After the Soviet air defense managed to finally bring down the U-2 Soviet airspace ceased to be a "thoroughfare for foreign spy planes»
Half a century ago, May 1, 1960, the Soviet missile crews shot down over the Ural American spy plane U-2's. Pilot - Francis Powers (Francis Gary Powers, 1929-1977) - he was captured and was publicly tried. U-2 flights over the Soviet Union ceased - Moscow won an important victory in the next battle of the Cold War, and the Soviet anti-aircraft missiles have proved to be called the best in the world. The shock that it caused the then our opponents, was akin to the test of the first Soviet nuclear device in 1949 and the launch of Sputnik in 1957.
Training U-2 flights over California. In this state are the main base of US spy planes - Biel. Besides it, there are four additional, located in different parts of the world. Photo: SMSGT Rose Reynolds, US Air Force
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"Cold War" in the air
March 5, 1946, Winston Churchill (Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, 1874-1965) said in Fulton (Fulton, Missouri) famous speech, which is considered to be the starting point of the Cold War. It is first performed against the Soviet Union and the term "Iron Curtain." But for the timely "parry threats" emanating from of the "Iron Curtain", it was necessary to know what is happening there. It is best able to cope with this air reconnaissance.
While the US Air Force had a serious advantage - at its disposal were strategic bombers and reconnaissance aircraft with a very high altitude, inaccessible for Soviet aircraft and air defense systems. The airspace of the Soviet Union was, in fact, the "revolving door", where American pilots initially felt impunity. Only 8 April 1950 Soviet fighters managed to bring down the first intruder - over the Baltic "overwhelmed" spy plane PB4Y-2 "Privateer" trespass near Liepaja and delve deep into Soviet territory, 21 km away. However, the majority of offenders were unharmed, reconnaissance aircraft drifted even to Baku!
However, the Americans understood that for a long time to use the available aircraft for reconnaissance flights over the Soviet Union and its allies will not succeed. In addition, a number of internal regions of the USSR generally remained outside the flight, and the scale of the human intelligence thanks to a well organized protection of borders and works great Soviet counterintelligence was severely limited. In fact, aerial reconnaissance remained the only opportunity to gather information about the Soviet army and the defense industry, but this required a new, more high-altitude reconnaissance assets.
Intelligence objects in the territory of the USSR instructed the crews spy planes U-2's from the "Squad 10-10." Officially, this unit was called the 2nd (temporary) air squadron meteorazvedki WRS (P) -2 and, according to legend, was subordinated to NASA. That is, U-2 from this squadron systematically carried out reconnaissance flights along the Soviet borders with Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan, as well as solve a similar problem in the Black Sea region, including the other countries of the Soviet bloc. The priority was to gather information on Soviet territory located on the radio, radar posts and positions of missile systems for various purposes - information crucial for the preparation of the future breakout Soviet air defenses.
During the interrogation, Powers said:
Every year, several times I flew along the borders of the Soviet Union with Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan. In 1956-1957, three or four flights were made over the Black Sea. In 1956 I did a one-night flight in 1957 such operations was six to eight in 1958 - ten to fifteen in 1959 - ten-fifteen and four months in 1960 - one or two. All these flights were made by me along the southern borders of the Soviet Union. With the same objectives and other pilots flying units "10-10." We climbed to the Incirlik airport towards the city of Van, on the lake with the same name. Then we headed for the Iranian capital Tehran, and after passing over Tehran flew eastward south of the Caspian Sea. Then I usually flew south of the city of Mashhad, crossed the Iranian-Afghan border and then flew along the Afghan-Soviet border ... near the eastern border of Pakistan and makes a turn on the same route back to the airfield Incirlik. Later, we started to make the turn before, after deepening into Afghanistan by about 200 miles.
Careers in the CIA
Francis Powers was an ordinary military pilot, served in the US Air Force and flew on fighter F-84G «Thunderjet." However, in April 1956, he, to the surprise of colleagues and friends, retired from the Air Force. But it was not a spontaneous decision, Powers took away "merchants" of the CIA - as was said later in court, he "sold out to US intelligence for $ 2,500 a month." In May of the same year, he signed a special contract with the CIA and went to special courses for flight training on a new spy plane
Francis Powers with a model U-2. Upon returning to the US Powers charged that he did not destroy intelligence equipment in the aircraft. But then the charge removed, and Powers was awarded the Medal of the prisoner of war. Photos from the archives of the CIA
Preparation pilots hired by the CIA, the future pilots of U-2 took place at a secret base in Nevada. Moreover, the process of preparation, and the base itself, were so secret that the training "cadets" conspiratorial assigned names. Powers at the time of preparation became Palmer. In August 1956, after successfully passing the exams, he was allowed to fly solo on the U-2, and was soon enrolled in the "squad 10-10", where he received an identity card № AFI 288068, states that he is an employee of the Ministry of Defence United States (US Department of Defense). After the capture of Powers have also been seized pilot certificate issued by NASA.
