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Posted: 8/7/2005 6:44:32 PM EDT
The magificent SR-71 was only used for recon work. Why was it never develop it for the Strike role?

Not as a squadron service aircraft of course, but maybe as a "silver bullet" National level asset for high-risk, high-value targets, with a half-dozen or so variants built. A smallish tactical nuke could have fit in the recon bay; bay doors and a bomb ejection system would have been neded, but with the amounts of money spent on this bird, that should have been no problem.

I loved this plane; my dad worked on this bird. Seeing one take off was truly awesome...
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 6:45:48 PM EDT
Wasn't the A12 missile intercept?
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 6:46:38 PM EDT
It was built to spy only.. Does not have the capability or even an option to carry weapons.
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 6:46:41 PM EDT
I dare say bomb bay doors at that altitude would be quite goofy?
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 6:46:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AyeGuy:
The magificent SR-71 was only used for recon work. Why was it never develop it for the Strike role?

Not as a squadron service aircraft of course, but maybe as a "silver bullet" National level asset for high-risk, high-value targets, with a half-dozen or so variants built. A smallish tactical nuke could have fit in the recon bay; bay doors and a bomb ejection system would have been neded, but with the amounts of money spent on this bird, that should have been no problem.

I loved this plane; my dad worked on this bird. Seeing one take off was truly awesome...



A book by Ben Rich suggested there was no glory in it for commanders. ie.e not promotion material.

*shrug*
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 6:46:47 PM EDT
... Because it took all that the ground crews and pilots could muster just to keep it aloft and sustain the speed.
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 6:46:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/7/2005 6:48:30 PM EDT by Janus]
Vietnam and Robert Mcnamara
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 6:47:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Janus:
Vietnam and William Mcnamara



Who's William? Robert perhaps?
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 6:49:44 PM EDT

Originally Posted By VTwin60:

Originally Posted By Janus:
Vietnam and William Mcnamara



Who's William? Robert perhaps?



Fixed.
Eh. It's not like I was alive when he was in power.
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 6:53:19 PM EDT
Maybe it was the Cold War mass warfare thinking of the time.

The Australians in Vietnam used to say the US Army just couldn't think smaller than the batallion...

Link Posted: 8/7/2005 6:57:03 PM EDT
Uhh... it wasn't designed for weapon delivery maybe?

It served it's role VERY well, better than anything anyone else had for a very long time.
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 6:57:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AyeGuy:
Maybe it was the Cold War mass warfare thinking of the time.

The Australians in Vietnam used to say the US Army just couldn't think smaller than the batallion...



Lockheed proposed a strike variant using nothing but KE bombs. They even had an interceptor version. However, they were extremely expensive to fly and maintain and procure. Due to their expense the USAF would have found themselves in the same position they find themselves with the F-22.
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 7:03:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AyeGuy:
Why was it never develop it for the Strike role?

Not as a squadron service aircraft of course, but maybe as a "silver bullet" National level asset for high-risk, high-value targets, with a half-dozen or so variants built. A smallish tactical nuke could have fit in the recon bay; bay doors and a bomb ejection system would have been neded, but with the amounts of money spent on this bird, that should have been no problem.




We used something else for that, it was called the B-58. Didn't stick around too long. Not much use for a single nuke bomb wagon.
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 7:06:02 PM EDT
If used during the 70's It would have to be able to get a dumb bomb on target from ungodly altitude and at incredible speed. Maybe we can do that now with laser guided bombs but I doubted we had the capability back then.
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 7:06:24 PM EDT
Does anyone knnow if the D-21 drone was ever used operationally?
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 7:10:26 PM EDT
When they tested its turning radius and realized its speed was its only method of survival. Also remember that the SR-71 is built on late 1950 early 1960s tech and missles of the time were pretty bad...

From my understanding the first model of the famous Phoenix Missle were also suppose to be used with the interceptor variant of the SR-71; which never came to realization. The Phoenix also didn't come out of design / prototype for what... another decade... dacade and half?
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 7:13:24 PM EDT
Wasn't designed for it

Too expensive to be worth it
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 7:16:02 PM EDT
Major budgetary issues.

