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2000-06-07, Jag_22: Stealth 'Skin' Replaced The nation's stealth fighters are getting a new skin, designed to make it easier to keep the planes in the sky. The chemical composition and the shape of the skin, which the Air Force calls "Radar Absorbing Material," are largely what makes the stealth fighter stealthy. The project aims to standardize the way the skin is applied to the plane, at a cost of $2 million an aircraft. The new skin will make the plane easier to maintain, in hopes of reducing its time in the shop by 30 to 50 percent and the cost of maintaining the stealthy materials by 20 percent, officials said. The first modified stealth fighters have arrived at the plane's home, Holloman Air Force Base, said Col. John Snider, commander of Holloman's 49th Operations Group. About 51 F-117 Nighthawks, the Air Force's entire inventory, are part of the 49th Fighter Wing at Holloman, which is near Alamogordo. The project recalls the frenetic pace in which the United States developed and deployed the stealth fighter in the early…
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2000-06-07, Jag_22: Siberian Fair presents An-2 Replacement Offerings The Siberian Aviation Fair held at Severny airport of Novosibirsk 30 May - 3 June attracted a handful of aircraft manufacturers, including Antonov, Ilyushin, Beriev and Sukhoi. Although the Fair had many participants from various sectors of aviation and airline industries, its main focus was on general aviation. In the Soviet Union the most numerous aircraft in civilian service was the Antonov An-2 biplane. In fact, every Soviet civilian pilot began his career with flying an An-2 in one of Aeroflot regional departments. First flown in 1947, the An-2 has been manufactured in 18,000 copies in the USSR, Poland, Germany and China. It still remains in active service as a chemical sprayer, light freighter and passenger plane, trainer and airborne platform for parachutists, etc. Although considered outdated and uneconomical by modern standards, the An-2 is still competing well on the second-hand market with more recent designs. The keys to its longevity have been…
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2000-06-07, Jag_22: Boeing Plans to Sign Contracts with Russian Companies. Itar-Tass News Agency WASHINGTON, June 3 (Itar-Tass) - The Boeing American corporation plans to sign new contracts with Russian companies during the American-Russian summit scheduled for June 4-5 in Moscow. According to information made available to Itar-Tass from informed sources, on Monday Boeing intends to conclude a new contract on purchasing titanium from the Metallurgical Production Association Verkhnyaya Salda, It is also planned to sign a new partnership agreement with the Ilyushin designers' office. A delegation of representatives of the Boeing leadership has already arrived in the Russian capital. grn/ © 1996-2000 Itar-Tass. All Rights Reserved.
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2000-06-07, Jag_22: U.S. Unmanned Vehicle Goes Down In Macedonia 06/05/00 07:37:24 AM U.S. EDT PRISTINA, Yugoslavia (AP) — A unmanned NATO spy plane lost power on a mission over southern Kosovo and was forced to make a parachute landing early Saturday, a U.S. Army statement said. The small U.S. plane, called Hunter Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, went down just after midnight inside Macedonia, within two miles of the Kosovo border, the statement said without providing details. It was unknown if the plane had been damaged. U.S. army officials in the peacekeeping force in Kosovo were reportedly working with Macedonia's government to recover the aircraft. It was the second time in two weeks that an unmanned NATO aircraft was forced to make an unscheduled landing in the area. A British “Phoenix” was forced last week to make a parachute landing in the ground safety zone, which is the three mile buffer zone along Kosovo's boundary with Serbia proper, sources in the NATO-led mission said. NATO aircraft patrol the border to give early warning…
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2000-06-07, Jag_22: Another Delay For Turkish Attack Helicopter Program by Metehan Demir 06/05/00 08:49:45 AM U.S. EDT Turkey once again disappointed defense contractors by delaying its long-expected attack helicopter decision. On Friday, Turkey's Defense Industry Executive Committee, after meeting for two hours, said the $4 billion decision to produce 145 helicopters has been delayed for another month. Turkey's prime minister, top general and defense minister also noted that technical criteria for the contestants were found unsatisfactory. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said after the meeting that the Bell-Textron King Cobra, the Ka50-2 from the Russian-Israeli partnership Kamov, and Italy's A-129 International again failed to meet technical specifications. Sources said another main reason was a dispute on financial problems between Turkey and the companies. Copyright AviationNow
