The SR-71 Blackbird was first seen in the Call of Duty: Black Ops teaser trailer. In the game it appears in the campaign level "WMD". In the cockpit of the Blackbird "Big Eye 6," the playable character Mosely is prompted to activate the jet's engines, and then pull back on the stick during take-off. Major Neitsch then uses the SR-71's reconnaissance equipment to guide a squad of four friendly soldiers past enemy patrols in the Ural Mountains. Once this is accomplished, players then takes control of Hudson on the ground hiding from the patrols. Once they go away, the mission continues.
The Blackbird appears as an eight killstreak reward (seven with Hardline) in multiplayer, and cannot be shot down. It is an advanced radar, giving real-time updates of where enemies are positioned and in which direction they are facing by using red arrows. The Blackbird lasts for 45 seconds after use and takes three seconds for it to disappear from the radar, where the icons are still visible but only shows their last location. A Counter-Spy Plane will block a Blackbird, and is the onlycomplete defense against it, although a Jammer will prevent enemies within its radius of effect from benefiting from it as long as they continue to be "jammed" by it. One can also use Decoy Grenades, as they make enemy arrows appear on the minimap for a short time. The Blackbird shows all enemy players, even Ghost Pro users.
The 1963 flight data of the SR-71 can be found in "U.S.D.D." and "Five". The name of a pilot is Sullivan.
Once a Decoy Tactical Grenade has been used, the arrow showing a 'fake player' on minimap will be faced to the direction from where player threw the grenade.
If one looks closely, the SR-71 can be seen in the sky in multiplayer. However, it is very difficult to spot, as it only appears as a flashing blip with a tiny smoke trail. It can be seen better in dark maps such as Hanoi. As with the Spy Plane and Counter-Spy Plane, it is only visible in spectator mode or in enemy control.