posted on Dec, 3 2004 @ 04:42 PM
I don't think the US purchased any sunburns, as we already have a missile that we can tune to emulate a yahkont or sunburn for SSST purposes.
In the past, we purchased some KH-31's (AS-17) to use as supersonic target drones, but they had some serious performance issues wrt range at sea
skimming levels. KH-31 was not designed for low altitude operation, and it did not operate well in the thick air.
The Clinton administration funded an upgrade program for Boeing engineers to actually go to Russia to improve the capabilities of the KH-31 so that it
could meet our requirements, and some improvements were made, but the missile still had problems meeting the USN's requirements.
Russia wanted the US to buy a large quantity of the improved KH-31's at once (something like 300 missiles). The marginal improvement in performance,
plus the high cost, and maintenence problems with the KH-31 made it not worth it, so we went a different route, e.g. the Vandal, IIRC.