The North Atlantic D+1 ( 10 July, 1987) Part III

Of the twenty Backfires that made up the Iceland strike group four were shot down by F-15s before reaching their launch points. A further three were destroyed  after launching their air-to-surface missiles. Another pair suffered battle damage but managed to return safely to their bases on the Kola Peninsula. Of the sixteen ASMs launched by …

The North Atlantic D+1 (10 July, 1987) Part II

Deployment and preparation of the forces dedicated to defense of the GIUK gap continued through the afternoon and into the evening of 10 July. US Orions from Iceland and RAF Nimrods out of Scotland had already been patrolling non-stop since the start of hostilities and had scored a respectable number of kills already. The tempo …

The North Atlantic D+1 (10 July, 1987) Part I

Through thirty-eight years of multinational naval exercises from the Barents Sea to the Bahamas,  naval conferences, and spending innumerable hours at sea, NATO naval officers had developed a staunch respect for the significance of the Atlantic Ocean to alliance plans. Senior officers especially recognized it as the linchpin of the alliance in a time of …

The Northern Flank D+1 (10 July, 1987) Part II

The loss of air superiority over Northern Norway brought immediate ramifications for NATO’s entire Northern Flank defensive strategy. Air and sea surveillance of the Norwegian coast and Barents Sea would now be severely limited. The same was true for subsequent air and naval operations north of Tromso and Bardufoss. NATO land units in the northern …

The Northern Flank D+1 (10 July, 1987) Part I

10 July, 1987 began with redoubled Soviet efforts to establish air superiority over Northern Norway and pave the way for future air and sea operations farther south. The  Northwestern TVD, like its sister commands, was contending with sizable delays to its  timeline of operations. The air situation over Norway especially was a half day behind …