?

Almost doesn’t count

No, my jaber. That would be deemed as ‘Self defense’.

@patco what is your problem?!

Patco hunanga akili:D

si iran walitwanga drone ya $250m

Shoot it down? How? SR-61 modus operandi was its speed, if a missile is fired towards it, all it needed to do was accelerate.

@patco kwani uko na handles ngapi?

Tunaongea kuhusu North Korea na SR-71.

Iran na drones zimetokea wapi wewe punda ya Beijing?

Nope. Just watched “The Cuban Libre” and the Cubans downed one during the nuclear crisis. Lucky the Americans and Russian’s reached a deal and the Russians pulled out their nuclear warheads … avoiding a nuclear war. Which really pissed of Castro and Che. Fidel later called the Russian leader a “faggot”.

Whose Patricia

Spy planes are almost obsolete …

Satellites and small , cheaper smart Drones are doing that task far more cost effectively …

fidel was a true villager

Skunkworks had 32 sr71s made. Out of these, 12 were lost in accidents (wikipedia)
It needed refuelling immediately after takeoff, it burnt fuel seriously. Turnaround after mission recovery was about one week, it needed extensive maintenance after flight

Alafu Aleksander Fedotov rode the Mig25 foxbat to 115,000 ft before its engines flamed out, thin air. Glided back to 90,000ft and restarted engines…With 400 kgs of Air to Air ordinance. Most successful interceptor the Sovier Union had.

SR71’s main purpose was recon, no Air to Air missiles, and the mig25 interceptor had 8 R-40 air to air missiles. This effectively kept uncle sam out of soviet airspace.

Americans walikaa gizani till one msaliti defected with one mig25 to Japan sometime in 1976.

In the late 80s risk to reward of running it photographing cuban peasants and communist african warlords was not making sense, it was retired.

Re introduced it in the 90s Kosovo and Gulf conflicts but one was strafed by an extended range Soviet Strela SAM in Kosovo, zikatolewa kabisa service.

Nice piece of tech now on display in museums.