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2000-05-10, Jag_22: Eurofighter president warns Norway not to delay aircraft deal Deutsche Press-Agentur (dpa) Oslo (dpa) - Fighter aircraft maker Eurofighter has offered to lease combat planes to Norway's military in a last-minute bid to prevent postponement of a 1.2 billion-dollar deal, a newspaper report said Wednesday. Cesare Gianni, president of Eurofighter International, wrote a letter to Norwegian Defence Minister Bjoern Tore Godal is which he warned of the consequences for "Norway's role on the European political scene" if the military puts off a planned purchase of Eurofighter aircraft until 2010, the Oslo newspaper Aftenposten said. On Friday, the government presents its revised budget, which is expected to contain a decision on the Eurofighter purchase. Godal declined to comment on Gianni's letter until after the budget goes to the parliament. In his letter to Godal, Gianni said he could offer Norway alternatives "that take into account budget concerns with respect to the investment profile". These include a leasing…
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2000-05-10, Jag_22: Missile Defense Boss Sees Years Of Testing Ahead 05/09/00 07:06:44 PM U.S. EDT WASHINGTON (AP) — President Clinton may decide as early as this summer whether to give a green light to constructing a national missile defense, but the Air Force general leading the project said Tuesday it would take four more years of testing before he would feel confident it will work. Lt. Gen. Ronald Kadish said the development of a national missile defense — designed to shoot down a small number of missiles fired from North Korea or the Middle East — is on the right track. He expressed confidence that the next flight test of an interceptor rocket, scheduled for June, will be a success. But Kadish, who directs the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization, said there are so many technological milestones yet to be met that he would not be confident about its effectiveness until production-model rocket boosters and other advanced equipment are tested in 2004. Not until that stage will the testing involve people who would actually…
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2000-05-10, Jag_22: Senate Panel Shifts Funds On Joint Strike Fighter 05/09/00 09:43:16 PM U.S. EDT WASHINGTON (AP)—Secretary of Defense William Cohen sought to head off a new congressional threat on Tuesday to the development of the Joint Strike Fighter, but a Senate panel decided to put restrictions on how quickly funds are spent on the $220-billion program. Cohen and Gen. James Jones, the commandant of the Marine Corps, met behind closed doors with members of the Senate Armed Services Committee in a plea to preserve funding. The committee voted to shift funds for the plane from the engineering and manufacturing phase, as the administration had wanted, into the less-advanced phase of “demonstration and validation.” The fighter, one of the most expensive planes ever to be built, has come under criticism from congressional cost-cutters recently, a year after Congress came close to killing off the Air Force’s F-22 Stealth bomber. (Call me silly, but I thought it was a fighter! Well guess not) While the House Armed Services…
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2000-05-10, Jag_22: Lockheed Martin Keeping F-22 Plant In Georgia 05/10/00 10:12:26 AM U.S. EDT MARIETTA, Ga. (AP) — Lockheed Martin has decided against moving final assembly of the F-22 stealth fighter from Marietta to Fort Worth, Texas, preserving 1,000 jobs at the suburban Atlanta plant. “During the last few months, we have reviewed results from previous studies of F-22 production plans, including options for moving final assembly,” Marietta plant chief Tom Burbage said in a memo Tuesday to Marietta workers. Burbage said “financial implications” of the studies did not support such a plan. “Therefore, there are no plans to move F-22 final assembly from our facility in Marietta,” he said. In February, the Bethesda, Md.-based company announced 2,800 layoffs, 2 percent of its work force of 140,000, which it said would generate $200 million in annual savings. Lockheed Martin said the majority of the savings would be achieved in the Aeronautical Systems business, which would be consolidated into a single unit to be called Lockheed…
