LISTENING IN. RAF Electronic Intelligence Gathering Since 1945.
As WWII closed, the Air Staff decided to preserve the UKs electronic intelligence (ELINT) expertise, resulting in the formation of the Radio Warfare Establishment and later the Central Signals Establishment. A tentative ELINT programme was commissioned in 1946 using a small number of Lancaster and Mosquito aircraft specially modifiedfor the task and as relations with the Soviet Union deteriorated, interest focussed on the growing Soviet air defence system, with the 1948 Berlin crisis resulting in the first major ELINT programme against the Soviet Unions air defences.
During the mid-1950s the Washington and Canberra were introduced as interim ELINT platforms and proposals were made for the use of V.1000, the Shackleton and the Comet for this new and dangerous branch of warfare, often requiring flight close to, or over, hostile territory. Operations against Indonesia and China, and worsening relations with Iran, increased the importance of ELINT operations during the 60s and 70s and in the quest for morecapable aircraft, the Comet 4 was passed over in favour of the Nimrod.
ELINT aircraft proposals including the VC-10 and Airbus are covered, whilst Listening In also details operations in the Falklands, Iraq, Kosovo and Afghanistan as the authors draw together, for the first time, a mass of unpublished material to describe the evolution of the secretive ELINT aircraft, their equipment and operations. The story is bought right up-to-date with Project Helix and the controversial decision to scrap the almost complete Nimrod MRA.4 fleet and instead acquire the EC-135R Rivet Joint.
A highly detailed work illustrated throughout with over 180 photographs and drawings, Listening In tells the full story of this secret world and its aircraft (both actual and proposed) and is a natural companion to Chris Gibsons best-selling Vulcans Hammer and Battle Flight.