AAA sites and US/Canadian cities?

Ok, so every time you see footage on the news of an armed conflict in, say, Iraq or Yugoslavia or somewhere, you can see huge amounts of AAA (anti-aircraft artillery). The sky is often lit up wtih the tracers, and the sites seem to be in or very near the cities. I’m sure much of it is mobile AAA, but if you believe CNN, a lot of it is also fixed sites.

Now, it struck me the other day that I’ve been to many different cities in the US & Canada and I’ve never seen a single AAA site. Granted, I don’t go out of my way to look for them, but are there any? Any at all? The closest I can remember seeing is the old Nike missile sites in the 60’s, but those are gone now, and anyway, that’s not AAA.

Is anyone aware of a city over here which does have fixed place AAA sites to protect it? Granted we’re isolated by some largish bodies of water, and we’re friends with our neighbors, but if nothing else I’d have expected some holdovers from the cold war era. But I just don’t ever remember seeing one.


Note to all: Before revealing the locations of our military installations, make sure k0myers is not a foreign spy.

Well, you can look up the airforce and navy bases in the phone book… :slight_smile:

Reminds me of a funny story though - somebody wanted to buy a satellite image of some part of the western US, but they couldn’t get it from a US company due to national security reasons. So they went and bought it from a Russian company, who sold it to them with some amusement :slight_smile:

Anyway, I don’t even wanna know where they are. Just if anybody’s ever seen one.

k0myers (not a spy, last time he checked)

Now that you’ve got your clearance:

Sorry, I’ve never seen any either. I actually doubt we HAVE any fixed AAA, but figure the mobile AAA is probably available at any of those bases you mentioned, and on ships.

If, say, Topeka, Kansas actually has fixed AAA emplacements, I want my tax dollars back.

Where’s Papabear?

Didn’t we (Canada & US) essentially give up on AA defences (in terms of guns and missiles) in favour of interception by aircraft sometime in the early 60s?

Perhaps our (well, OK, American–our “partnership” in North American defence was essentially that of providing land for the DEW line, or being a killing ground) air defence strategy was influenced by development of such aircraft as the U2: flew so high & fast that it was supposed to be invulnerable to AA missiles. Then…oops! The pesky commies shoot one down.

Certainly in WWII, major Canadian cities all had light and heavy AA defences (light being machine guns of .303 and .50 cal and 40mm Bofors, heavy being the British 3.7 in.) In fact the AA situation was taken so seriously here on the west coast that the very first 40mm AA guns manufactured in Canada (at Otis Elevator Co., Hamilton, Ontario) were rushed out to guard Esquimalt Harbour in January of 1942 (the liner “Queen Elizabeth” was coming in, and it was felt that the Japanese might take advantage of her being in drydock to raid Esquimalt).

We switched to the US 90mm M1A1 about 1952, and we had played around with the Corporal missile, but our best potential AA weapon was the Avro Arrow, an excellent all-weather interceptor, which was killed for political reasons.

Hello Rod,

Thanks for the answer. I never even knew there ware AAA sites around in WW-II, so that’s something interesting.

About this: " such aircraft as the U2: flew so high & fast that it was supposed to be invulnerable to AA missiles…"

I think the U2 was high and slow, so everybody knew its era was over, which is why the SR-71 was developed, which is even higher and much faster. The engagement envelope for a missile vs. SR-71 is much, much smaller than vs the U-2. AFAIK, no SR-71 ever was shot down, and even many decades after it was made, it still holds pretty much all speed records for conventional airplanes (discounting exotica like the shuttle and the X-15). One of them was given to the Smithsonian a while ago when they were retired from the AF, and on its final flight, it set a trans-continental speed record! IIRC, it was somewhat less than an hour. Truely a remarkable plane.

It is too bad about the Arrow’s fate - another in the list of “nice airplanes that never made it through no fault of their own”. The F-20 had a similar fate albeit for different reasons.

Thanks for your reply,