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2000-05-06, Jag_22: Love Bug Virus Bites NASA Computers by Dee Ann Divis 05/05/00 04:23:04 PM U.S. EDT Four NASA centers shut down their email systems yesterday as a precaution against further infection by the “ILOVEYOU” virus while they disinfected their computers. Several hundred machines were affected across the agency, though a NASA headquarters spokesman said that no mission critical systems were impacted. The virus, apparently originating in the Philippines, raced across the world via email yesterday, clogging computer networks and destroying files. Goddard Space Flight Center, Johnson Space Center, Kennedy Space Center and Marshall Space Flight Center each closed down their email systems while they addressed the problem. “It's been an annoyance from the business side of it,” said the spokesman, “but you just have to go back to the days before we had email and work that way.” Copyright AviationNow
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2000-05-06, Jag_22: Cohen To Warner: Avoid 6-Month JSF Delay by Charles Rabb Aerospace Daily 05/05/00 09:58:30 AM U.S. EDT Defense Secretary William S. Cohen yesterday urged Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John W. Warner (R-Va.) to avoid mandating a six-month delay in the Joint Strike Fighter program. Cohen’s letter to Warner was sent the day after the Senate committee received a proposal calling for the delay. The proposal, sources said, would match funding with progress in the program’s technology, which is lagging, according to the General Accounting Office. If Warner thinks JSF shouldn’t move to the engineering, manufacturing and development (EMD) phase until all three JSF models are tested successfully, Cohen said, Warner should consider addressing the problem directly “by prohibiting DOD from proceeding to EMD until these events occur.” Cohen said the program should be event-based rather than the calendar-based, “albeit with a six-month delay,” approach before the committee. At a minimum, Cohen asked Warner to…
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2000-05-06, Jag_22: NATO Gets Report Critical Of Missile Defense by Robert Wall 05/05/00 05:09:17 PM U.S. EDT A group of former government officials and arms control experts have given NATO members a report sharply critical of the U.S. national missile defense plans. The Lawyers Alliance for World Security presented their report at a meeting of NATO parliamentarians in Slovenia. The missile defense effort will “interfere with international efforts to stem proliferation, destabilize relations with China and Russia,” the report said. The report comes at a critical time as the U.S. is struggling to get backing for the program from its allies. Many European allies fear it will weaken the U.S. commitment to the transatlantic alliance and strain relations with Russia. The White House later this year is slated to decide whether to proceed with NMD to develop and build an operational system that would be ready in 2005. Copyright AviationNow
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2000-05-06, Jag_22: Cosmonauts On Mir Prep For Spacewalk by Ted Gogoll 05/05/00 06:53:29 PM U.S. EDT The two cosmonauts aboard the Mir station underwent medical tests Friday in preparation for next week’s spacewalk, or extravehicular activity (EVA). During the EVA mission, cosmonauts, mission commander Sergei Zalyotin and flight engineer Alexander Kalery, will test sealant equipment to coat the exterior of the station, where a microscopic crack has allowed oxygen to escape. Additionally, the base station core module will be inspected, along with one of the solar arrays on the Kristall module, according to Amsterdam, Netherlands-based, MirCorp, which leases Mir from Russia. MirCorp, along with other international investors, has invested about $30 million in hopes of turning the 14-year old Mir station into a space hotel. The EVA will be on Friday, May 12. MirCorp plans to have the cosmonauts onboard for at least 45 days. Copyright AviationNow
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2000-05-05, Jag_22: Another Cargo Plane In The Lake For the second time in less than three months, a cargo plane has ended up in the shallow waters of Africa's Lake Victoria. Last Sunday, a DC-10 operated by Dairo Air Services overshot the runway during its approach to the Entebbe International Airport in Uganda, and crashed into the lake. The seven-member Ugandan crew was rescued with only minor injuries. The Ugandan Civil Aviation Authority said the east African nation lacks equipment to salvage the aircraft, which broke in two and sank, and might seek international help. Last February an Arabian B707 ended up in Lake Victoria while trying to land at Mwanza in Tanzania. I think somebody should teach them how to fly.
