Emergency with Lockheed SR-71: how the Swedes saved the world from the conflict between the United States and the USSR

In the era of the current confrontation between the United States and the Russian Federation, it is sometimes useful to turn to the stories of the Cold War. Then US spy planes plied the Baltic, invading Soviet space. One such flight could end very unpredictable, writes the National Interest.

American supersonic spy planes Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird in the late 80s of the last century regularly observed the borders of the Soviet Union. The aircraft was equipped with high-resolution cameras, which made it possible to shoot from high-altitude key Russian bases located along the Russian coast, including the Northern Fleet of the Soviet Navy, stationed year-round near Murmansk. All this caused dissatisfaction with the Soviet leadership.

However, the USSR had a chance to take revenge on June 29, 1987, when suddenly the right engine of the Blackbird flying in Swedish airspace failed. The plane descended to an altitude of about 800 meters, where it was met by four Swedish jet boats, which accompanied it until it was met by US Air Force aircraft. The Swedes did not allow any external forces to approach the faulty car. So Stockholm, in fact, prevented a conflict between the two superpowers and, possibly, an international incident, the American publication National Interest writes.

According to the Swedish Defense Ministry, on that day, an SR-71 reconnaissance plane with the tail number 117964 took off from the British Milden hall airbase. The American pilots admitted that they were very relieved to realize that they were being escorted by Swedish interceptors, and not Soviet MiG-31s.

The SR-71 then proceeded through Denmark to West Germany, where it made an emergency landing at the Nordholz base. Sweden and the United States decided not to make the incident public, the information was classified. Until 2018.

The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird is to a certain extent considered the pinnacle of aviation art. Decommissioned in 1998, the scout holds the speed record for direct flight-3900 km / h. Blackbird served the Pentagon for 32 years. He was sent to early retirement by Soviet MiG-31 interceptors flying at the same altitudes and speeds.

And the Blackbird was very expensive and difficult to operate. When fully fueled on the ground, the SR-71 leaked. He was forced to take to the air with half-empty tanks. There, he accelerated to supersonic speed, then braked, refueled in the air, and only then went on a mission. Servicing the SR-71 missions required driving a fleet of flying tankers around the world. And 47 tons of fuel to the American plane was enough for an hour of flight.

But all this is not mentioned in the publication of the National Interest, although these are well-known facts.

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Author: Julia Harris
Graduated from Stanford University. Previously, he worked in various free news media. Currently, it is a columnist of the economy section in the Free News editors.
Function: Reporter
Julia Harris

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