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CSIRS Mystery!

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posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 06:51 AM
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One secret aircraft that seems to come back every so often is the mysterious Covert Survivable In-weather Reconnassance and Strike (CSIRS). This project can be traced all the way back to the eariliest days of the US Stealth Progrm. This black aircraft, that was reported to have been tested out at Groom Lake, has yet to be identified.

Here are the few things I know about it:

1. It's a Black Project that traces back to the earily days of the stealth program.

2. It might have been partally funded by the CIA's Covert Op's unit.

3. It it though to be flying from Groom Lake.

4. It's main role is probably covert reconnassance (I'm not sure).

5. It is NOT the F-117! (the F-117 doesn't carry reconnassance equipment.)

Does anyone know what this plane might be?




posted on Sep, 19 2005 @ 07:23 AM
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It would more than likely be the TR-3A.


"...the Air to Surface Technology Evaluation and Integration (ASTEI) program; created to develop concepts for an advanced deep interdiction fighter.... the Covert Survivable In-weather Reconnaissance/Strike (CSIRS) program, which was to yield two separate stealth aircraft designs.... A THAP demonstrator, which made its first flight from the secluded Groom Lake, Nev., facility in 1981. The company reportedly received a follow-on Air Force contract in 1982 to build what was to become the TR-3A, based on the THAP concept."

Source of the above quote came from a cited article: Scott, William, "Triangular Recon Aircraft May Be Supporting F-117A," Aviation Week & Space Technology, 10 June 1991, page 21.

Here is a link to that article:
Triangular Recon Aircraft May Be Supporting F-117A






seekerof

[edit on 19-9-2005 by Seekerof]



posted on Sep, 20 2005 @ 05:10 AM
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Intresting Seekerof,

I've known about the TR-3 for a while, but I was unaware that it also had a strike capability. I though it was pure reconnassance like the U-2 ans SR-71.

Tim



posted on Sep, 21 2005 @ 08:57 AM
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I think the actual idea behind CSIRS was/is a binary system consisting of 2 aircraft, one being a stealthy strike platform (the F-117A) and the other an as yet unknown stealthy recon and targeting platform, (possibly this TR-3A referred to in AW&ST articles).

So in answer to your statement Ghost - IF the TR-3A exists, it probably does not have strike capability but rather coordinates strikes for the F-117A.



posted on Sep, 22 2005 @ 06:50 AM
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Originally posted by intelgurl
I think the actual idea behind CSIRS was/is a binary system consisting of 2 aircraft, one being a stealthy strike platform (the F-117A) and the other an as yet unknown stealthy recon and targeting platform, (possibly this TR-3A referred to in AW&ST articles).


Intresting! I never thought of a system of two different aircraft. You know, that makes a lot of sense to me. You know, there have been roumors of a secret aircraft that designates targets for the F-117. Maybe the secret is that finds and designates targets for the F-117, which would explain why some of the footage of F-117's bombing targets during the 1991 Gulf War appeare to have been taken from another aircraft.

Side Note: Does anyone else see the irony in the fact the Lockheed F-117, which has been praised for it's bombing accuracy, might depend on an aircraft built by it's cheif competetor, Northrop, to provide it the targiging data that makes those procision strikes possible?

Tim



posted on Sep, 22 2005 @ 08:44 AM
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I have always thought that CSIRS was just another internal DARPA acronym for the F-117, used during the early phases of the program.

As I recall, that was one of the "concept" programs that led up to the construction of the HAVE BLUE demonstrator. The CSIRS was nothing more than a concept that never left the design board. Basically, DARPA (or the USAF, I can't remember which one) came up with a concept, called "CSIRS", that required a subsonic aircraft that was exceptionally LO, and that could perform strike or recce missions in a very high threat environment. The aircaft had to be able to get close enough to high-value targets that the local AD systems would not see them until after weapons release. Hence the emphasis on "survivable".

Think of it in terms of what the navy is doing today with "Littoral Combat Ship" or LCS. "LCS" does not exist, and when it does actually get built it will not be called LCS. But LCS is a specific concept with specific requirements.

CSIRS was the same thing for the F-117.



posted on Sep, 23 2005 @ 05:39 AM
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Originally posted by Pyros
As I recall, that was one of the "concept" programs that led up to the construction of the HAVE BLUE demonstrator. The CSIRS was nothing more than a concept that never left the design board. Basically, DARPA (or the USAF, I can't remember which one) came up with a concept, called "CSIRS", that required a subsonic aircraft that was exceptionally LO, and that could perform strike or recce missions in a very high threat environment.