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2000-06-07, Jag_22: Russian Gunships Active In Sierra Leone by John Fricker 06/05/00 12:21:40 PM U.S. EDT British military observers returning from Sierra Leone, in West Africa, where UK forces are supporting mainly African United Nations troops in beating off attacks by rebel guerrillas, have reported that Mi-24V “Hind D” helicopter gunships are being operated from Lungi International Airport on behalf of the local government. Sierra Leone never had more than a nominal air force, with a few light aircraft, until 1995, when five Mi-24Vs were supplied from Commonwealth of Independent States (formerly the Soviet Union) sources and flown by mercenary crews in attacks against Revolutionary United Front guerrillas. These or additional Mi-24s are evidently still being operated on similar sorties, with stub wing-mounted AT-2 “Swatter” wire-guided antitank missiles, bombs, rocket pods, and a four-barrelled 0.5-in 9-A-624 rotary machine-gun firing at up to 5,000 rounds per minute in a chin-turret. Copyright AviationNow
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2000-06-07, Jag_22: Germany To Allow Aerobatic Formation At Berlin Show 06/06/00 12:12:04 PM U.S. EDT FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — An aerobatic team will fly in formation this week at an air show in Germany for the first time since three Italian stunt jets collided and unleashed a fiery mass that plowed into a crowd of spectators 12 years ago at Ramstein Air Base, killing 70 people. Germany reacted immediately to the Ramstein accident that also injured 400 people, banning all aerobatic flights — even single-jet maneuvers. The horrible images from the crash, whose victims are still today undergoing therapy, also created such an atmosphere of caution that air shows voluntarily refrained from allowing even formation flying — a much less risky maneuver. Sensitivities are still so high that the German aerospace industry's business association sought and was granted permission by the federal Transport Ministry for the Patrouille de France aerobatic military team to do a formation flyover Saturday at Berlin's biennial International…
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2000-06-04, Bobo: Official Launch of New Phase $3.1 Billion RAH-66 Comanche EMD Contract Signed HUNTSVILLE, Alabama, June 1, 2000 — Representatives of the Boeing Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche program and the U.S. Army signed contract documents today in a ceremony that officially launched the $3.1 billion engineering and manufacturing development phase for the Comanche program. The contract signing came less than two months after a Department of Defense Acquisition Board Milestone II review gave the go-ahead for EMD. "We accomplished this task by relying on the Alpha Contracting process, a major Defense Department acquisition reform initiative that streamlined the contract negotiation process, saving much time and money," said Brig. Gen. (P) Joseph Bergantz, U.S. Army Comanche Program Manager. "The hard work, trust and teamwork that made today's ceremony possible have benefited the Army, the contracting companies and the public we serve," Bergantz added. "The Comanche Team has performed well," said Comanche Joint Program Office…
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2000-05-27, Jag_22: Helicopters: Hunters, Not Victims by Kathleen Kocks Encounter an attack helicopter, even during the innocence of an airshow, and there’s no doubt that you are facing a predator. From nose to tail, it has the body of a killer. It has the eyes (target-acquisition system), ears (electronic-warfare and countermeasures suites) and teeth (weapons) of a killer. Its traits include agility, survivability and speed. It does its job alone or multiplies its strength by working in a pack. Confuse it not with a helicopter that began life unarmed, but subsequently acquired weapons. Such pretenders are sheep in wolves’ clothing, compared to the attack species. From concept to conception, attack helicopters were bred to kill. Their brute force is clearly evident. Less evident is their newest, most dreadful weapon: information technology. Thanks to advanced defense electronics, modern attack helicopters are not only hunters, but also gatherers of battlefield intelligence. “Besides its weapons, the key advantage of a modern…