Since I personally nothing to NASA she had - said the interrogation Powers - I believe that the document was issued to me as a cover to hide the real purpose of the intelligence division «10-10».
During the Soviet secrets
The first "combat" reconnaissance U-2 flights, code designation "Target 2003" (Pilot - Carl Overstreet), held June 20, 1956 - route ran over the territory of East Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia. Air defense systems of countries over which flew Overstreet, made unsuccessful attempts to intercept the intruder, but the U-2 was inaccessible. Worst-first, to the delight of the CIA, did not come out - it was the turn to test new aircraft in the USSR.
July 4, 1956 the plane U-2A, belonging to the US Air Force, went to the "Operation Quest 2013". He followed over Poland and Belarus, and then came to Leningrad, and then - across the Baltic republics and returned to Wiesbaden. The next day, the same aircraft as part of "Targets 2014" went to the new mission, whose main objective was Moscow: Pilot - Vito Carmine (Carmine Vito) - managed to photograph plants in Fili, Ramenskoye, Kaliningrad and Khimki, as well as the position of the latest stationary SAM S-25 "Berkut". However, Americans do not become tempt fate, and Vito and remained the only pilot U-2 flown over Soviet capital.
During the 10 "hot" July days of 1956, that President Eisenhower (Dwight David Eisenhower, 1890-1969) defined for the "battle test» U-2, based in Wiesbaden detachment spy planes carried out five flights - deep intrusion into the airspace European part of the Soviet Union at the height of 20 km and a length of 2-4 hours. Eisenhower praised the quality of the intelligence - on the photographs could even read the numbers on the back of the plane. Land of the Soviets lay in front of cameras, U-2, at a glance. From that moment, Eisenhower authorized the continuation of the U-2 flights over the Soviet Union without any restrictions - even though, as it turned out, the plane is quite successful "pinpoint" the Soviet radars.
In January 1957, U-2 flights over the USSR were resumed - now invading the interior of the country, "treated" the territory of Kazakhstan and Siberia. American generals and the CIA was interested in the position of defense systems and landfills: Kapustin Yar, and found Sary-Shagan, near Lake Balkhash, and Tyuratam (Baikonur). Before the fateful flight in 1960. Powers U-2 plane intruded into Soviet air space at least 20 times
Launch pad at the site Tyuratam. The picture was taken during one of the first U-2 flights over the Soviet Union. Photo: U.S. Air Force
Sergei Nikitich Khrushchev, son of Soviet leader, later recalled that his father once said: "I know that the Americans are laughing, reading our protests; they realize that the more we can do nothing. " And he was right. He set before the Soviet air defenses fundamental task - to destroy even the latest American spy planes. Its solution was possible only at a constant improvement of anti-aircraft missiles and an early re-fighter for new types of aircraft. Khrushchev even promised that the pilot, who will bring down a high-altitude intruder immediately be promoted to the rank of the Hero of the Soviet Union, and in material terms will receive "whatever he wants».
Get gold stars and wealth like many - attempts to bring down the high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft made more than once, but always with the same result - negative. In 1957, over Primorje two MiG-17P from the 17th Fighter Wing attempted to intercept the U-2 but without success. Just completed in February 1959 and an attempt to pilot the MiG-19 from the Turkestan Air Defense Corps - an experienced fighter squadron commander was able to overclock at the expense of dynamic slides reach a height of 17 500 meters, where he saw on a 3-4 km above the unknown aircraft. All hopes are now pinned on the new anti-missile system - the C-75.
April 9, 1960 at an altitude of 19-21 km per 430 km south of the city of Andijan was detected intruder. Reaching the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site, U-2 turned towards the Lake Balkhash, where the anti-aircraft missile troops polygon Sary Shagan, then - on Tyuratam and then went to Iran. Soviet pilots had a chance to shoot down spy plane - near Semipalatinsk at the airport were two Su-9, armed with missiles "air - air". Their pilots, Major Boris Staroverov and Captain Vladimir Nazarov, had enough experience to solve such a problem, but it intervened in the case "policy": to carry out the interception, the Su-9 had to land at the airfield-based Tu-95 near the landfill - to its base they did not have enough fuel. And the pilots were not spetsdopuska, and while one led authorities on this matter in talks with other authorities, the American plane went out of range.
Nikita Khrushchev (1894-1971), having learned that the six-hour flight of the intruder went for him with impunity, was said to eyewitnesses, very angry. The commander of the Turkestan Air Defense Corps, Major-General Yuri Votintsev was warned about incomplete official line, and the commander of the Turkestan Military District, Army General Ivan Fedyuninsky received a severe reprimand. And it is interesting that at a special meeting of the Politburo chairman of the State Committee for aircraft equipment - Minister of USSR Petr Dementiev - and general aircraft designer Artem Mikoyan (1905-1970) said:
In the world there is no aircraft that could be 6:00 to go 48 minutes at an altitude of 20 000 meters. It is possible that the plane periodically gained such a height, but then he will certainly decline. So, by means of defense, which were in the south of the country, it should have been destroyed.