CSIRS was the same thing for the F-117.


See, the F-117 dosen't have ANY Reconnassance capibility. Lockheed never build an F-117 that could carry out reconnassance. Therefore, the F-117 can NOT be CSARS.

Or are you saying that CSARS was a concept for the F-117 that was Never developed?


Tim



posted on Sep, 23 2005 @ 07:34 AM
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What I am saying is that the original requirement may have called for a tactical recce version or capability, but in the end it was not funded (or, to date it has not been publicly disclosed). CSIRS was just a concept - don't attach too much significance to the name or planned mission.

It seems to me that it would be a relatively simple job to equip an F-117 with recce pallets in each weapon bay, and then cover each bay with a door equipped with windows/observation ports/dielectric radomes/apetures. For fairly short money you could have a tactical a/c with good recce capability that (with the bay doors closed) is very LO. And, any F-117 could be reconfigured to do this job on fairly short notice. This is all speculation, of course....

There is always a constant battle over funding within the various departments within the USAF. Who knows? Maybe there was originally supposed to be a recce version, but the folks working on UAV programs sabotaged the F-117s funding and had the money transferred to programs like Tier II+ and Tier III-, or to something else that is completely different. Anything is possible.



posted on Sep, 23 2005 @ 10:35 AM
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I think Pyros is probably right. I have never seen anything to indicate that CSIRS was more than just a "paper airplane" concept. It is possible that some elements of it have been incorporated into the F-117A or other, still classified, aircraft.

There have been numerous concepts studied (THAP, Laser Fighter, ASTOVL, Hypersonic Penetrator, etc.) that didn't make it off the drawing boards, but some of the elements were used in later projects.

Lockheed did study the possibility of installing recce pallets in the F-117A weapon bays. I don't know if it was ever flight tested, however.



posted on Sep, 23 2005 @ 12:47 PM
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Sometimes it's difficult to decide which side to take... I am inherently a skeptic when it comes to some of the more outlandish claims regarding black aircraft, however regarding the “TR-3A” or “Black Manta” as some call it, I think that there is a strong possibility this aircraft exists.

First, it is my understanding that the Russian military and several other countries including Finland have this aircraft in their “spotter’s guide” in line drawing format .Perhaps some of our members from those countries can back me up on this?

Second, Aviation Week and Space Technology magazine reported in 1991 that a "triangular flying wing" reconnaissance aircraft, developed by Northrop from 1982, nicknamed "Black Manta" exists, which had a length of about 40 ft and a wingspan of about 60 ft”.
Supposedly it also had a range of 3500 miles and had been deployed for trials to Alaska, Okinawa, Panama, and the UK, and a few had been employed in Desert Storm in the reconnaissance role.
The aircraft was apparently developed from a Northrop technology demonstrator known as THAP (Tactical High Altitude Penetrator).

Third, eyewitness accounts have ranged from seeing it over the skies of White Sands to seeing it landing at an air base in the UK.
Descriptions all seem to match indicating that this is not a single instance of mistaken identity by a novice. It is described as having a curved trailing edge, resembled a scaled-down B-2. It appears to be a single-seat, twin-engine, approximately triangular flying wing.


[edit on 23-9-2005 by intelgurl]



posted on Sep, 23 2005 @ 01:01 PM
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IG,

I agree with you 100%. I too would be pysched to see a "real" TR-3A, if one exists. But I simply haven't seen enough to believe it. Maybe someday that will change.

Regarding the information you mentioned in your post referring to possible TR-3A sightings....I would be more inclined to believe that these were instances of a aircraft that are somehow related to the B-2 or A-12 program - probably technology demonstrators, or possibly subscale flight test models.

But, hey, who knows?





posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 06:59 AM
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Originally posted by Pyros

Regarding the information you mentioned in your post referring to possible TR-3A sightings....I would be more inclined to believe that these were instances of a aircraft that are somehow related to the B-2 or A-12 program - probably technology demonstrators, or possibly subscale flight test models.


Good thinking, But you missed a few Key Historical Facts:

1. The First A-12 Mockup was Never Completed. That was one of the reasons the contract was cancelled. The contractor team failed to deliver Any functional development related hardware despite having gone way over budget.

2. The TR-3 aircraft is much larger then the A-12 and has a very different shape (it's rounded at the wing tips, the A-12 had pointed wings)

3. The TR-3's were seen in Calaforina near Northrop's Site 4. the A-12 was being built in Fort Worth, TX.

Tim



posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 07:47 AM
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www.fas.org...