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2000-05-27, Jag_22: Prophet Air Restructured If no Shadow 200s are available when concept demostrations begin, the Army will install COMINT and jamming systems aboard it Hunter TUAVs. (TRW photo) According to the US Army’s Program Budget Decision 745, the airborne communications-intelligence (COMINT) and jamming element of the service’s Prophet program (Prophet Air), itself a replacement for the Intelligence and Electronic Warfare Common Sensor (IEWCS) program (see "US Army to Field IEWCS, Update Requirements and Transition to Prophet," JED, September 1998), has been restructured. The systems eventually procured under the program are now to be installed aboard tactical unmanned aerial vehicles (TUAVs) — not aboard modified UH-60 helicopters, as initially planned. The COMINT and jamming systems eventually procured for the Prophet Air portion had been slated to replace the existing Quickfix II systems. Now, however, the Army plans to install these systems aboard the Shadow 200, produced by AAI Corp. (Hunt Valley, MD), the recent…
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2000-05-27, Jag_22: Guardrail 2000 Launched The lastest version of the Guardrail Common Sensor system represents the Army's first implementation of the Joint Avionics SIGINT Architecture. (TRW photo) The seventh generation of the US Army’s Guardrail system, dubbed Guardrail 2000, was recently rolled-out at Moffett Field, CA. This latest generation of the system is, according to program manager LTC Harold Greene, “both a quantitative and qualitative advance over its predecessors.” Guardrail 2000 also represents the Army’s first operational implementation of the Joint Avionics SIGINT [signals- intelligence] Architecture (JASA). The Guardrail Common Sensor GR/CS, first introduced in 1971, is a corps-level airborne SIGINT collection/location system that integrates the Improved Guardrail V (IGR V), the Communication High Accuracy Airborne Location System (CHAALS) and the Advanced QUICKLOOK (AQL) into the same platform — the RC-12K/N/P/Q aircraft. Key features include integrated communications and radar reporting, enhanced signal…
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2000-05-27, Jag_22: Russian S-37 Accelerates Fighter Technology CRAIG COVAULT/MOSCOW The prototype is Russia's most advanced in 20 years, and Sukhoi would like to show it at Farnborough Russia's Sukhoi S-37 forward-swept-wing fighter has completed about 100 flights and is progressing through its supersonic test regime at the Zhukovsky Flight Test Center near the Russian capital. Russia's Sukhoi S-37 forward-swept-wing fighter is the most advanced military aircraft developed by the former Soviet Union in 20 years. The company would like to bring the large twin-engine fighter to the Farnborough air show in July, Sukhoi General Director Mikhail A. Pogosyan told Aviation Week & Space Technology. But whether the Russian government will allow unique aircraft to fly to England is still an open question. Sukhoi has not been able to obtain Russian Defense Ministry permission to even display the S-37 publicly at Russian venues other than Zhukovsky, although the aircraft made two brief overflights of Moscow after it first flew in…
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2000-05-27, Jag_22: First Round Of Maple Flag Wraps Up Today by William B. Scott 05/26/00 10:58:05 AM U.S. EDT COLD LAKE, ALBERTA — The first period of this year's six-week Maple Flag exercise ends today, capping Round One of an intensive international training program aimed at honing coalition air warfare skills. Approximately 1,500 people and many of the 118 aircraft will depart later today, clearing the Cold Lake airfield ramp for the next contingent — including seven German MiG-29s — that arrive tomorrow for their two-week segment. The 33rd Canadian-hosted Maple Flag has several objectives rooted in the Allied Force air campaign against Yugoslavia last year: Fly more strike missions at medium altitudes. Several European air forces still prefer Cold War methods, attacking low and fast, but losses to anti-aircraft guns and older missiles have convinced most nations that higher is better. Practice more air-to-air refueling. In Kosovo, a shortage of aerial tankers constrained a number of sorties, forcing real-time changes in…
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2000-05-27, Jag_22: Unlikely Chemical Weapons Were Stored At Iraqi Air Base by Ted Gogoll 05/25/00 09:43:18 PM U.S. EDT A Defense Dept. report concluded it was unlikely chemical weapons were present at Iraq’s Tallil Air Base during the Persian Gulf War. U.S. officials had believed the base was a chemical weapons depot because it served as a staging point for Iraq’s airborne chemical attacks against Iran in their 10-year war. Tallil also had an S-shaped bunker that officials had assessed was designed specifically to store chemical weapons and agents. After the cease-fire, U.S. forces occupied Tallil, sending in nuclear, biological and chemical specialists to inspect the base, finding no evidence of chemical weapons. And at no time did officials receive reports by personnel of medical symptoms associated with chemical weapons. After the inspections, the base was destroyed. Copyright AviationNow
