The first system used by the Navy to help combat the growing SAM problem in Vietnam was the Singer CMR-312 also referred to by aviators as “Little Ears”. It was a small portable device about the size of a modern automobile radar detector.  The device had two suction cups which attached it to the canopy of the aircraft and a “Y” cable which tied the unit into the aviator’s helmet so he could hear an audible warning of enemy radars in the surrounding airspace. There were different sounds for the different frequencies the radars operated at, so with training and practice the aviator could determine what kind of radars were in the area.

Obviously this system was very limited.  It could not inform the aviator where the radar was in relation to his aircraft (neither direction nor distance), it could not tell if the aviator’s aircraft was the target, nor could it alert the aviator when a missile was launched.  In other words, all it did was heighten the “pucker factor” in an already tense situation in enemy airspace. It was never intended to be anything more than a stop-gap measure to buy some time until a more sophisticated system could be fit into the F-4s.


Revision History:
  •   17 MAR 2014 - Original Post
  • Craig Kaston
  • Wild Weasel - The SAM Suppression Story by Larry Davis
  • First In, Last Out, Stories By the Wild Weasels, by Edward T Rock