Looks at it from a couple of different angles - basically politics says no, while finances suggest maybe...

But, you would have to ask yourself the question - why? If the TR-3A was a stand-alone project (not a techno demo for something else) would the returns justify the expense? Satellites can be used for recon as well as an aircraft, as for painting a target - why not just let the -117 do that itself?

Also, from what I gather the Black Manta is supposed to have been developed alongside the F-117, the problem with that being computing power limited the F-117 to faceted surfaces, so why would the TR-3A be different?



posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 08:40 AM
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Actually the mock up was completed, I've seen many photo's of it, it was the prototype that failed to materialise.


Originally posted by ghost
2. The TR-3 aircraft is much larger then the A-12 and has a very different shape (it's rounded at the wing tips, the A-12 had pointed wings)



I'm not too sure about that. Intelgurls description (60ft span etc) seems to put the TR-3A in almost exactly the same size bracket as the cancelled Grumman A-12. Whatsmore her description also ties in with a much reported sighting of a 'black triangle' seen flying in formation with two RAF Tornadoes over the mouth of the Humber in the UK.

I tend to think that the TR-3A is quite believable whereas the sop called TR-3B (a silly looking giant triangle with vents all around the edge if piccies on here are to be believed) is a work of fiction.

[edit on 5-10-2005 by waynos]



posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 08:42 AM
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Just because Lockheed never built a recon version of the F-117 doesn't mean that it has no recon capabilities. When I worked for a company that subcontracted for Lockheed we were taliking to a couple of their engineers about the F-117. This was just after its existance became public knowledge. One of them said something very interesting. He said that the there was the capability to remove the bomb bay doors and to replace them with mission packages fitted into the bomb bay. The packages would be shrouded as so as to not interfere with the "Wobbly Goblin's" stealth features. Some of those packages may be Pave Tack systems allowing 1 F-117 to "buddy laze" for other aircraft. This would account for the pictures and video. Others might be recon packages, extra fuel or even covert insertion capabilities. I can't confirm this but it makes sense.



posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 08:49 AM
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Yes it does, a fully recessed recon pack that fits into the bomb bay makes perfect sense. I have no idea if it has been done however, but its not a difficult proposition to find believable. Still doesn't explain the triangle sightings though.



posted on Oct, 5 2005 @ 03:54 PM
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I have a feeling that many black projects will come to the surface, be implemented in the airforce.
Not looking good for world peace...



posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 07:46 AM
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Originally posted by waynos

I'm not too sure about that. Intelgurls description (60ft span etc) seems to put the TR-3A in almost exactly the same size bracket as the cancelled Grumman A-12. Whatsmore her description also ties in with a much reported sighting of a 'black triangle' seen flying in formation with two RAF Tornadoes over the mouth of the Humber in the UK.
[edit on 5-10-2005 by waynos]


Waynos,

I think your right about the size! I was looking over an old artical on the TR-3. The size is about 60ft wing span. The report I have also metions several orhte mystery aircraft that have been sighted in the Anthelop Valley area. However, I will stand by my statemnt that the A-12 and TR-3 have distinctly different shapes.

This is the TR-3A Black Manta:



Below is the A-12:



See the Difference? They are two Very Diffrent aircraft!

Tim

[edit on 6-10-2005 by ghost]



posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 07:51 AM
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Your picture of the A-12 didn't show up for me but I am already familiar with its near perfectly triangular form.

Its just the shape of the TR-3A I am wondering about. How can we be sure that the drawing you posted is an accurate representation? Also eyewitness reports of 'flying triangles' can leave a lot of room for interpretation, there is nothing in that description that would discount there being any curve to the shape. I suppose I just don't know.



posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 08:15 AM
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Originally posted by waynos
Your picture of the A-12 didn't show up for me but I am already familiar with its near perfectly triangular form.

Its just the shape of the TR-3A I am wondering about. How can we be sure that the drawing you posted is an accurate representation? Also eyewitness reports of 'flying triangles' can leave a lot of room for interpretation, there is nothing in that description that would discount there being any curve to the shape. I suppose I just don't know.


I fixed the image! It didn't work right for me either at first.

In all honesty, I agree with you. I have seen more flying triangle reports then I care to count. The reason I tend to think it might me accurat is because the discription that the drawing of the TR-3 was base on came from an industry insider who was familiar with both the B-2 and the A-12. the Person said they were sure the aircraft he or she (it didn't say which) saw wasn't one of the two listed above. Also, the A-12 had under wing inlets, all the reports of the TR-3 state that the engines couldn't be seen from below.

Tim



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