The World: A Soviet Swinger

THERE was more than a little skepticism last spring when U.S. Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird announced that the Soviets "have a new swing-wing bomber under development" with "intercontinental range capability." Cynics pooh-poohed the "Big Swinger" as a propaganda ploy for the Air Force, which was trying to convince Congress that the U.S. should go ahead with the development of its own swing-wing supersonic bomber, the B1. But the doubts have proved unjustified. The new Soviet strategic bomber, officially designated "Backfire" by NATO, has been spotted and tracked during a number of test...

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