"Game" and "Hunter»
U-2 plane and anti-aircraft missile system S-75 began the path towards each other almost at the same time, both designed with the extensive cooperation of companies, in a short time, both in the creation participated outstanding engineers and scientists.
During the operation, U-2 is constantly upgraded by the US military engineers. But soon no longer need this: spy planes have replaced satellites. Photo: US Air Force / Senior Airman Levi Riendeau
The catalyst for the development of specialized high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft were the successes of the Soviet Union in the field of nuclear weapons, in particular - the test in 1953, the first Soviet hydrogen bomb, as well as reports of military attaches of a strategic bomber M-4. Besides, undertaken by the British in the first half of 1953 an attempt to photograph Soviet missile test site in Kapustin Yar using modernized high-altitude "Canberra" failed - the pilots almost "took away his legs." Work on the U-2's were launched by "Lockheed" in 1954 commissioned by the CIA and were a big secret. He led the development of aircraft prominent aircraft designer Clarence L. Johnson (Clarence Leonard Johnson, 1910-1990).
Project U-2's received personal approval of President Eisenhower, and was among the priorities. In August 1956, the pilot Tony Vejer lifted into the air the first prototype of the next year the car went into a series. The company "Lockheed" has built 25 cars head series, they were divided between the US Air Force, CIA and NASA.
U-2 is subsonic (maximum speed of flight at an altitude of 18 300 m - 855 km / h cruising - 740 km / h) unarmed strategic reconnaissance aircraft that can be flown to the "inaccessible" for the then fighter height - more than 20 km. The aircraft was equipped with turbojet engine J-57-P-7 with powerful blowers and thrust 4763 kg.
Mid-wing grand scale (24, 38 meters with a length of 15 aircraft, 11 m) and the extension not only gave the plane the similarities with sports glider, but allows you to plan with the engine off. This is facilitated by the exceptional range. With the same purpose has been possible to facilitate the design and supply of fuel brought to the maximum possible - in addition to the internal tank capacity 2970 l plane carried two underwing tank of 395 liters, which dropped in the first stage of flight.
Curiously looked chassis - under the fuselage tandem arranged two retractable rack. Two racks placed below the plane of the wing and dropped at the beginning of the takeoff - first for this next to the plane running technique, pulling ropes mount racks, and later still have automated the process.
When planting, when a loss of speed wing sag, it relied on a ground curved down wingtips.
Service ceiling U-2 flights reached 21,350 meters, range - 3540 km without external fuel tanks and 4185 km with drop tanks, the maximum range - 6435 km.
To reduce the visibility of the U-2 had a smooth polished surface. For the little black glare coating called him "black lady espionage" (a nickname derived from the original U-2 - «Dragon Lady»). Spy plane, of course, bore no markings.
Work, U-2 pilot - even without his questionable status - was not easy: up to 8-9 hours in high-altitude suit and pressurized helmet, without the right of the radio, alone with a very demanding machine, especially for gliding flight. When landing the pilot could not see the band, so let parallel high-speed car, from which the other driver gave instructions over the radio.
Clarence L. Johnson for forty-odd years of supervised research department of the company "Lockheed", earning a reputation as "organizational genius." Photo: U.S. Air Force
U-2C, shot down over Sverdlovsk, carried in the forward fuselage equipment for the registration of radio and radar radiation. The machine was equipped with an autopilot A-10 compass MR-1 radio ARN-6 and APC-34UHF, pull the camera.
Loss, U-2 near Sverdlovsk in the United States stimulated work on supersonic strategic reconnaissance aircraft SR-71 the same "Lockheed". But neither the loss nor Taiwan U-2 was shot down by the Chinese Air Force in the area of Nanchang September 9, 1962 (later the Chinese shot down three more U-2), or the American shot down by the Soviet S-75 over Cuba on October 27 the same year (the pilot died), do not put an end to his career, U-2. They passed a few upgrades (modification U-2R, TR-1A, and others) and continued service in the 1990s.
November 20, 1953 the USSR Council of Ministers adopted a decree on the establishment of transported air defense system, the designation C-75 ("System-75"). Tactical and technical specification approved the 4th Main Directorate of the Ministry of Defense in early 1954. The very complex task of creating a rolling average range with a large reach of height was quite daring for the time. In view of the deadlines and number of unresolved issues we had to abandon such attractive qualities of the complex as a multi-channel (simultaneous firing of several targets) and homing missiles at the target.