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2000-05-26, Jag_22: Thunderbird Pilots, FAA Grilled On Possible Violations by David Fulghum Aviation Week & Space Technology 05/25/00 07:20:50 PM U.S. EDT U.S. Air Force Thunderbird flight demonstration pilots and FAA air controllers are being grilled about what went wrong when the eight-aircraft team left Andrews AFB near Washington, D.C. in poor visibility last week. The team may have over flown the vice president’s residence, breached controlled airspace at Dulles Airport and came too near two civilian aircraft before being redirected into a safe area above the cloud cover during the May 22 incident. Pentagon officials said possible violations were the result of a string of small errors that created a big problem. The Thunderbirds team wanted to leave Andrews in an eight-lane group, but the flight plan wasn’t accepted by the FAA’s computer. Subsequently they were told to make a radar-assisted trail departure with each pilot being responsible for staying in radar contact with the aircraft immediately ahead. The pilots…
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2000-05-26, Jag_22: King Air Ditches, Sick Pilot Survives by Mal Gormley 05/25/00 06:54:37 PM U.S. EST A very lucky pilot and sole occupant of a Beech King Air Super 200 survived a Pacific Ocean ditching on Wednesday afternoon after becoming ill while flying home to San Diego from Parker, Ariz. The accident occurred some 160 miles off the coast of San Diego. The pilot, Mark Armstrong, 40, of Valley Center, Calif., reported to controllers that he felt sick and was vomiting, then left the frequency. The twin turboprop continued west over the Pacific without communicating and was tracked by two U.S. Navy F-18 aircraft in the area on maneuvers. The King Air continued into a military flight training area. After Armstrong had evidently passed out, the two F-18’s drew along side the airplane but could not see anyone aboard. Eventually, however, Armstrong was seen slumped over the controls. The Navy pilots, who were now getting low on fuel, eventually succeeded in getting the now startled Armstrong’s attention and gestured for him to…
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2000-05-26, Jag_22: Naval Technology That's the ship I was talking about, when I said that they are not going use the Batteries on the submarine, but instead on a destroyer. [Edited by Jag_22 (26-05-2000 at 23:35).]
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2000-05-26, Jag_22: Information operations - coming of age? A new paradigm of warfighting or the greatest failure of NATO's Operation 'Allied Force'? Andrew Rathmell examines the advances made in information operations and looks beyond the 'cyber-hype'to the reality behind the myths. TEN YEARS ago Operation 'Desert Storm' was hailed as the 'First Information War'. However, since the conclusion of NATO's Operation 'Allied Force' over Kosovo, senior US officers have complained that the USA is still not using Information Operations (IO) effectively. According to Admiral Ellis, commander of the air campaign: " roperly executed, IO could have halved the length of the campaign", but the IO operators were "too junior and from the wrong communities to have the required impact on planning and execution". Noting that "all the tools are in place... [but] only a few were used," he has concluded that IO was "perhaps the greatest failure of the war". Outgoing NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Wesley Clark has expressed similar…
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2000-05-26, Jag_22: Boeing to Refit Israeli F-16 Fighter Jets to Carry Smart Bombs VCI Internet Properties (IsraelWire-5/22) Boeing Aircraft will receive an $8.4 million contract to upgrade Israel Air Force F-16 fighter jets to drop the company's new satellite-guided smart bomb, the company and military officials said Tuesday. According to the BridgeNews report distributed by the IMRA News Agency, the contract will provide for the upgrading of F-16 jets to enable them to deliver the Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM). Boeing makes guidance kits that convert so-called dumb bombs into weapons guided by Global Positioning System satellites. © V.C.I. Internet Properties Ltd. 1999. All rights reserved.
