CIA A-12 almost sold to Iran!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Note: This is not the A-12. This is not even the SR-71. This was the F-12 version, armed with Hughes GAR-9/AIM-47A air-to-air missiles.


Though maybe the Iranian variant might have had Phoenix missiles instead.
Actually it seems to have been a hybrid variant with reconnaissance and strike capabilities as well, as far as I can understand from the text.
Hmmm, IMHO an Iranian RB-71 would have been almost useless without nuclear weapons. There were no GPS guided bombs, neither Wind Corrected Munitions, or terminally guided autonomous missiles. As for recon, nice to heve to keep an eye on Iraq but little else (Israel would have done a fuss of it, and URSS, well...). As for the interceptor, using Phoenix would have required AWG/9. How much integration work would have been needed to match F-12/whatever with the F-111B/F-14 system. It was sage for the Shah to buy F-14 at last: he needed interceptor to stop Soviet and Iraqi Mig-25s snoopying on its territory and F-14 was the best stand-off interceptor in the West.
It is not very clear from the text but: "request to modify existing stored A-11 into F-12" This means that they wanted to rebuild CIA A-12 into some new variant accoding to Iranian needs. Because that I wrote A-12, not YF-12A. From YF-12A were build only three prototypes, nothing more.

Fifteen A-12 were produced (one two seater), five of them lost so this leaves 10 airframes ready for modifications and shipping.
Vice versa, Iran finally got what they wanted in slightly different form.
Oh, that Mr. Kotchian, Lockheed's Thomas V. Jones))) Just remembering Ben Rich's writings...
Based on the year, I'm guessing the Iranian variant would have had the Phoenix, since it was based off of the AIM-47. Although it would seem to me to be alot of work to make the A-12 into an interceptor. Unless they were looking at only carrying one or two missles in a modified version of the A-12's Q-bay.

The other interesting thing is the A-12 was the highest perfoming variant of the Blackbird Family, since it was a single seat aircraft with a smaller fuselage (lighter weight and less drag) and the same propulsion system. Don't forget, the A-12 was designed for M-4.0 @ 120000 ft. How close it got to that is still secret. But given that SR-71 pilots have said the SR-71s top speed was M=3.55 to 3.6, based on atmospheric conditions, I wouldn't be surprised if the A-12 made at least M=3.8.

Also, was the Iranian version to use the J58's, or would they have been re-engined with J75's like the the first A-12 flew with?
I first heard about this a few years ago (have the exact same document you posted). What they wanted to do was convert the stored A-12s (they refer to them as A-11s, probably beause the document is only SECRET and not TS) into hybrid A/F-12s by replacing pretty much the entire forward fuselage. They wanted all nine stored jets, to sell four and use the rest for parts.
I would think that they wanted this to take down Russian Mig-25's that were making daily recon runs over Iran. This is why they ended up with F-14s in the first place
hmm are there any drawings showing the possible configuration of this one

cheers, Joe

Similar threads

Top Bottom