Wild Weasel

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The Wild Weasel logo. Note the "YGBSM" means "You've got to be shitting me"
An F-4G carrying weapons, from nearest to farthest, AGM-88 HARM, AGM-65 Maverick, ALQ-119 ECM pod, AGM-78 Standard ARM and AGM-45 Shrike, circa 1981.

A Wild Weasel is a nickname for an aircraft in the United States Air Force that is supposed to destroy enemy anti-aircraft guns, surface-to-air missiles, and other ground attack weapons by seeking them out with radar and destroying them with missiles.

History[change | edit source]

The idea was first thought of in 1965 during the Vietnam War, because North Vietnamese surface-to-air missiles, or "SAMs" were destroying American aircraft. The first Wild Weasel airplane was the F-100 Super Sabre, a variant of the F-86 Sabre. In 1966, the F-105 Thunderchief took the job.[1]

After that, a new kind of F-4 Phantom IIs, the "G" model was used as a Wild Weasel.[2] During the Gulf War of 1991, Wild Weasel missions were done by the F4-G [3] and not theF-16 Fighting Falcon, a light fighter-bomber that can also battle enemy fighter aircraft. Currently, the F-16CJ does this.[4] They were being used in the Iraq War.[5]

Weapons used[change | edit source]

In the Vietnam War, the main missile used by Wild Weasels was the AGM-45 Shrike.[6] Currently, some of the weapons used by the Wild Weasel planes includes the AGM-88 HARM and the AGM-65 Maverick air-to-ground missiles. They can also have ALQ-131 and ALQ-184 pods that can mess up enemy radar.[7]

References[change | edit source]

  1. http://www.militaryhistoryonline.com/vietnam/airpower/wildweasel.aspx
  2. http://www.boeing.com/defense-space/military/f4/wildweasel.htm
  3. Magnum! The Wild Weasels in Desert Storm by Brick Eisel and Jim Schreiner
  4. http://usmilitary.about.com/library/milinfo/milarticles/blweasel.htm
  5. http://www.wildweasels.org/
  6. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3897/is_200110/ai_n8958699
  7. http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/ac/f-4.htm