The Vulcan, Soviet Air Defence, and the Cold War 1

The Vulcan, Soviet Air Defence, and the Cold War 1

Julian Grenfell

The book is about the Vulcan B2 Cold War operations and describes the effectiveness of Soviet Air Defense, and also discusses operation of manned bombers in nuclear war and their probability of survival. Included is history of nuclear weapon development and the politics of manned bomber versus ballistic missile during 1962-1972.
Date Published :
May 2023
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
Illustration :
c 120 b/w photos & maps, 20 color ills
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781804512319
Pages : 120
Dimensions : 11.7 X 8.3 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order


The primary aim of this book is to describe the operational role of the RAF’s B2 Vulcan bomber in terms of how it came into being, the manner in which the aircraft was flown operationally, an overview of the Navigation and Bombing System (NBS) and the issues of dropping a bomb from a moving airborne platform. To be able to complete their mission, the crew would have had to successfully fend-off attacks by Soviet Air Defenses long enough for them to drop or release a nuclear weapon on to their allocated target.

To appreciate the formidable task which lay ahead for the V-force crews in fighting their way to their targets, the author provides an overview of Soviet Air Defense weapon systems, together with an outline of how the weapons were employed. The foregoing assumes the Vulcan to have been scrambled successfully from their dispersal bases in the UK (within the 4-minute, or so, warning time of impending strikes by Soviet ICBMs), and to have survived the North Sea crossing such that they were then able to enter Warsaw Pact or Soviet airspace.

A broad range of topics are covered in order to assist readers in drawing conclusions about the survivability of the Vulcan in nuclear war conditions during the period covered; including: aerodynamics, integrated air defense systems, radar, infrared weapons, active and passive electronic warfare, surface to air missiles, anti-aircraft artillery, air-to-air missiles, and interceptor guns; also included are the ballistics of free-fall weapons and the energy of maneuver in air-to-air combat.

A further aim of this book is to demonstrate that military historians who concluded that bomber survival would be low in nuclear war had drawn a false conclusion. The book contends such conclusions were erroneous because most historians did not understand air combat in terms of the performance of aircraft, the performance of air defense weapons, or the post nuclear detonation environment.

About The Author

Julian Grenfell has 4,500 hours flying Royal Air Force (RAF) Vulcan B2s, and held several Electronic Warfare (EW) appointments in the Royal Air Force. Following his time in the RAF, Julian spent 35 years in the Defence Industry as an Aero Systems Engineer, Mathematician, and Scientist, and worked for several major UK Defence Companies, finally running his own EW Consultancy company.

More from this publisher