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2000-05-05, Jag_22: Russia Developing Stealth Bomber USDefense.com USDEFENSE.COM | A new report said that Russia is developing a new stealth bomber that is smaller than the U.S.-built B-2 "Spirit" bomber and incorporates a swing-wing design rather than the "flying wing" evident in the American counterpart. On Wednesday WorldNetDaily reported that Russian aircraft maker Sukhoi, designer of a number of sophisticated warplanes currently in service in Russian and Chinese air forces, has developed the Tu-60S, a stealth bomber design which "includes extensive stealth design features." "The move toward a stealth bomber is seen as an indication that President Vladimir Putin intends to upgrade both the tactical and strategic weapons employed by Russia," the netpaper said, allowing Moscow to fight a high-tech conventional war far beyond Russian borders and allowing it to directly challenge similar U.S. power. Most western analysts who have examined Russia's military power over the past decade have said that especially the air force and…
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2000-05-05, Jag_22: Official: Russia Opposes Any ABM Treaty Change 05/04/00 11:10:01 AM U.S. EDT MOSCOW (AP) — Russia opposes U.S. proposals for amending an anti-missile treaty because the defense system Washington wants to build could be the basis for a shield covering all of the United States, a Defense Ministry official said today. Col. Gen Leonid Ivashov, head of the ministry's international cooperation department, said Russia doesn't see any reason to revise the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which blocks Russia and the United States from building national missile defense systems. The United States wants to amend the treaty to build a limited defense system against possible attacks by “rogue states” such as North Korea. The U.S. government says the system wouldn't be able to protect against the widespread attack Russia is capable of launching. A first stage of the proposed U.S. system would install rockets and a radar to knock down missile attacks from Asia. The second phase, focused on defending against threats from…
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2000-05-05, Jag_22: Marines Close, But Not Yet Satisfied On Osprey Investigation by Robert Wall 05/04/00 05:30:20 PM U.S. EDT The Marine Corps is poised to resume flying the MV-22 Osprey, but announcement of the flight clearance was delayed at the last minute by Marine Corps commandant Gen. James Jones. Accident investigators have ruled out aircraft mechanical problems as the accident cause, which was the main reason the Marines feel comfortable they can start operating the tiltrotor again. But Jones, who is traveling in Germany, wanted to review the evidence once more. So far investigators have been unable to pinpoint the exact cause of the accident. One area under close review is the interaction of rotor vortices between the two MV-22s that were flying in close formation when one of them crashed. Helicopter pilots are warned that at low speed the airflow anomaly can induce unanticipated yaw in an aircraft. As a result of the prolonged investigation, Marine Corps officials increasingly are risking a delay in the completion of…
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2000-05-03, Jag_22: Team Finds Wreckage From OGrady Shoot-Down by Jim Mathews 05/02/00 02:26:30 PM U.S. EDT Wreckage found by a de-mining team in the northwestern region of Bosnia and Herzegovina is from the Lockheed Martin F-16C flown by ex-USAF Capt. Scott O’Grady, shot down five years ago by Serbs during Operation Deny Flight, U.S. military officials say. O’Grady became a worldwide (read American) figure shortly after being rescued by a U.S. Marine search team five days after the shoot-down. The de-mining team found a few large pieces of wing and fuselage, but mostly smaller pieces, the Armed Forces News Service reported today. Officials at U.S. Air Forces in Europe headquarters at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, confirmed earlier teams’ findings on Friday. A survey team from the international Stabilization Force, or SFOR, arrived April 19 to secure and document the site. Two more teams followed, and identified the wreckage as coming from an F-16. USAFE officials then confirmed the plane was O’Grady’s. Copyright AviationNow
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2000-05-03, Jag_22: U.S. Air Force Readiness Hit 15-Year Low This Year 05/02/00 02:47:24 PM U.S. EDT WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Air Force readiness to fight a war slumped in recent months to its lowest level in 15 years, declining 28 percent since the end of the Cold War, a senior military official said Tuesday. Only 65 percent of the force's combat units were considered operating at the military's best levels of readiness in December and January, the official said on condition of anonymity. That means roughly 115 of its 329 combat units were not fully capable of performing their mission. The rating is based on calculations of whether the units have the people, supplies, equipment and training to do their jobs — and it's been steadily declining for years. The 65 percent rating early this year, for instance, compares with 95 percent readiness in 1989 and 76 percent at the end of 1998, the official said. The official blamed budgets that didn't allow enough for spare parts and didn't offer service members salaries competitive in…
