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US Offered Britain the F-117 in 1986

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posted on Jan, 2 2017 @ 09:14 PM
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Recently declassified documents from the British National Archives have exposed something interesting: back in 1986, the then President of the United States Ronald Reagan offered British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher a chance for transatlantic cooperation on Stealth technology.

As reported by the Guardian, under the name “Project Moonflower,” the former POTUS offered Downing Street a briefing on the Black Project and the opportunity for the U.S. and the UK to work together on it.

“Dear Margaret,” a 1986 US telegram obtained by the Guardian recorded, “I am delighted to hear that you will be able to see Cap [Casapar Weinberger, the US defence secretary] to discuss the special program I wrote you about … I look forward to receiving your reaction. Sincerely, Ron.”

But the UK turned down the chance to work with the U.S. stealth technology and acquire F-117 stealth jets, that had made their first flight in 1981 and would continue to secretly operate until they were revealed to the public in 1988, a couple of years before becoming famous during Desert Storm in Iraq.


theaviationist.com...




posted on Jan, 2 2017 @ 09:52 PM
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a reply to: anzha

Not a shocker...this thing was started in the late 60's under lockheeds project "have blue".



posted on Jan, 2 2017 @ 09:55 PM
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a reply to: chrismarco

Interesting that the Brits had no interest in buying though. Isn't it?

They didn't see any point? Or what.

edit on 1/2/2017 by Phage because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 2 2017 @ 10:01 PM
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a reply to: Phage

Getting support would have been harder with it still being a black project at the time they offered it to them.



posted on Jan, 2 2017 @ 10:05 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

"It really, really works!"
"Buy one and get a discount on the next 5!"



posted on Jan, 2 2017 @ 10:06 PM
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a reply to: Phage

Probably wouldn't have been cost effective for Britain to become involved, Phage.

Our defence budget is dwarfed by your own.



posted on Jan, 2 2017 @ 10:08 PM
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a reply to: Hazardous1408
"Becoming involved" means buying aircraft. You're buying Lightnings, after all.

I can understand the reticence though, for the reason Z pointed out, primarily.



posted on Jan, 2 2017 @ 10:13 PM
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a reply to: Phage

We are but we are going by '86 standards.


I don't believe we'd have had the means to help in any significant way.

Especially under a Thatcher government.

But Zaphod is correct, BP's are a tricky one to have bilateral support in.

Wasn't this Cold War era?

I'm surprised as anyone we declined.
But I do think budget would have played a part.



posted on Jan, 2 2017 @ 10:29 PM
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a reply to: Hazardous1408

Maybe we had our own project but due to the cold war ending it ended up cancelled.



posted on Jan, 2 2017 @ 10:31 PM
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a reply to: crazyewok

Could be true.
Wouldn't be surprised if it was.

Again it goes back to budget constraints.
Would we pay for both of we're working on it already?



posted on Jan, 2 2017 @ 11:50 PM
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They'd just got into the second generation of Harrier Hawk Jump Jets.
"The Harrier was extensively redeveloped by McDonnell Douglas and British Aerospace (now parts of Boeing and BAE Systems, respectively), leading to the Boeing/BAE Systems AV-8B Harrier II. This is a family of second-generation V/STOL jet multi-role aircraft, including the British Aerospace-built (with McDonnell Douglas as subcontractor) Harrier II GR5/GR7/GR9, which entered service in the mid-1980s." - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrier_Jump_Jet
The only ones still in service are used by the US Marine Corp (last ones delivered in 2003).



posted on Jan, 3 2017 @ 12:07 AM
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originally posted by: Phage
a reply to: chrismarco

Interesting that the Brits had no interest in buying though. Isn't it?

They didn't see any point? Or what.


Perhaps they knew they didn't have the resources to purchase them with a looming Black Monday in the following year.


RAB

posted on Jan, 3 2017 @ 12:36 AM
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Hi guys,

I think timing is important on this the Tornado production run were starting to ramp and score success on the export market. On top of that the EAP project were well underway with the long term view to export sales.

I personally think that although the RAF would have loved some. But a small number makes support a pain and 50 may have seemed excessive. Plus having to make them UK A2A refuelable or giving them longer legs all £££.

RAB



posted on Jan, 3 2017 @ 02:30 AM
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One of the main problems would of been to get it in and out of the UK without being filmed and as zaph says it was a black ops project at the time. Then also there is the spares and repairs problem that if it needs something its got to fly across the pond to get to the base and probably once you saw the cost of keeping enough spares and trained people to keep it running i'd imagine the MoD said something rude and then sent a very polite message back.



posted on Jan, 3 2017 @ 02:35 AM
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a reply to: crazyewok

The TSR !



posted on Jan, 3 2017 @ 08:14 AM
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originally posted by: Phage
a reply to: chrismarco

Interesting that the Brits had no interest in buying though. Isn't it?

They didn't see any point? Or what.


I would say the date is more significant. We were pretty broke still in 1986 - EU reforms, War debt still being paid, trade still picking after the disaster that was the 1970s.......i could go on.

Interstingly enough though, we do co-operate on a lot of Defence development. My (uneducated) take on it is that we develop what we can afford to....and share whilst the Amercians develop the more expensive stuff.....and hopefully share with us!



posted on Jan, 3 2017 @ 08:21 AM
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Back in the 80s and early 90s I'd assume that we (Britain) had our own fair share of aircraft that could do he job of a f-117 although we didn't have stealth capabilities. We had aircraft that could provide support Harriers Jaguars Tornados Buccaneers

I think the issue with the F-35s and as to why we are getting them because the way our airforce is now we barely have any planes flying

I'm probably wrong though



posted on Jan, 3 2017 @ 08:22 AM
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originally posted by: cavtrooper7
a reply to: crazyewok

The TSR !
Would of loved to have seen that in production



posted on Jan, 3 2017 @ 08:46 AM
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Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? Under the NATO agreement, I'm pretty sure that if something happened that required the use of an F-117, the US would have provided them.



posted on Jan, 3 2017 @ 12:37 PM
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a reply to: JIMC5499

Yep, It would be no different than say Canada being offered the F-117. You can concentrate on other areas than a small strike force of classified aircraft.

As noted in the article it does explain why RAF pilots were checked out in the Nighthawk.

Also as noted it would have been impossible to operate them at that time in the UK and keep things quiet. There is no equivalent of Tonopah or Pine Gap in Aus etc that would allow the necessary constant training and flight ops. (even in the US they initially only flew at night) etc.



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