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DOUGLAS EB-66

Posted 10/23/2009 Printable Fact Sheet
 
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Douglas EB-66E
Douglas EB-66E Destroyer. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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EB-66 aircraft formed a necessary complement to an F-105 strike force in the target area. Effective Electronic Countermeasures (ECM) and Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) were mandatory for force survival in the highly concentrated defense environment of North Vietnam. The North Vietnamese defenses consisted of small arms, automatic weapons (i.e. .30-and .50-cal. machine guns), antiaircraft artillery (AAA - 37/57/85 and 100mm), surface-to-air missiles and MiGs, so it was imperative to deny the enemy as much radar warning as possible.

EB-66B and EB-66E aircraft were used primarily for active ECM using high power barrage and tuneable electronic jamming of selected frequencies. In ELINT work, the C model could be used to "see" enemy electronic transmissions and then selectively jammed. The C model was also capable of identifying MiG IFF (identification friend or foe) and Fan Song (SAM search and tracking radar) signals, thus providing MiG and SAM warnings.

With the 1967 advent of the F-105 QRC-160 pod (a radar jamming device), the EB-66s were concentrated against early warning and ground controlled intercept radars. Flights of three aircraft were used and commonly composed of two EB-66Bs and one EB-66C. Up to three of these flights were used to cover a strike mission during target ingress and egress as well as during the actual strike. The EB-66 could not survive within the lethal SAM envelopes at the altitudes required for area jamming; therefore, orbits were established on the edges of the SAM envelopes. This provided as much jamming power as possible with an acceptable level of risk.

The museum has a Douglas RB-66B on display in its Modern Flight Gallery.

Source: 388th TFW tactics manual, 1967 edition 

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