For U.S. and NATO countermeasures researchers and for Russian anti-aircraft missile designers, the Cold War never ended. Between 1991 and 2000, all but four of the 17 total U.S. aircraft that had been shot down in combat were hit with missiles, according to a study by the Air Force Historical Research Agency. And in the case of each downed aircraft, the missile delivering the killing stroke was of Russian design. Shoulder-fired SA-7 missiles, vintage Russian innovations, have shot down several U.S. helicopters in Iraq.
A quick look inside the effort to combat threats to our air supremacy.