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2000-04-26, Jag_22: Progress Capsule Launched To Resupply Mir by Frank Morring, Jr. from Aerospace Daily 04/25/00 05:41:47 PM U.S. EDT Russia launched a Progress capsule to the Mir orbital station today to resupply the two cosmonauts who are rehabilitating the 14-year-old spacecraft for possible commercial activities. Liftoff of Progress M1-2 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan came at 4:07 p.m. Eastern time, according to MirCorp, the private venture seeking to keep Mir (shown) in orbit as a business. Progress M1-2 is set to dock at the Kvant module port at 5:30 p.m. Eastern time Thursday. Meanwhile, Cosmonauts Sergei Zalyotin and Alexander Kalery were scheduled to close the hatch on Progress M1-1 in preparation for its separation from the station Wednesday to clear the docking port for the new capsule. The two have apparently sealed a slow leak in the station, and are continuing to reactivate systems and clean up the station for future visitors.
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2000-04-21, Jag_22: Mir Cosmonauts May Have Fixed Leak by Jim Mathews 04/21/00 08:32:04 AM U.S. EDT Mir cosmonauts Sergei Zalyotin and Alexander Kalery think they’ve found and fixed the small air leak detected on the once-abandoned space station last year, reports MirCorp, the company financing Mir’s reactivation. Internal pressure is now stabilizing, MirCorp says, after a sealing plug was installed yesterday on the Spektr module’s hatch. The plug replaced a pressure gauge on the Spektr hatch door after the cosmonauts detected the sound of escaping air. The now-plugged hatch separates the unpressurized Spektr module from the rest of the pressurized Mir station. Spektr has been unpressurized since 1997, when an unmanned Progress cargo re-supply spacecraft ran into the module during a docking maneuver. The two cosmonauts have been searching for the leak since arriving on Mir earlier this month, isolating the station section by section to track down the problem. Repairing the leak is part of the first work phase for the cosmonauts…
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2000-04-21, Jag_22: Joint Strike Fighter Rivals Ready To Work Together by Norval G. Kennedy and Jim Mathews 04/19/00 02:22:14 PM U.S. EDT As the Joint Strike Fighter program nears a decision from the Pentagon in the next two or three weeks on whether to preserve the winner-take-all procurement strategy, rivals Lockheed Martin and Boeing say they are ready to share production (Lockheed version shown). Boeing said yesterday that it was already considering where the Lockheed team might fit into its plan. Today Lockheed’s Director of JSF Business Development James H. Schaefer told AviationNow.com at the Navy League’s annual meeting that it would have to determine how to accommodate another prime contractor. “We have already formed a prime team with BAe and Northrop, and now we have to look at Boeing,” he said. Schaefer felt it would take at least six months to study splitting the workload if a shared contract is mandated. BAe is providing the software for the Lockheed team, and the Pentagon’s JSF Director USMC Maj. Gen. Michael A.…
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2000-04-21, Jag_22: Marines Want Simulator Replication Of Fatal Osprey Crash by Robert Wall 04/20/00 03:12:27 PM U.S. EDT To investigate the cause of the V-22 Osprey crash earlier this month, the Marine Corps wants to replicate the fatal mission in a simulator, Lt. Gen. Frederick McCorkle, the Marine’s deputy commandant for aviation, said today. NASA has offered the use of one its simulators for that purpose. Data from the flight data recorder has been extracted successfully. At this point there are no indications that the crash that killed 19 Marines was caused by either mechanical or maintenance problems or pilot error, McCorkle said. The remaining V-22s remain grounded. Once the flight restriction is lifted, the Marines plan to first fly those Ospreys built during the engineering and manufacturing development phase. Later, test pilots will start flying the production aircraft before missions carrying troops will resume. Copyright AviationNow
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2000-04-20, Jag_22: Panel Urges U.S. To Junk Two-War Strategy by Jim Mathews 04/20/00 09:25:00 AM U.S. EDT In the new Internet era in which economic power can rise and fall in minutes and in which affected countries no longer neatly fit into allegiances with superpower camps, U.S. security strategy needs to evolve to deal better with small-scale contingencies, economic upheavals and public-health and welfare crises, concludes a Blue Ribbon panel commissioned by Defense Secretary William Cohen. The U.S. Commission on National Security in the 21 st Century – better known as the Hart-Rudman Commission after its co-chairs, former senators Warren Rudman (R-N.H.) and Gary Hart (D-Colo.) – “ believes that the ‘two major theater wars’ yardstick for sizing U.S. forces is not producing the capabilities needed for the varied and complex contingencies now occurring and likely to increase in the years ahead,” members said in their second of three planned reports. Those contingencies aren’t necessarily fueled by superpower tensions, and…
