Aerial recce Vulcans and Victors

How did NATO keep tabs on the Soviet Navy in the Cold War? With the radars of the Victor and Vulcan bombers, as Andrew Thomas reveals

In June 1973, a then classified Central Intelligence Agency report noted that Soviet Navy deployments outside its home waters had increased five-fold between 1965-70, particularly into the Mediterranean Sea, and the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. By the late 1960s the western allies had afforded greater priority to locating and shadowing the increasing Soviet naval movements around the globe, as the USSR strived for a ‘blue water’ capability. From July 1955, Vickers Valiants of 543 Squadron at RAF Wyton, Cambridgeshire, fulfilled the RAF’s strategic reconnaissance tasking.

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