The SR-71 Blackbird

The USAF SR-71 Blackbird Program

The SR-71 Blackbird has a long and distinguished career during it's operations for the USAF. 

 

In December 1962, the Air Force ordered six “reconnaissance/strike” aircraft for high-speed, high-altitude flights over hostile territory after a nuclear attack—hence its original designator RS. Compared to the A-12, the SR-71 was about six feet longer, weighed 15,000 pounds more fully loaded, had more prominent nose and body chines and a two-seat cockpit, and carried additional optical and radar imagery systems and ELINT sensors in interchangeable noses.

Libya Operation "El Dorado Canyon"
10 April 1986

Libya Operation "El Dorado Canyon"

Muammar al-Qadhafi: In the early 1980's Qadhafi had decided to increase pressure on the West through subsidizing terrorism. In 1986 Qadhafi, who was maintaining some 22 terrorist camps in Libya, responded to the increased US presence off Libya by announcing a 'line of death' enclosing the Gulf of Sirte.

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