Cold War bomber vulnerability


ACCESS: Top Secret
Jun 7, 2008
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In light of what we now know about the performance of Soviet aircraft and missile systems, both given the information come to light since the end of the Cold War and the actual experience of B-52 raids over North Vietnam, just how well would the bomber component of both SAC and the RAF have fared had its full might been launched against the Soviet Union?

I get the impression that the North Vietnamese Air Defence system, being essentially Soviet in its makeup and capabilities, constituted a fair test of SAC's ability to survive in Soviet airspace. The question is, I suppose, whether any increased familiarity of the Soviets with their own system is compensated for by SAC's and the RAF's ability to plaster the hell out of every airfield, gun position and radar site they can see without political restraint, and the willingness of NATO (and the Warsaw Pact) to risk own-goals in order to use its BVR air-air and surface-air missiles to full effect.

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