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Another "F-117 Companion" thread and a bit of history!

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posted on Jan, 18 2018 @ 04:57 PM
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a reply to: penroc3

Recon is for mission planning. The mission is, well, the mission!




posted on Jan, 18 2018 @ 05:00 PM
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a reply to: mightmight

And the photo of this plane is....
And the eye witnesses seem to be not backing you up.



posted on Jan, 18 2018 @ 05:07 PM
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a reply to: RadioRobert

To elaborate a bit, if you are putting false targets on the enemy's screen, your fake radar returns have to be at the frequency used by the enemy.

I am aware the enemy radar is probably not a CW pulse. I use the term frequency kind of loosely here.



posted on Jan, 18 2018 @ 05:22 PM
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a reply to: gariac

i guess i was trying to say that it could be a watchful eye during and after.

i would imagine something that could loiter around during a mission could also be used before and after.

maybe that is where the mystery craft came from, a recon bird that had potential to assist in EW or what ever and maybe do BDA after.
edit on 18-1-2018 by penroc3 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 18 2018 @ 06:56 PM
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a reply to: Shadowhawk

Yup nailed it, it didn't need a companion. It was lacking some fancy stuff that would have made it a better aircraft but we don't build a system as a part A and part B to perform as one, but Im open to the idea the idea of something else we had that assisted.



posted on Jan, 18 2018 @ 07:27 PM
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originally posted by: penroc3
a reply to: gariac

you said that they used significant recon before and after flights, why not during?

the two aircraft wouldn't have to fly from the same base as im sure you are well aware.

i personally think the companion was a EW and battle damage assessment after, maybe it had the capability to direct fire by supplemental targeting.

there are many black projects we have nothing but stories for, doesn't mean they dont exist.



Maybe not operate from the same place, but has to be close. When it comes to logistics involved in securing a location to operate a sensitive asset from its much easier to keep them together, when you separate things the risk of disclosure increases exponentially.

Of course, not all military info is out there for the general public, no surprise that you can glean tid-bits here and there from stories about capabilities or systems...hell read this thread alone and you can see examples of this. Above and beyond are the systems that are only privy to people with SAP/SAR...some of these are 30yrs or older old now and will never be disclosed.
I understand that this statement only feeds the idea of a super secret "companion", so even I admit that it is possible...just knowing how we operate I find it very unlikely, a system is one thing but a whole aircraft project is a stretch...there are just too many loose ends to secure.



posted on Jan, 18 2018 @ 11:14 PM
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originally posted by: penroc3
a reply to: gariac

i guess i was trying to say that it could be a watchful eye during and after.

i would imagine something that could loiter around during a mission could also be used before and after.

maybe that is where the mystery craft came from, a recon bird that had potential to assist in EW or what ever and maybe do BDA after.


Or do BDA with a satellite on the AM. It isn't like the F-117 is going to make another pass that night. The rendezvous with the tanker is timed. Everything is timed. I suppose the tanker doesn't want to run the TACAN longer than necessary.



posted on Jan, 19 2018 @ 12:56 AM
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originally posted by: wileel

I understand that this statement only feeds the idea of a super secret "companion", so even I admit that it is possible...just knowing how we operate I find it very unlikely, a system is one thing but a whole aircraft project is a stretch...there are just too many loose ends to secure.


Again, hows that different from any other classified aircraft program we do know exists today or has existed in the past?

edit on 19-1-2018 by mightmight because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 19 2018 @ 01:11 AM
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a reply to: wileel

hate to break this to ya buddy but people can keep secrets even big ones, known by thousands of people that are in on it.

there have been many aircraft that are classified that have stayed classified even after being decommissioned and have been replaced by newer classified aircraft, also in the same position, and those aircraft not only have managed to stay completely classified they also will never be declassified.
edit on 19-1-2018 by BASSPLYR because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 19 2018 @ 03:12 AM
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Manhatten Project comes to mind....



posted on Jan, 19 2018 @ 07:36 AM
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a reply to: gariac

you have 4 targets. 3 nighthawks each with two 2000lbs laser guided bombs. the first two only hit 3 out of 4 targets.


now you have one nighthawk left in an air space that is probably lit up like main street with SAM and AA and your 4th target is mobil. how do you plan for a movable target that didn't get hit with the rest?


you have your unknown aircraft running BDA and EW so your safety nighthawk can target or use the info from the other to take out the 4th target


sat's are great but are not always where you need them esp. in the 1990's



posted on Jan, 19 2018 @ 11:57 AM
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A lot of people postulated, and stories have appeared about the "companion" over the years and it's popped up on here once or twice. I'm of the belief that it did or does fly and that it's perhaps a stealthy "wild weasel" design that could have been developed further. It could have been a prototype based on BASX, maybe an offshoot/early design of the tacit blue family or senior peg perhaps, but we do know people have seen something and that members like Boomer have made "sideways" references to pics and such.

