spy aircraft SR-71 Blackbird and a soviet fighter MiG-31 brings to light a new book, which relies on documents that were declassified recently.
The incident described in the book “Lockheed Blackbird – Beyond the Secret Missions” by the British historian Paul ÎšÏÎ¯ÎºÎ¼Î¿Ï, and, as mentioned, took place on 6 October 1986, while the SR-71 was a reconnaissance/ spy mission in the area of Murmansk, an area of particular interest with regard to the activities of the soviet fleet of submarines ballistic missile.
However, soon the crew found that “had company”: A soviet MiG-31.
In the book of ÎšÏÎ¯ÎºÎ¼Î¿Ï, lieutenant Ed Î“ÎÎ¹Î»Î½Ï„Î¹Î½Î³Îº, u.s. air force and a pilot of the aircraft describes the event:
“At a distance in front of us, about 100 miles, I could see a long, white Russian trace aircraft, which was heading towards us, but at a much lower altitude. I knew that it was probably a soviet fighter, probably a MiG-31, then the most modern soviet fighter…I have noticed that we leave a long trail.
I knew that the fighter could see the trace of us as easily as we see his. I imagined that the Soviet pilot would be like me, with a great love for the air force, trying hard to be one of the leading.
Also, I thought you had orders to launch missiles if it was too late to turn and I was flying over the soviet territorial waters, within a distance of 12 nautical miles from soviet territory, and assumed that the pilot would very much like a chance to launch missiles against a SR-71 Blackbird.
I thought that the soviet fighter would not shoot missiles as long as we preserve the normal course, but I also knew that he or the operators of ground-based radar, maybe they were wrong about our position, considering that we’re closer than that in reality.
We didn’t have countermeasures like flares against Î¸ÎµÏÎ¼Î¿Î±Î½Î¹Ï‡Î½ÎµÏ…Ï„Î¹ÎºÏŽÎ½ missile, but again, we believed that the probability of hitting us missile was small because of its high speed and altitude. I was determined to continue according to plan, and to take the photos”.
“Tossing one in the direction of the other in the supersonic us aircraft, it came into my mind the image of two medieval knights stomping their feet against each other – only I didn’t have a gun.
To survive, Kurt (lieutenant colonel Kurt ÎŒÏƒÏ„ÎµÏÏ‡ÎµÎ»Î½Ï„) and I rely on accurate navigation, which would allow us to stay out of soviet airspace in order to avoid firing of rockets and rely on the greater speed and altitude if launched missiles.
From my experience in the F-4 Phantom in terms of intercept and visual estimates, I think that the nearest you arrived was 8 miles (it is noted that, given the speed, this means that, if continued, would comprise a “contact” within seconds).
Seemed to lose speed at the top of the track, at about 65,000 feet, or 10,000 feet below us. I saw him lowering the nose below the horizon and dive down. Kurt and I kept going, and we took the pictures”.
During the ÎšÏÎ¯ÎºÎ¼Î¿Ï, if the american aircraft had been shot down, would have been “storm”, with a very serious international incident, especially if there were dead.
It is noted that the incident took place in 1986, three years after the Nato exercise Able Archer 83, which brought the superpowers to the brink of the Third World War, as well as some members of the soviet Î Î¿Î»Î¹Ï„Î¼Ï€Ï…ÏÏŒ felt that NATO was preparing to launch a real attack with nuclear weapons, under cover of the exercise.
Therefore, the Soviets put their forces on alert. The clear and existing threat of nuclear war has come to an end with the completion of the exercise on November 11. In general it is considered that the Able Archer 83 was one of the times that the world came closer to nuclear war after the Missile Crisis in Cuba in 1962.