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2000-05-26, Jag_22: U.S. Begins Domestic Anti-Terrorism Exercise by Ted Gogoll 05/23/00 08:29:40 AM U.S. EDT A multi-agency U.S. government team has begun a 10-day crisis management exercise to assess U.S. capabilities against integrated, no-notice terrorist threats and acts. Exercise Top Off 2000 is being staged in various cities around the country, bringing together the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FBI, Energy Dept., Environmental Protection Agency, and the Health and Human Services Dept. along with state and local agencies in a $3.5 million program to pinpoint the weaknesses in the nation’s anti-terrorism capabilities. The combined agencies make up the Joint Task Force Civil Support (JTF-CS), based in Norfolk, Va. – a newly established unit under the U.S. Joint Forces Command – with control over DOD forces which support a lead federal agency for managing the consequences of weapons of mass destruction incidents in the U.S. “Our mission is to save lives, prevent injury and restore life critical infrastructure,” said…
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2000-05-26, Jag_22: Ryan Insists USAF Supports Joint Strike Fighter by Robert Wall 05/23/00 11:54:39 AM U.S. EDT Under fire for the perceived lack of U.S. Air Force support for the Joint Strike Fighter program, the service’s Chief of Staff, Gen. Michael Ryan, today insisted JSF enjoys full support and full funding in the USAF’s long-term budget plans. “I can’t show greater support than that,” Ryan said at a DFI International-sponsored event in Washington. The multi-role JSF is supposed to replace A-10s and F-16s for the Air Force. Ryan also presented an update on the Lockheed Martin F-22 fighter’s progress, noting that the development of the critical Block 3 software the service has to fly this year is still on track. However, the chief expressed frustration that a canopy cracking problem being experienced on the stealth fighter is hindering flight test progress. Several canopies have cracked and flight-testers will have to wait several weeks for replacements. But Air Force acquisition officials at this point aren’t overly…
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2000-05-26, Jag_22: Canadian Weather No Barrier To Air Combat Exercise by William B. Scott 05/24/00 08:45:02 AM U.S. EDT COLD LAKE, ALBERTA — The annual Maple Flag international air combat exercise is into its second week of large-scale air operations here, unhampered by unusual weather. Hosted by Canada's 4 Wing, the exercise dealt with unexpected challenges from a freak snowstorm on May 17. For the first time, Maple Flag is being conducted under all-weather rules — a consequence of “lessons-learned” during the Kosovo air campaign a year ago — allowing pilots to deal with realistic conditions that complicate bombing missions. Maple Flag is similar to the USAF-hosted Red Flag, but is conducted over wooded terrain dotted with lakes, emulating a European combat zone. Flying in a relatively unrestricted environment, large strike “packages,” made up of 40-50 fighters, battle opposing forces employing airborne and ground-based electronic threats. Approximately 118 aircraft from Canada, Singapore, the Netherlands, the U.S., the U.K.,…
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2000-05-26, Jag_22: Joint Strike Fighter Engine Ready To Fly by Jim Mathews 05/25/00 06:59:49 AM U.S. EDT Enginemaker Pratt & Whitney’s JSF119 engine for the Joint Strike Fighter has finished flight clearance testing in time for this summer’s JSF concept demonstrator flight tests, P&W reports this morning. “The engines are no longer concepts, or designs that need to be proven – they are real engines that are ready to be flown. They have done exceedingly well in ground testing that’s required for flight certification,” says P&W JSF119 Program Director Bob Cea. Boeing engine JSF119-614 and Lockheed Martin engine JSF119-611 went through performance testing at all power ranges within their full flight envelopes. Altitude testing at the USAF’s Arnold Engineering and Development Center essentially clearing the conventional takeoff as well as short take-off/vertical landing (STOVL) engines for up-and-away flight. Sea level accelerated mission tests at P&W’s West Palm Beach, Fla., test facilities demonstrated engine…
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2000-05-26, Jag_22: Marines OK Return To Flight For Ospreys by Robert Wall 05/25/00 02:01:23 PM U.S. EDT The U.S. Marine Corps has authorized MV-22 Ospreys to resume flight operations, lifting a grounding order that followed the April 8 crash of an Ospreys in which 19 Marines died. Initially, pilots will be re-familiarized with the aircraft, which is normal after an extended interruption of flying operations. Only after completing this phase of the return-to-flight activity will the operational evaluation of the V-22 continue. In a symbolic gesture to demonstrate confidence in the tiltrotor, the Marine Corps’ commandant, Gen. James Jones, and U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Michael E. Ryan, will be on the first MV-22 to carry passengers. Copyright AviationNow
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2000-05-26, Jag_22: Army Postpones Test For Missile-Defense Laser by Robert Wall 05/25/00 02:10:39 PM U.S. EDT Israel will have to wait a little longer for a U.S.-developed laser system to protect it against Katyusha rockets. The U.S. Army postponed its first attempt to shoot down a Katyusha rocket with the Tactical High-Energy Laser (THEL, pictured). A mirror in the laser was damaged during testing at the White Sands Missile Range, N.M. It will take about two weeks to fix the laser, Army officials say. THEL was conceived as a quick development program in 1996 to defend against rockets launched by Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorists. But the high-energy laser system’s development has been slowed by technical problems. The Army hopes to be able to resume THEL testing and achieve the first intercept in June. Copyright AviationNow
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