EB-47E(TT) Telemetry Intelligence Gatherer

Last revised March 10, 2013



At the beginning of the space race between the USA and the USSR, the USAF wanted a way of monitoring the telemetry that was broadcast during Soviet space launches from the IRBM facility at Kasputin Yar and the space center at Tyuratam. One solution was to have an aircraft packed with electronic sensors to fly at a high altitude near these facilities during these Soviet launches, intercepting and recording the electronic telemetry for later analysis by US experts.

Three standard B-47Es were modified to meet this requirement. Designated EB-47E(TT), where the TT stood for Tell-Two, they were fitted with a crew capsule in the bomb bay that carried a pair of electronic warfare officers. An external fairing carring sensor antennae was fitted to each side of the nose.

At any one time, two of the EB-47E(TT) aircraft would stand alert at Incirlik AB in Turkey, ready to scramble at a moment's notice as soon as an impending Soviet launch was detected. For launches out of Kasputin Yar, missions were flown over the Black Sea, and for launches out of Tyuratam the missions were flown over northeastern Iran. During the missile flights, the missions were flown at as high an altitude as possible in order to obtain the clearest reception of the telemetry.

The EB-47E(TT) aircraft served from 1958 until about 1967. Serials were 53-2315, 53-2316 and 53-2320.

Sources:



  1. Boeing B-47 Stratojet--Variant Briefing. Bill Yenne, International Air Power Review, Vol 6, 2002.

  2. E-mail from Johan Visschedijk on 53-2315.