Military AircrewA forum for the professionals who fly the non-civilian hardware, and the backroom boys and girls without whom nothing would leave the ground. Army, Navy and Airforces of the World, all equally welcome here.
Intercepted one in the mid-70's somewhere between Shetland and Faroe Islands. Interestingly, they filed a complaint. Interesting since the only way they might have known we were there is by 'hearing' our radar (We stayed out of sight until shadowing line astern) or by data from other assets.
Claims of air piracy had little effect on my career which, by then, was proceeding downhill, out of control and at ever increasing velocity.
'Civvy' airliners, trawlers, trucks full of listening gear driving around West Germany. And I suppose the west was probably doing similer things, witness the furore about the Gaul. All's fair in love and Cold War as long as you don't get caught.
In the 70's and 80's it was relatively common for Soviet-bloc airliners flying into Frankfurt to request the runway closest to the USAF Rhein Main AB and whilst landing used to snap/film away to give a daily reference of what was on the flightline, especially as to the whereabouts of the 4 almost unmarked EC/RC-130's that flew happily up and down various air-corridors gathering information.
Yak 40 (I think) came to demonstrate to us at Norwich c1978.
I climbed in and noticed a huge cine camera on the rear seat. Put in a quick call to Colt to make sure they were aware; they were... It had flown down the eastern side of the UK over most of our interesting bases.
I don't understand what the surprise about this "news" article is. Its been long established that Aeroflot was simply a civilian uniformed extension of the Soviet armed forces, with crew and aircraft subject to military tasking and discipline. The aircraft were all dual-purpose, cabable of rapid conversion to either transport or recce roles, in which case the glass nose made sense both for photography and to aid visual navigation. Remember the Soviets were years behind in electronics at the time - no ground mapping radar worth considering, minimal nav systems.