Also to actually use them as a delivery system would require them to negate all their best features to eject/spurt/launch/drop ordnance. In other words they would have to slow down to a reasonable (translated as subsonic) speed to launch* a weapon which based on the meagre carrying capacity would undoubtedly be the size of a tactical nuke. Back in those days they didn't have the precision ordnance capability to put on such a small package. So to hit that kind of target an ICBM would do the job cheaper and far more effectively.

That said I wouldn't be surprised if the early A-12 version didn't have some capability. They did a lot of things back then just to see if it could be done. (C-130's on and off carriers, etc, atomic cannon, the Marines nuclear hand grenade, etc)

*The pilot would have to start to slowdown about halfway to the target, even then he would be guesstimating distances and times, and then opening the bay would cause a real degradation in stealth characteristics (yes they had some) and add major drag, drop a small package and hope the ballistics would get it there. Then clean up and start accelerating back to supersonic. An external mounted package would add a lot of drag and also have to withstand the heat loadings that it would encounter.
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 7:23:45 PM EDT
Correction: YF12 was intercept variant of the A12

There is an interesting story about one that was definitely missile equipped that probably shouldn't be repeated...

Where the Blackbirds are today
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 7:25:11 PM EDT
No plane launches ordnance at Mach 3+ and 70,000ft+ altitude.

Plus...for every pound of ordnance, you must lose a pound of fuel...and that is range.

The HABU was perfect for the recce role...but a fighter...or bomber? Nope.
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 7:28:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Merrell:
Correction: YF12 was intercept variant of the A12

There is an interesting story about one that was definitely missile equipped that probably shouldn't be repeated...

Where the Blackbirds are today



wheres the story
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 7:29:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/7/2005 7:29:22 PM EDT by Stealth]
Well, we were working on the XB-70. Damned that's a sweet looking plane.
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 7:32:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/7/2005 7:33:36 PM EDT by Janus]

Originally Posted By LWilde:
No plane launches ordnance at Mach 3+ and 70,000ft+ altitude.




SR-71.org

28 September 1965: GAR-9 fired from YF-12A at Mach 3.2 at 75,000 feet.



They don't say it hit anything.
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 7:37:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MuRDoC:

Originally Posted By Merrell:
Correction: YF12 was intercept variant of the A12

There is an interesting story about one that was definitely missile equipped that probably shouldn't be repeated...

Where the Blackbirds are today



wheres the story



It is probably best not repeated (but has something to do with the last few posts...)
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 7:45:54 PM EDT
I dont see why it shouldn't be repeated, I found the pics, missles the missle bay
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 7:47:05 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/7/2005 7:49:29 PM EDT by MuRDoC]

Originally Posted By Janus:

Originally Posted By LWilde:
No plane launches ordnance at Mach 3+ and 70,000ft+ altitude.




SR-71.org

28 September 1965: GAR-9 fired from YF-12A at Mach 3.2 at 75,000 feet.



They don't say it hit anything.



it hit lots of things
On 28 September 1965 flying at Mach 3.2 and 75,000 feet, #934 fired an AIM-47 missile at a target Q-2C Drone destroying the Drone at 20,000 feet.


link
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 7:49:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MuRDoC:
it hit lots of things
On 28 September 1965 flying at Mach 3.2 and 75,000 feet, #934 fired an AIM-47 missile at a target Q-2C Drone destroying the Drone at 20,000 feet.




Ben Rich has #s in his book and from what I can remeber it did really well.
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 7:50:09 PM EDT
look at the link I added in my ealier post
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 8:05:13 PM EDT
The D-21 drone wqas used operationally to extend the reconnaisance range of the A12. The biggest problem with the D-21 was the recovery of the drone. The airborne capture of such a large nd fast-moving craft ultimately proved impractical. Reportedly, "several" were launched over Asia in the early 1970s and "less than several" were successfully recovered.

Incidentally, the A12+D-21 complex is known collectively as the M21 system.

Good M-21 info on this page.
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