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2000-04-19, Jag_22: Early Fielding For New Joint Standoff Weapon At Shaw by Jim Mathews 04/19/00 09:29:38 AM U.S. EDT Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters at Shaw AFB, S.C., will be the first in the U.S. Air Force to field the new gliding, satellite-guided Joint Standoff Weapon, and pilots and maintainers at Shaw began training with the system April 5. "We are getting this technology five or six months earlier than we planned," says Maj. David Hlatky, weapons officer of the 20 th Fighter Wing. "Test squadrons across the United States have picked up the workload to finish testing in about a months time." USAF officials want Shaw to be ready to fight with JSOW by June 1, but Hlatky says Shaw pilots expect to have the capability by May 15. Base pilots started mission training April 5 with the Air Force’s JSOW program office. Pilots received some employment lessons April 13 from Navy Lt. Cmdr. Mike Murphy, an F-18 pilot with JSOW combat and test experience. After combat mission planning system training this week, a group of 12 to 14…
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2000-04-19, Jag_22: Pilot Unions Oppose Cockpit Video by Jim Ott 04/19/00 11:11:22 AM U.S. EDT The International Federation of Air Line Pilots Associations (IFALPA) opposes using video recorders in airline cockpits, contending that video images are unproven as useful tools in a safety investigation. Representatives of the world’s organized pilots, meeting last week in Tokyo, also raised the issue of government obligations to protect pilots from the unauthorized use of privileged information that are recorded on existing cockpit recording devices. In a message sent yesterday to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Montreal, IFALPA’s representative Edmund Smart observed that a significant majority of ICAO states have neither implemented nor enforced existing standards for use of “privileged information obtained through the installation of privacy intrusive devices in our cockpit workplace.” Smart said IFALPA will continue to oppose installation of any new or enhanced information collection devices until all…
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2000-04-19, Jag_22: USMC Variant Proving Toughest Part Of New Fighter Effort by Norval G. Kennedy 04/18/00 12:29:35 PM U.S. EDT The “most challenging variant” of Boeing’s Joint Strike Fighter development program is turning out to be the short takeoff and vertical landing (STOVL) version for the Marine Corps, which puts heavy demand on software, says Boeing’s Michael Heinz, deputy JSF program manager. Complicating the issue is the loss of two weeks’ software development time – time that must be absorbed, not made up – when Boeing’s engineers went on strike, adds Boeing JSF chief Frank Statkus. “The U.S. Marine Corps needs STOVL to meet its operational requirements,” Heinz says. Transition is the toughest part – commanded only by a thumb switch on the stick – which can occur in one second, he said. Boeing has 100 transitions of the direct-lift propulsion system on a test stand, Heinz reports. Complexity of the automatic transition demands the tricky software delayed by the strike. Meanwhile, Statkus notes the Boeing program is…
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2000-04-19, Jag_22: Boeing Ready If JSF Contest Is Abandoned by Norval G. Kennedy and Jim Mathews 04/18/00 03:52:02 PM U.S. EDT If the Pentagon abandons its winner-take-all approach to the Joint Strike Fighter, Boeing has made allowances for the rival Lockheed Martin-led team to share “a big block of work,” said Frank Statkus, JSF program chief. He believes that Lockheed Martin has likewise made similar provisions for Boeing. The JSF is meant to last more than 30 years--flown by U.S Air Force, Navy, and Marines plus the Royal Navy and Air Force--which would effectively block any new light fighter competition in the aerospace industry, leaving only one supplier for the Defense Dept. Speaking today at the Navy League’s Sea Air Space meeting in Washington, D.C., Statkus said it’s unclear how other contractors would be integrated into the assembly of aircraft. “We are not going to make all the parts,” said Statkus. The Pentagon is poised to announce at any time if JSF will be winner-take-all. Copyright AviationNow
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2000-04-17, Jag_22: In search of the Pentagon's billion dollar hidden budgets - how the US keeps its R&D spending under wraps By Bill Sweetman On 8 January last year, around 6.45pm, residents of Delaware in the US were startled by a sonic boom, strong enough to shake walls, rattle windows and cause the citizens to call their local police offices, demanding explanations. This particular speeder, however, could not only outrun any highway-patrol cruiser in Delaware, but was beyond the reach of anyone else in the state. Even the US Air Force, with its surveillance radars at Dover Air Force Base, was unable to identify the miscreant. The incident was not isolated. A rudimentary data search turns up a stream of such incidents since the early 1990s, from Florida to Nebraska, Colorado and California, with a similar pattern: a loud and inexplicable boom. The phantom boomers appear to avoid densely populated areas, and the stories usually go no further than the local paper. Only a few local papers have a searchable website, so it is…
