This article is the last of the 3-part series exploring “Operation Rolling Thunder,” a significant United States aerial campaign during the Vietnam War, focusing on the critical role of the “Wild Weasels” in countering North Vietnam’s surface-to-air missile (SAM) threat. You can read Part TWO here.

During Operation Rolling Thunder, daring aviators developed innovative tactics and equipment to protect American strike aircraft from deadly SAMs, leaving a lasting legacy in air defense suppression strategies.

The Arrival of the Block 50/52 Viper: A New Era Begins

As the Vietnam War raged, Operation Rolling Thunder emerged as a significant U.S. aerial campaign. The F-4G had valiantly served as the United States Air Force Wild Weasel’s aircraft of choice, but in 1996, it was time for a changing of the guard.