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NAWS China Lake – Northwest Annex Mystery

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posted on Jan, 9 2018 @ 03:31 PM
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a reply to: Barnalby

F-111? The 14 doesn't have the same length-to-width ratio as I recall.

ETA: I'm an idiot. I just realized the filename says 111 right in it.

edit on 9 1 18 by face23785 because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 9 2018 @ 03:38 PM
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We could do some reverse engineering if we had some better optics.
Looks like potentially there are huge air handlers and I'm not sure what those 5 quad anchored star wars looking things are.
Also the age of the facility is uncertain the Google imagery has been censored which is the usual practice.

There is some declassified information key words, Electromagnetic Anechoic Chambers, EMC Chambers, MRI Enclosures, which would date this as far back as the 1970's?

Closed loop style tracking went commercial in 1982 laser disc players, not sure it would be of much use for satellites except maybe for short periods rekeying the old ones.


edit on 9-1-2018 by Cauliflower because: (no reason given)

edit on 9-1-2018 by Cauliflower because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 9 2018 @ 03:40 PM
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a reply to: mightmight

Three runways just means that they have nasty shifting crosswinds.

Compare Heathrow or Chep Lap Kok to Boston Logan. The former only have two runways each, the latter has 6, yet I'm pretty sure LHR and HKG's traffic numbers utterly dwarf Logan's. It's just that winds in Boston are far less predictable than they are in Hong Kong or London and you need more runways in different orientations in order to not be Manchester or Dusseldorf and have airliners constantly performing go-arounds.

Actually BOS is a great analogy for China Lake's mystery runway, as it has a relatively tiny runway, the 2500' 15L/33R built mirroring the much larger 10000' 15R/33L, specifically so that small, piston-powered GA traffic can operate independently on their little VFR approaches and departures without disrupting jet ops and the sensitive approach/departure spacings necessary to maintain schedules.



posted on Jan, 9 2018 @ 03:42 PM
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a reply to: face23785

Yep, it's the F-111B, the first variable geometry twin-engined interceptor developed for the US Navy, the failure of which set the stage for the F-14's rapid procurement around the -B's leftover engines, radar, and phoenix missiles.

The one at China Lake is one of just 7 prototypes and EMD aircraft built before the -B was cancelled.
edit on 9-1-2018 by Barnalby because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 9 2018 @ 03:47 PM
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Doesn't seem fitting for aircrafts.
50x120





posted on Jan, 9 2018 @ 03:51 PM
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a reply to: Barnalby

I doubt China Lake maxes out their three runways with two squadrons...
But if China Lake is too busy to handle a small time UAV program you put the hardware somewhere else and set up satcoms where ever. The Navy has tons of facilities, theres no need to built up new secluded infrastructure on the biggest base they have for some unimportant UAV program.


edit on 9-1-2018 by mightmight because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 9 2018 @ 03:52 PM
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a reply to: Bigburgh

Either a pair of birds or a single UAV with a planform resembling a glider.



posted on Jan, 9 2018 @ 03:54 PM
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a reply to: mightmight

Don't rule out the mundane. It could be for some major secret squirrel program, it could just be so that the base's flying club and local CAP chapter has somewhere to practice pattern work with the FNGs.



posted on Jan, 9 2018 @ 03:54 PM
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a reply to: mightmight

vx-9 alone has 20+ aircraft all of which are up. at most there is probably 2 down aircraft at any given time

they are an operational squadron so although they are not at sea they still fly and have their aircraft up at all times, you would be surprised at how much flying they are doing there



posted on Jan, 9 2018 @ 03:54 PM
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a reply to: mightmight

vx-9 alone has 20+ aircraft all of which are up. at most there is probably 2 down aircraft at any given time

they are an operational squadron so although they are not at sea they still fly and have their aircraft up at all times, you would be surprised at how much flying they are doing there



posted on Jan, 9 2018 @ 04:01 PM
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a reply to: Barnalby

I get its the Navy but do you know of any military airbase who chose to set up their own private airfield for the base's flying club? I dont want to rule out the mundane but between a private flying club setting up an airfield on a secretive RDT&E facility and a secret testing program, i'd put my money on the squirrels.

a reply to: toysforadults
Its the Navy. They are used to fly dozens of jets from one flight deck. They can handle two squadrons on three runways. Even the Air Force does that.
edit on 9-1-2018 by mightmight because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 9 2018 @ 04:08 PM
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a reply to: mightmight

Setting up a remote runway doesn't tie up the other runways when they're operating. Depending on the UAV, they may have a catapult/capture system that needs to be set up. That would mean potentially several hours of not being able to use a runway. It makes a lot more sense to have their own area that doesn't affect normal ops.



posted on Jan, 9 2018 @ 04:15 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58
Good Point but wouldnt you use some existing, underused facility for something like this instead of building something from scratch?



posted on Jan, 9 2018 @ 04:20 PM
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a reply to: mightmight

It depends on what's being tested. If you're looking to extend the range of an existing UAV, using an established facility that already has the link capability in place makes more sense. If you're testing something new that doesn't require beyond line of sight capabilities, then yes, an existing remote field would make sense.



posted on Jan, 9 2018 @ 04:27 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

But if you leave the skyhook-style pole-capture system up on the main runway then you might have a chance of snagging an errant F-18 with it.

I've long believed that scaling up the Boeing Scan Eagle-style pole recovery system to larger, faster, more manned aircraft types is an idea that has gone criminally undeveloped by the American aerospace industry.
edit on 9-1-2018 by Barnalby because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 9 2018 @ 04:31 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58
But thats the point, they did set up a separate satcom uplink right next to the runway. They didnt use any existing satcom infrastructure on China Lake.



posted on Jan, 9 2018 @ 04:34 PM
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a reply to: mightmight

They set up a new dish. They already had the power and other systems they need. If you go to a remote field that isn't being used for anything like that, you not only need the dish, you need power, and everything else that is needed. China Lake already has everything they needed but the dish.



posted on Jan, 9 2018 @ 04:48 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58 They built this the entire satcom complex from scratch: i.imgur.com... - i.imgur.com...
I guess they could have plugged into the power grid somehow but thats about it. There is no need for any of that. They had the X-47 at Edwards and flew it out of Patuxent River.



posted on Jan, 9 2018 @ 04:57 PM
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a reply to: Barnalby

Are there any pictures of the old Corona era star catcher from the 1950's on the web?



posted on Jan, 9 2018 @ 04:58 PM
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a reply to: mightmight

So? The X-47 was also only a tech demonstrator and started under J-UCAS. It had some Air Force ties to begin with. That put it at Edwards. This is probably a Navy system so it's at China Lake.
edit on 1/9/2018 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



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