RUSI JournalVOL 168ISSUE 5

Overestimating Soviet Airpower: The Soviet Jet Fighter Gap


Courtesy of Sergii Popsuievych / Alamy


Examining how and why the US overestimate Soviet airpower capability from the end of the Second World War. 

The overestimation of Soviet airpower by the US started in the early 1940s. In this study, Martin Verrier focuses on US intelligence assessments of early Soviet jet fighters during the period 1945–53, comparing them with actual production numbers and technical details obtained from Russian and Soviet sources. This study contributes to the existing literature on aircraft and missile intelligence assessments, including the well-studied ‘Bomber gap’ and ‘Missile gap’.

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WRITTEN BY

Martin Verrier

Associate Fellow; SHOC Network Member

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