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2000-05-02, Jag_22: KrasAir fights for third place By Vovick Karnozov AWN Moscow-based columnist KrasAir last week declared its intention to become Russia's third largest passenger carrier (after Aeroflot and Pulkovo) on operational results of this year. In 1998, it occupied fifth place and fourth in 1999. Last year KrasAir made nearly 6,000 flights with a total duration of 40,000 hours and carried over 0.763 million passengers and almost 20,000 tons of cargo. KrasAir is a large company consisting of the airline with a fleet of 50 airplanes, the airport of Krasnoyarsk, the aircraft maintenance center and the ticket sales agency. The headquarters and main industrial facilities are located in Krasnoyarsk, a large city with population in excess of one million, one of largest cities in Siberia. KrasAir was established in 1993 as a result of de-nationalization of the Krasnoyarsk unitary state enterprise of civil aviation. Now it is a joint-stock company with 51% of shares in the state ownership. In 1996-98 KrasAir, as many other…
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2000-05-02, Jag_22: Lockheed Martin, TRW Win Space-Based Radar Contracts by Robert Wall 04/28/00 08:04:27 PM U.S. EDT Lockheed Martin and TRW have each won $6 million system design contracts for the Defense Dept.'s Discoverer-2 space-based radar system. Spectrum Astro was involved in the program, but didn't receive funding to continue its work. The joint Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, National Reconnaissance Office, Air Force effort simply couldn't afford awarding three contracts, said David Whelan, Darpa's director for tactical technology programs. Discoverer-2 is a space-based experiment to determine if low-cost satellites (around $100 million) can provide ground moving target indication, synthetic aperture radar and digital terrain mapping capability. Two experimental satellites are slated to be launched in 2005. Although the initial contracts are small, the program could grow into a 24 low-Earth orbit constellation. The government is slated to pick a single design team for the demonstration next year. During the…
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2000-05-02, Jag_22: U.S. To Stop Degrading GPS Signal by Frank Morring, Jr. Aerospace Daily 05/01/00 05:43:45 PM U.S. EDT The U.S. Air Force is scheduled tonight to switch off the software that degrades the Global Positioning System signal, giving everyone in the world access to the same basic signal the U.S. military uses to guide its precision weapons. President Clinton approved elimination of GPS “selective availability” (SA) last Friday, after testing demonstrated the Pentagon can switch off the more precise signal during an armed conflict. The change is set for midnight GMT (8 p.m. EDT), and will upgrade civilian GPS receivers from an unaugmented accuracy of about 100 meters to roughly 10 meters. “The decision to discontinue SA is coupled with our continuing efforts to upgrade the military utility of our systems that use GPS,” Clinton said in a statement issued yesterday. “The decision is supported by threat assessments which conclude that setting SA to zero at this time would have minimal impact on national security.”…
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2000-04-28, Jag_22: JASSM Stealthy Cruise Missile Under Fire by Robert Wall 04/27/00 03:42:45 PM U.S. EDT Only a day after the U.S. Air Force and Lockheed Martin rolled out the AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM), the congressional General Accounting Office has issued a critical review of the program, saying the production schedule may be too hurried. The USAF wants to start building the stealthy cruise missile in November, 2001, to take advantage of prices – already negotiated – that could expire. “The contractor is not expected to have specific, detailed knowledge of the design’s ability to meet requirements until after the decision to begin production has already been made,” GAO said. The Air Force doesn’t want to slow the program, but is negotiating with Lockheed Martin to try to contain JASSM costs even if the production contracts are exercised late. Earlier program difficulties have already stretched the missile’s development 10 months and added $90 million to the program’s cost. Copyright AviationNow…
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2000-04-27, Jag_22: NATO Exercises Next Week For Global Hawk UAV by Jim Mathews 04/26/00 08:44:50 AM U.S. EDT The U.S. Air Force’s Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle demonstrator next week will fly missions supporting NATO amphibious operations in exercises USAF officials note mark the reconnaissance UAV’s first trans-Atlantic flight to Europe. Two major exercises are on tap for Global Hawk in May. The first, Linked Seas 00, runs May 1-12 and involves NATO Supreme Allied Command Atlantic and the regional SOUTHLANT command, as well as several NATO nations. A second, week-long mission begins May 14 involving a Navy carrier battle group and Marine expeditionary force during the JTFEX 00-02 exercise. “These are really ‘graduation exercises’ for the Global Hawk Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration,” said Lt. Col. Mike Trundy, with the Global Hawk Program Office at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. The two exercises, plus a demonstration last week with the U.S. Coast Guard, are part of an evaluation of the UAV’s worth that runs…
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2000-04-27, Jag_22: Coffman: Lockheed Martin Likely To Split JSF Contract 04/26/00 06:38:53 PM U.S. EDT Lockheed Martin Chairman, CEO and President Vance Coffman said his company is likely to split the $200 billion Joint Strike Fighter production contract with competitor Boeing Co. The Pentagon, he said, is getting away from its original plan to award a winner-take-all contract. Coffman’s comments, made today at the Aerospace Finance Executive Symposium in New York, jointly sponsored by Aviation Week & Space Technology and Credit Suisse First Boston, are similar to those of Frank Statkus, vice president and general manager of the JSF program for Boeing. Statkus said last week that winner-take-all probably won’t be the end scenario, and that Boeing is likely to work out some kind of teaming arrangement with Lockheed Martin. Coffman told reporters that the odds are better than fifty-fifty that winner-take-all would be abandoned. He said a number of alternatives are being studied by the Dept. of Defense. Lockheed Martin, he…