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2000-04-15, Jag_22: Pentagon Anthrax Program Ripped 04/14/00 09:51:27 AM U.S. EDT WASHINGTON (AP) – Twenty-eight months after U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen announced an ambitious program to immunize all 2.4 million service members against deadly anthrax, only about 420,000 have received the six-shot series. And supplies of the vaccine could run out as early as July as a result of persistent problems faced by the nation’s only manufacturer of the vaccine, the General Accounting Office says. The GAO, an investigatory and auditing branch of Congress, reported Thursday that the fundamental requirement of the program – maintaining an adequate supply of vaccine – has “not yet been met.” “The optimism at the start of this program was overstated,” Carole R. Schuster, associate GAO director for national security preparedness, told the Senate Armed Services Committee. Schuster said that stockpiled supplies of the vaccine are running low. Bioport Corp., the Lansing, Mich., drug manufacturer, was shut down for 17 months for…
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2000-04-15, Jag_22: U.S. Defense Industry Outlook Weak, Less Competitive by Anthony L. Velocci Jr. 04/14/00 06:27:41 PM U.S. EDT The U.S. defense industry likely will be less competitive and financially viable in 5-10 years unless action is taken soon, according to a Defense Science Board study scheduled for release in mid-April. An independent task force studying the health of the industry based its warning on several conditions currently afflicting many companies. They include, among others, the loss of experienced technical and management people and the difficulty in attracting new hires and experienced staff, the difficulty defense companies will continue to face in raising debt or equity capital, and the possibility that industry consolidation and vertical integration will put small companies at risk. While the core technology base serving the Defense Dept. is sound now, its future viability is at risk, the panel also concluded. Some difficulties facing companies are the result of corporate miscalculations and program…
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2000-04-15, Jag_22: You Bet Your Life: Today’s Missile- Warning Systems by Don Herskovitz What’s long and thin, starts out as hot as Hades and can travel at Mach 2 and above? You have about five seconds to answer this question and, while the correct answer may not make you a millionaire, it could save your life. This month, JED looks at a contemporary assortment of surface-to-air-missile (SAM)-approach-warning systems. The physics of the problem, as well as some of the advanced strategies used to address these problems, are discussed. It is acknowledged at the outset that missiles also are launched at targets on the ground or afloat. But by far, the most destructive application of missiles has been against aircraft — missiles launched both from the ground or in air-to-air scenarios. Airborne missile-warning systems (MWSs) present the system designer with an advanced set of challenges not present in the two-dimensional world of land or sea operations. Low-level helicopter operations require sensitive systems that can instantly…
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2000-04-15, Jag_22: System to Combat Pulse-Doppler Radar Threats Demonstrated Pulse-Doppler radar systems are extremely effective in long-range search, detection and tracking operations. While physically no larger than many pulsed-radar systems, the pulsed-Doppler (PD) radar provides vast improvements in performance. In addition to greatly increased reliability and improved jamming resistance, PD radar can detect smaller targets at longer ranges in the presence of intense clutter and track either single or multiple targets while searching for more targets. It is no wonder then, that radar-system designers have incorporated PD techniques in ground, shipboard and airborne systems since the 1980s. Three key features making pulsed Doppler system so effective are coherence, which enables detection of Doppler frequencies; digital processing with adjunct advances in accuracy and repeatability; and digital control, enabling extreme flexibility. Operations undertaken in Desert Storm in the early 1990s and more recent action in Kosovo…
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2000-04-15, Jag_22: IR Sensor Demonstrated Aboard Small Air Vehicle The ROVIR, with its 42-in. wingspan, may be the smallest IR-sensor platform ever flown. (Sanders photo) Sanders, A Lockheed Martin Company (Nashua, NH), has successfully demonstrated a night-vision, infrared (IR) imaging system aboard a small unmanned air vehicle with a wingspan of only 42 in., a feat which Jack Miller, the company’s program manager for IR sensors, believes marks the “smallest IR airborne platform” ever flown. The Remote Observation Vehicle Infrared (ROVIR), developed by Sanders and Lockheed Martin Skunk Works (Palmdale, CA), was fitted with a 280-g uncooled microbolometer sensor, manufactured by Sanders’ Infrared Imaging Systems unit (Lexington, MA), according to Margaret Cohen, chief engineer for the program. The ROVIR flew over a scene which a variety of objects, from buildings and cars to people and power lines to demonstrate the feasibility of employing such a vehicle for covert, night-time, close-in reconnaissance and intelligence…
