Wild Weasel

A Wild Weasel is an aircraft (usually United States Air Force) specially equipped with radar seeking missiles, and tasked with destroying the radars and SAM installations of enemy air defense systems.

Wild Weasel tactics and techniques were first developed in the Vietnam and Yom Kippur Wars, and were later integrated into the Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) a plan used by US air forces to establish immediate air control, prior to possible full scale conflict. Initially known by the operational code "Iron Hand" when first authorized on 12 August 1965, the term "Wild Weasel" derives from Project Wild Weasel, the USAF development program for a dedicated SAM-detection and suppression aircraft. (The technique {or a specific part} was also called an "Iron Hand" mission, though technically the Iron Hand part refers only to a suppression attack that paves the way for the main strike.) Originally named "Project Ferret", denoting a predatory animal that goes into its prey's den to kill it (hence: "to ferret out"), the name was changed to differentiate it from the code-name "Ferret" that had been used during World War II for radar counter-measures bombers.

In brief, the task of a Wild Weasel aircraft is to bait enemy anti-aircraft defenses into targeting it with their radars, whereupon the radar waves are traced back to their source allowing the Weasel or its teammates to precisely target it for destruction. A simple analogy is playing the game of "flashlight tag" in the dark; a flashlight is usually the only reliable means of identifying someone in order to "tag" (destroy) them, but the light immediately renders the bearer able to be identified and attacked as well. The result is a hectic game of cat-and-mouse in which the radar "flashlights" are rapidly cycled on and off in an attempt to identify and kill the target before the target is able to home in on the emitted radar "light" and destroy the site.

Read more about Wild Weasel:  Mission Tactics, Motto and Traditions

Other articles related to "wild weasel, weasel":

17th Weapons Squadron - History - Vietnam War
... Reactivated in 1971 as the 17th Wild Weasel Squadron on 12 November 1971 ... Equipped as an F-105G Wild Weasel IV unit, taking over the mission of a provisional squadron ... The electronic weapons officer in the rear seat of the Wild Weasel F-105G operated a battery of sophisticated electronic equipment which was capable of detecting the emissions from enemy radars and determining ...
Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base - History - 355th Tactical Fighter Wing - Wild Weasels
... For more details on this topic, see Wild Weasel ... The first “Wild Weasel” aircraft came to Takhli in 1966 ... The Wild Weasel concept was originally proposed in 1965 as a method of countering the increasing North Vietnamese SAM threat, using volunteer crews ...
Wild Weasel - Motto and Traditions
... The unofficial motto of the Wild Weasel crews is YGBSM "You Gotta Be Shittin' Me" ... of the 35th Tactical Fighter Wing and the 37th Tactical Fighter Wing derives from their Wild Weasel heritage ...
Republic F-105 Thunderchief - Design - Wild Weasel
... Nicknamed the Wild Weasel, these aircraft achieved a number of victories against North Vietnamese surface-to-air missile radars ... The resulting EF-105F Wild Weasel III (the EF designation was popularly used but unofficial) supplemented its sensors and electronic jamming equipment with ... this strategy was effective in reducing F-105D losses, the Weasel aircraft suffered heavy casualties with five of the first 11 lost in July and August 1966 ...
190th Fighter Squadron - History - Idaho Air National Guard - Electronic Warfare
... RF-4C Phantom jets were replaced by F‑4G Phantom II "Wild Weasel" Electronic Warfare aircraft received from the 37th Tactical Fighter Wing at George AFB, California ... Wild Weasel" tactics and techniques were first developed in 1965 during the Vietnam War, and were later integrated into the Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) a plan used by US air forces to ... In April 1993 the squadron's Wild Weasel jets were sent to Southwest Asia to support Operation Southern Watch, enforcing the no‑fly zone over southern Iraq ...

Famous quotes containing the words weasel and/or wild:

    There was a weasel lived in the sun
    With all his family,
    Till a keeper shot him with his gun
    Edward Thomas (1878–1917)

    The Minstrel Boy to the war is gone
    In the ranks of death you’ll find him,
    His father’s sword he has girded on,
    And his wild harp slung behind him.
    Thomas Moore (1779–1852)