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2000-04-26, Jag_22: Protecting the Fleet Integrated EW Expands the Virtual Battlespace by Dr. David L. Rockwell “USS Decatur damaged by Harpoon missile.” This unlikely headline was seen last May, when an unarmed AGM-84 Harpoon struck and easily holed the destroyer’s outer skin, causing fires, flooding and an estimated $14 million in damage — all without a warhead. Modern unarmored warships are remarkably vulnerable once a weapon — any weapon — evades the elaborate net of ship self-defenses. In the case of the Decatur (ex-DDG 31), a decommissioned Forrest Sherman-class destroyer now used by the US Navy (USN) to test ship self-defense weapons and sensors, two closely-spaced Harpoons flew similar courses. The Decatur acquired and engaged the first missile but failed to acquire the second. Two missiles, one hit. In an era where ships increasingly operate alone, often in littoral zones very close to antiship-cruise-missile (ASCM) launch sites, today’s increasingly integrated network-centric EW systems are being designed to prevent…
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2000-04-26, Jag_22: Missile Defense System Would Cost U.S. $60B Over 15 Years 04/25/00 09:23:03 PM U.S. EDT WASHINGTON (AP)--Erecting a missile defense system to give the United States limited protection from ballistic missile attack would cost nearly $60 billion through the year 2015, according to a congressional report released today. The Congressional Budget Office said that if successfully engaged, a national defense system would defend the entire country against several tens of missiles. It cautioned, however, that many believe that a country just developing long-range missiles could use simple countermeasures rendering a missile defense system impotent. The report, said Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), “confirms my fears that we are rushing into a decision on national missile defense without knowing everything we should about the financial, technological and diplomatic implications.” But Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.), a leading proponent of missile defense, said there was “no way” it would cost $60 billion. He said that while…
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2000-04-26, Jag_22: Logan Replacement Radar Operational 04/24/00 07:56:58 PM U.S. EDT BOSTON (AP)--An airport radar system that collapsed at Logan International Airport, delaying hundreds of Easter weekend flights, was replaced Monday and the new radar was tracking flights by afternoon. The Airport Surveillance Radar 9 system, installed in 1991, was used by air traffic controllers to track weather and planes within an 8-mile (12.8-kilometer) radius of Logan (shown). It was built to withstand hurricane-force winds but collapsed Saturday morning under winds half that strength. Air traffic controllers switched to a slower backup system that allowed for only about 26 flights an hour, half the airport's usual capacity. More than 500 flights were canceled, and hundreds of others were delayed. “The ASR9 is considered 99.6 percent reliable,” Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Arlene Salac said Monday. “This is that .4 percent.” Salac said the FAA does not plan to inspect ASR9 units located at 133 other U.S. airports. Copyright…
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2000-04-26, Jag_22: Board Finds High Taxi Speed Caused Global Hawk Crash 04/25/00 11:50:38 AM U.S. EDT The Air Force Mishap Investigation Board examining the Dec. 6 accident involving a Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle has determined that taxiing at an excessive ground speed of 155 kt. caused the mishap. The No. 3 Global Hawk veered off the main runway at Edwards AFB, Calif., at 4:17 p.m. PST, following a successful mission and full-stop landing. The UAV then accelerated to an excessive taxi speed and veered off the main runway, collapsing its nose gear and damaging its sensor suite. "The primary cause of this mishap was the execution of a commanded, taxi ground-speed of 155 knots," said Col. James R. Heald, Accident Investigation Board president. "The excessive ground speed was introduced by a combination of known software problems between the vehicle's Air Force Mission Support System core mission planning system and its aircraft/weapon/electronics-spec ific mission planning system." The UAV’s mission planning and…
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2000-04-26, Jag_22: US Cuts Key Test Delay For Airborne Laser Effort by Robert Wall 04/25/00 03:09:16 PM U.S. EDT The U.S. Air Force will only have to delay by one year the first ballistic missile shoot-down attempt for its Boeing 747-based Airborne Laser, rather than two as first expected. The test, slated for 2003, was on the verge of being delayed at least two years when the service took almost $1 billion out of the program. But plans now call for the shoot-down of a boosting ballistic missile in 2004, after which the program would slow, said USAF Lt. Gen. Bruce Carlson, the Joint Staff’s director of force structure and resources, who oversaw the ABL program in a prior assignment. If the intercept attempt succeeds it would likely free up money within the Pentagon to keep the program on schedule, Carlson added. Some U.S. lawmakers have vowed to restore the ABL funds, but Carlson said that even so, the intercept attempt would not be returned to 2003. Instead, the money would be used for additional testing to gain higher…
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