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2000-04-15, Jag_22: JSF EW Systems Evaluated Testing at facilities in Ft. Worth, TX, has successfully demonstrated the signature, countermeasures systems and sensors for one of the competing JSF proposals. (Lockheed Martin artist's rendering) Evaluation of the electronic-warfare (EW) systems for Lockheed Martin’s proposed Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) have gotten underway at the company’s facilities in Ft. Worth, TX. The JSF’s signature, countermeasures systems and sensors have all come under the glass in recent months. Testing of the aircraft’s signature and countermeasures systems have been conducted at the Air Force Electronic Warfare Evaluation Simulator (AFEWES), which features real-time, real-frequency, hardware-in-the-loop and operator-in-the-loop simulations of a wide array of radar- and infrared-guided threat systems. More than 1,400 test runs were performed against infrared-guided, air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), and over 250 were run against radar-guided threats, including approximately 1,500 SAM-launch…
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2000-04-15, Jag_22: EB-52 Initiative on the Table The Air Combat Command has proposed fitting the venerable B-52 bomber with Spear pods to create a support-jamming variant of the aircraft, dubbed the EB-52. (Boeing photo) The US Air Force (USAF) Air Combat Command (ACC) has delivered a proposal to the Air Staff aimed at converting twelve B-52 Stratofortresses into support-jamming aircraft, dubbed the EB-52. Following Operation Allied Force, the US military came to realize that it needed additional support-jamming capabilities, as EA-6B Prowlers were determined to be well overtasked, according to ACC officials. In addition, with the retirement of the EF-111, the USAF has been without a support-jamming aircraft of its own. Furthermore, a long-term successor to the EA-6B is at least ten years away (see “SEAD: Operation Allied Force and Beyond,” JED, January 2000; and “Analysis of Potential Prowler Successors Officially Underway,” JED, March 2000). The ACC initiative calls for the integration of a jamming pod aboard the venerable…
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2000-04-15, Jag_22: French Plan EW UAV Sources suggest that the French Ministry of Defense has awarded French contractor Sagem SA a contract covering the supply of sufficient Crecerelle (Kestrel) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to form a UAV communications-jamming platoon within the French Army. The Crecerelle entered service with the French Army (as a surveillance tool) during 1995 and was deployed to Bosnia during November/December of the same year. In terms of a payload for the new Crecerelle variant, French contractor Thomson-CSF Detexis is known to have worked on a UAV communications- jamming payload in the recent past. Thomson announced during mid-1994 that it was developing a range of potential UAV payloads under the generic designation Multi-mission Drone System (MDS). Amongst other MDS subsystems, Thomson looked at a “communications electronic warfare system” that comprised jamming, electronic-support and radio-relay modules. The last of these featured a frequency-hopping radio link to facilitate long-range operations.…
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2000-04-15, Jag_22: SIGINT Basis for Warnings Against Cutting Attack Sub Fleet Reports, including one in The Washington Post, indicate that the Navy is using support for signals intelligence (SIGINT) and other special operations as the rationale for not cutting the attack-submarine fleet as much as called for by the Quadrennial Defense Review. The new idea supports a fleet of 68 attack subs, instead of dropping to the 50s. Although critics question the value of attack submarines now that the Cold War is over, the Navy plan includes using the undersea boats to spy on Third-World adversaries, tap undersea communications cables, intercept communications and secretly monitor weapons tests and military exercises. These missions will need new high-tech equipment for these missions. Like most defense programs, however, cost will be a major consideration. There is no guarantee, however, that the plan will come to fruition. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Army GEN Henry Shelton, has been quoted as saying that he is not leaning one way or…
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2000-04-15, Jag_22: Iranian UAV Shot Down Over Iraq Iraq claims that its air-defense gunners shot down an Iranian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) last month, according to the Iraqi News Agency. The UAV, believed to be flying a reconnaissance mission, was reportedly shot down over Kankin, Iraq, near the country’s border with Iran. It is believed that the Iranian UAV may have been looking for Iranian resistance forces in that part of Iraq, a theory bolstered by the fact Iran launched attacks against two bases, located in Iraqi territory, of the Mujahadeen Khalq, an Iranian opposition group. Although no information was released regarding the type of UAV shot down, Iran is understood to be developing UAVs for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR). In fact, Iran recently announced the production of two new variants of its indigenously developed Ababil UAV, one of which, dubbed Ababil-S, was designed specifically for ISR operations. Initial reports indicated that the UAV that Iraq shot down may have been a US platform,…