The US must have dozens of prototypes of different types of aircraft that have never gone beyond the early stages of testing, and evolved into other programs or just cast aside and buried in the dessert like a Vegas mobsters enemy.
Then there's things like the stealthy helicopters that appeared out of nowhere to catch Bin Laden, and also the Wichita pic. So these things are capable of being built without the publics knowledge and not just single prototypes.




edit on 19-1-2018 by Kurokage because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 19 2018 @ 12:40 PM
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a reply to: Kurokage



The Companion is not related to Tacit Blue though.
www.abovetopsecret.com...
www.abovetopsecret.com...

Timeline doesnt work. The Companion was built within years of the F-117 and flew with it while it was still black. Thats 82 to 88. Tacit Blue flew from 83 to 85. You dont move from an purely experimental platform to an operational program based on a revolutionary LO airframe within 3 years. Not even in the black world.
The Companion is an 80s solution for a 70s problem. What they tried to do with BSAX didnt become operational until the 90s with JSTARS. JSTARS might very well have black component that went operational in the late Eighties or something but thats all way too late for the Companion.

Its unfortunate IMO that the discussion continues along the usual lines while missing the point.
The Companion was not specifically built to compliment the F-117 initally. www.abovetopsecret.com...

It just ended up this way due to circumstance. The entire disucssion whether or not the Companion did spot, desginate or assess targets for the F-117 is irrelevant. Even if the Companion did that, it was not the mission it was built to do in the first place.

To understand the Companion we must ask the question why the *** that thing was built in the first place, why they made the decision to procure it and stand up an operational unit in the first place.

Things dont happen in a vacuum. Even in the black world. Where did the Companion come from? Someone must have had an unique requirement to initiate a study which would have resulted in an operational aircraft in relatively short order.

To understand the Companion we need to examine the challenges and requirements the Air Force was looking at in the 70s. Not the 80s.
SpeeFanatic made the case for the Companion being a dedicated SEAD/DEAD platform originally in his opening post. I dont think there was a more pressing problem in the 70s after the Yom Kippur War than the SAM threat. And the F-117 was just one solution to the problem.



edit on 19-1-2018 by mightmight because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 19 2018 @ 03:24 PM
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a reply to: mightmight


Thanks for the reply.
I picked tacit blue and BASX as examples of aircraft that must have been discussed in the early 70's but not yet built and was just examples of the ideas floating about in that time period, sorry I didn't point that out.
There's a great article called "First in, last out" I read online a while ago talking about the wild weasels during the Cuban missile crisis and the Vietnam war, and I wondered if that's where the idea for the companion's capabilities came about.
I also agree with you that the "companion" idea must have been added on at a later date, and I think that during the late 60's and early 70's quite a few aircraft ideas must have been banded about, the mind set before this era must have been very narrow minded, and a lot changed leading to these prototypes I think.
edit on 19-1-2018 by Kurokage because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 19 2018 @ 04:12 PM
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Let me offer yet another perspective on the Companion.

The Companion eventually ended up expanding into the EW realm, sort of replacing the EF-111As:
www.abovetopsecret.com...

I’ll start off with a quote i redacted somewhat to illustrate my point:


The Air Combat Command chief, speaking with defense reporters on Friday, said the XXX, which he described as a “partnership platform” with the XXX, could escort strike aircraft going into the most heavily defended enemy airspace as a stand-in jammer.

Whats the guy talking about, the Companion? Yes and no. He is talking about the Companion of tomorrow, the next platform continuing the mission actual Companion eventually ended up with. Hesd talking about the Air Forces plan to built a Penetrating Electronic Attack (PEA) platform.
Its still in the early stages of development and a lot is still unclear about this effort, but consider how similar it reads to the Companion.

The Air Combat Command chief, speaking with defense reporters on Friday, said the PEA, which he described as a “partnership platform” with the F-22, F-35, and B-21 bomber, could be “autonomous or semi-autonomous” and escort strike aircraft going into the most heavily defended enemy airspace as a stand-in jammer.

Taken from here: www.airforcemag.com... m.aspx

Pay special attention to the last word. Stand-in jamming is a very specific term and refers to EW effort from inside the precieved engagement range of enemy assets. It differs from (regular) stand off jamming from (well) outside the enemies engagement range.
Interestingly enough, Standoff jamming is what the Navy gravitates to. Even as an escort jamming platform, Growlers wont operate inside the engaement range of Surface to Air threats.

Take a look at this quote, also from the ACC Chief:

“The Navy is kind of leaning toward a standoff capability” in electronic warfare, “because of the way the fleet operates,” Carlisle noted. “We, in the Air Force, responsible for theater-level airpower, believe we need penetrating as well and so, my guess is, there will be…a synergy there where the Navy concentrates on a standoff capability, we concentrate on a stand-in capability. And then we marry those two together to make the greatest electronic attack capability we can.”

www.airforcemag.com...

So simple question. Does anyone really think the Air Force ignored the stand in jamming requirement? As i tried to explain in my last post, its misison requirements drive military programs. Its no different with SAPs. Whats missing on the official capaility roster can most likely be found in the black world.
So when when the Companion expanded into the Sparkvark mission when those went away back in the Nineties, the platform was actually used to built up a stand in jamming capability while the Navy continued to focus solely on the stand off requirement by introducing the non LO Growler.

