Effectiveness of North Vietnamese SAMs

Factoids History Wars

Missiles Fired                     Aircraft Lost           Effectiveness

1965                                       194                                        11                           5.7%

1966                                       1,096                                     31                           2.8%

1967                                       3,202                                     56                           1.75%

1968                                       322                                         3                              0.9%

1972                                       4,244                                     49                           1.15%

North Vietnam deployed the Soviet-built SA-2 Guideline surface-to-air missile in 1965. Its effectiveness diminished as US airmen developed defensive tactics, added electronic countermeasures, and sent “Wild Weasel” aircraft to destroy, deter, and intimidate the SAM batteries. A few SA-3s, effective at lower altitudes, were introduced later in the war, as were shoulder-fired SA-7s, which were deadly against slow-flying aircraft in South Vietnam.

Source : John T Correll The Vietnam War Almanac, AIR FORCE Magazine / September 2004

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