USAF Su-21


In the mid '70s rumours started to surface about Soviet aircraft being operated by the USAF out of Groom Lake, but it was many years before any hard information was forthcoming............

As early as 1960 the USAF recognised that without solid details on the performance of Soviet interceptors it would be difficult to devise countermeasures with any confidence. Obviously the best way to develop tactics against these aircraft would be to actually fly against them in realistic scenarios, but of course that would require examples of the aircraft. Enter the CIA and Operation Horsecollar...........

Exact details of how the aircraft were 'acquired' are scanty, but probably involved inducing pilots to defect, sabotage causing aircraft to come down in friendly territory, and many other methods. One of the first to arrive was the SU-21 Flagon.