Take a look at this quote:

Conley, who’s the deputy director of electronic warfare in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, said that while it’s true the PEA will probably “turn into” an Air Force program, the AOA is a joint affair. “We’re answering this question” of stand-in and standoff electronic warfare “holistically, but then it will turn into service-specific investments,” Conley said.
He said he “would personally advocate we move away” from dividing up the mission areas—and responsibilities—for stand-in and standoff EA/EW between the services. He believes it’s likely that tools developed for one mission may work very well in the other, but stovepipes would hinder such applications. The “whole idea … of ‘how dare you come into my cylinder of excellence’ … we need to break away from that,” Conley said.

www.airforcemag.com...

Does that guy only talk about what they are planning to do with PEA years down the road, or does it sound awfully like he is also describing the current state of affairs, how Stand-in and Stand-off was divided between Air Force and Navy?

Just food for thought.
edit on 19-1-2018 by mightmight because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 19 2018 @ 04:30 PM
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a reply to: Kurokage

At least two users agreed that Companion wasn't originally built to compliment F-117. EBJet and trueknowledge. It was said that the Companion is mid 70s, single pilot design.

Evenings are usually a time for surfing the net. I was bored today and found few years old post about origins of a stealth fighter.

It is about a Nighthawk but it may have a nice clues if we will look closer into it. I'll text bold most interesting part.

originally posted by: EViLKoNCEPTz
I know someone who worked with LM on the project really well and I'm much more inclined to believe him than you, or any source on the internet. Considering there was an entire book the size of an unabridged dictionary full of misinformation and disinformation for this project a lot of what is in the public isn't entirely accurate. Even some of the people who worked on the project weren't entirely sure what was true or not. There were even several false airframes built for people to work with to keep the final designs secret. Several of the other prototypes designed in conjunction with the project were classified and put on the backburner until technology had advanced to a point where they could become viable.


originally posted by: EViLKoNCEPTz
Then some of his information has probably come from my relative who worked on the project. He worked on classified aircraft projects from the late 50s to mid 90s. He has a picture hanging in his office of the 2 planes side by side in a hangar during testing with the designers and air crew in for a photo op before a test flight. There is a ton of incorrect information surrounding the entire stealth program, so much so that even the people who worked on them don't entirely know what's accurate and what isn't. There were several airframes built during the same time period as the F-117A that "never existed besides on paper" but there were really flight capable prototypes of them built and tested.


and we have another great EBJet post on Companion:

originally posted by: EBJet
a reply to: Barnalby

I think you're the first to point out the other entrant into the ATA competition. Let's not forget there were two entrants in the XST as well..I'm not suggesting the "companion" is a "losing" bid (with the ATA being both proposals!) but it is food for thought ;-) Happy New Year everyone!


A "losing" bid... a several airframes from F-117 era... Companion pre 1986 conceptually... a mid 70s design...

Food for thoughts lol



posted on Jan, 19 2018 @ 04:41 PM
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Thanks guys for those last 2 posts, very informative!! The aviation forum on ATS has to be one of the best out there.



posted on Jan, 19 2018 @ 05:34 PM
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I want to believe so bad but put me down on the never existed side of the ledger.

The only caveat I have is that they may have flow some one off aircraft as testing/prototypes along side the F117 but not a dedicated 'companion'. This is all my opinion based only on what I've read here.



posted on Jan, 19 2018 @ 08:35 PM
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originally posted by: BASSPLYR
a reply to: wileel

hate to break this to ya buddy but people can keep secrets even big ones, known by thousands of people that are in on it.

there have been many aircraft that are classified that have stayed classified even after being decommissioned and have been replaced by newer classified aircraft, also in the same position, and those aircraft not only have managed to stay completely classified they also will never be declassified.


Thanks for the insight. Some of us, maybe you as well, have knowledge that we are obligated to take to the grave so I am well aware of the SAP/SAR game. I don't know your military experience and/or if you worked dark side programs, but IMO that an operational aircraft is a stretch to keep that completely black. Maybe black to the general public sure (that's pretty easy), but not across the board. People see/hear things they aren't supposed to. Even if they call for a flight line to be cleared and everyone inside for a landing/takeoff that by itself is a flag...and people peek or get curious, that's natural human nature and most of those people haven't signed a stack of papers pledging they will keep their trap shut. Its VERY hard to keep sensitive stuff secret that lives outside of a controlled environment.

Kurokage and speedfanatic have some great stuff, thanks for chiming in!

If the sightings are legit we cant assume that it was an operational platform...there are all kinds of goofy things flying around, and few of those are even tested in real world situations and environments.

penroc3:
In that instance you choose another platform, hitting a mobile target is not a the roll for a light bomber like the 117...can it do it sure but not the best choice of tool



posted on Jan, 19 2018 @ 08:51 PM
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a reply to: wileel

The sighting reports of the actual aircraft were from people that were reliable. They were not connected to the program, but happened to be in the right place at the right time for it. There have only been a couple willing to talk that I've ever seen.



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