The SR-71 Blackbird

The CIA A-12 Blackbird Program

 

The A-12 started out as an USAF interceptor to replace the cancelled F-108A Rapier. In October 1962, CIA authorized the Skunk Works to study the feasibility of modifying the A-12 to carry and deploy a reconnaissance drone for unmanned overflight of denied areas. The project was codenamed TAGBOARD.

A-12 Blackbird: Blackshield Missions

A-12 Blackbird: Blackshield Missions

Fifteen BLACK Shield Missions high-altitude reconnaissance missions were alerted during the period from 1 January to 31 March 1968. Six of the 15 missions were flown, four over North Vietnam and two over North Korea. Eight missions were cancelled due to weather conditions, and approval for one Korean mission was not obtained.

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