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2000-04-15, Jag_22: The Boeing Company and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are teamed to develop a prototype fighter aircraft designed for stealth and agility. The result--after only 28 months--is a subscale tailless aircraft called the X-36. The 28-percent scale, remotely piloted X-36 has no vertical or horizontal tails, yet it is expected to be more maneuverable and agile than today's fighters. In addition, the tailless design reduces the weight, drag and radar cross section typically associated with traditional fighter aircraft. In a series of upcoming flight tests, the low-cost X-36 research vehicle will demonstrate the feasibility of using new flight control technologies in place of vertical and horizontal tails to improve the maneuverability and survivability of future fighter aircraft. During flight, the X-36 will use new split ailerons and a thrust-vectoring nozzle for directional control. The ailerons not only split to provide yaw (left and right) control, but also raise and lower…
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2000-04-15, Jag_22: HYPER-X HYPERSONIC EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH VEHICLE Artist's Rendering of HYPER-X PROJECT SUMMARY Hyper-X, NASA's multi-year hypersonic flight research program, seeks to overcome one of the greatest aeronautical research challenges - air-breathing hypersonic flight. Far outpacing contemporary aircraft of supersonic capability, three X-43A vehicles will fly at speeds of Mach 7 and 10. Ultimately, the revolutionary technologies exposed by the Hyper-X Program promise to increase payload capacities and reduce costs for future air and space vehicles. MicroCraft, Inc. of Tullahoma, Tenn., is the industry partner chosen by NASA to construct the X-43 vehicles. The contract award announcement occurred on March 24, 1997, with construction of the vehicles beginning soon thereafter. Orbital Sciences Corporation's Launch Vehicles Division in Chandler, Ariz. will construct the Hyper-X launch vehicles. The Hyper-X Phase I program — an agency-wide effort to address one of the greatest aeronautical research challenges…
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2000-04-15, Jag_22: Israel Won't Cancel Spy Plane Deal Associated Press JERUSALEM (AP) - Visiting Chinese president Jiang Zemin has been given assurances that Israel will not cancel the sale of an early warning aircraft to China despite American pressure. In a meeting with Jiang, Prime Minister Ehud Barak said Israel values the Chinese market too much to risk it by backing out of a signed contract. Jiang continues his six-day official visit to Israel today, meeting with President Ezer Weizman at the Dead Sea and touring the nearby desert. Israel and China signed a contract three years ago for an Israeli-made PHALCON radar system mounted on a Russian Ilyushin airplane. In recent months the United States has been pressing Israel to cancel the deal, fearing it would upset the delicate balance of power between China and Taiwan, which Beijing regards as a renegade province. PHALCON is an airborne radar system that, like the American-made AWACS system, gives early warning of approaching attack aircraft. The speaker of Israel's…
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2000-04-14, Jag_22: Boeing Installs Engine in JSF X-32A Demonstrator Aircraft These images are available for editorial use by news media on Boeing Media PALMDALE, Calif., April 11, 2000 — The Boeing Joint Strike Fighter One Team has installed the engine that will power the Boeing JSF X-32A concept demonstrator through flight testing. Designated the YF004, the engine has successfully completed 45 hours of acceptance testing at engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney's (UTX) facility in West Palm Beach, Fla. "We projected a day to install the exhaust system into the airframe, but we did it in less than two hours," said Steve Kyle, Boeing JSF propulsion manager. "We also planned a day to install and pin the engine, and that took only four hours. "We used 3D design tools throughout the development program to simulate engine installation. This kind of installation performance is the product of our lean processes. It demonstrates how our effective engine removal and installation concept will sustain high JSF sortie rates in fleet…
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2000-04-14, Jag_22: Greece orders 60 Typhoons The Greek government made a decision on the 8th of March to order 60 Eurofighter Typhoons for Greece. The deliveries will take place in 2005 - 2009. There is an option for 30 more fighters. In addition to Typhoons Greece has ordered 50 Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 50+ flighters. These deliveries will commence in late 2002 and continue for two years. Copyright Eurofighter news
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