Spy reeled in untold treasures

The CIA almost blew its chance to recruit the specialist engineer Adolf Tolkachev in the late 1970s, but once he had been “landed”, Guilsher’s professionalism and bravery helped build a bond that yielded military secrets of incalculable importance.

Tolkachev, a senior engineer for Phazotron, provided key details of the research and development of the all-important radar systems for the Soviet’s front-line fighters from the MiG-29 and MiG-31 to the Sukhoi Su-27, as well as for cruise missiles and avionics. His secret revelations more than matched the importance of another “volunteer” spy, Colonel Oleg Penkovsky of the Soviet military intelligence service,who provided the CIA with key information in 1960.

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