reply to post by Shadowhawk
I can't MAKE any claims of fact, only claims of supposition!
I would say these are reasonable guesstimates, indirect pointers, inferences
and other nebulous terms. All i've got are anecdotes, some rumours and other
unsubstantiated inquiries.....BUT....when you take the COMBINED data from
a bunch of "reporters" who KNOW something about how many aircraft LOOK
...some tech-heads who KNOW something about flight software systems...
some logistics and maintenance specialists who know the difference between
a flight control module and an ECM box....and finally some video experts who
know what a camera control unit and gyroscopic-stabilized camera system looks
like...THAT I SAY is pretty good evidence to me that something is UP!
I WELL KNOW about the absolutely horrendous waste of monies that
HAS occurred in past SAP/CAP (Special Access Program and
Compartmentalized Access Program) projects...BUT...I should also
mention that those entities have ALSO benefited from the use of
Microsoft Project (project timeline management software) and militarized
versions of ACCPAC (high level accounting software) so the tightened
funding and scheduling of programs since the year 2001 have been
SIGNIFICANTLY upgraded to such a point that the incidence of $600
hammers and $75,000 nuke-war survivable coffee makers HAVE BEEN
REDUCED to a miniscule amount compared to what it used by be like
in the 1970's to late 1990's!
I do understand your TECHNICAL reservations as to the usefulness
of the F-117 as a STEALTH RECON aircraft....BUT....we ARE talking
about the CIA/DIA/NRO here, where the CIA is ESPECIALLY noted
for scavenging "obsolete" junk for their own uses...those guys even
"buy-out" confiscated drug-running Cigarette Boats (i.e. fast deep
V-hull race boats) for offshore operations and they've bought and
networked Sony Playstation 3's to use as imaging supercomputers.
The CIA during the period 1992 to 2000 was nearly run into the ground
on a financial and personnel basis...so many people were leaving
that operations were put into jeopardy...SO...the people that were
left HAD TO MAKE DO...with whatever they could get their hands
on and that meant re-using, re-purposing and just thinking outside
of the box for anything they could get the hands onto, so as to
do their jobs AND to justify their large-scale public existence!
And if that meant scamming some old F-117's and the odd F-111b
off of the USAF and putting a bunch of WESCAM's in them...that's
what they'll do! (and probably DID DO!) ERGO what are four or more
F-117's on some base in some Middle East-a-'STAN with a bunch of
free-talking camera techs and a few twenty foot containers doing there?!
Why are a bunch of defence magazine "reporters" being given almost
unrestricted carte blanche access to a forward operating base?
What are a bunch of scruffy guys with pro-level Canon 1Dx Still
and HDTV-capable cameras and some AK-47's doing out there!
AND WHY are those craft STILL THERE after 6 months in a
basically OPEN and UNHIDDEN state? You Tell Me?
NOW OF COURSE all this could be part of some other
"White Budget" test system but I highly doubt it...ergo
STEALTH RECON and probable counter-insurgency
operations...so any of you who want to goto some
blindingly sunny hot, mountainous middle east-a-stan
country...NOW IS THE TIME! No Billion Bucks budget
like the USAF...it's Best Buy/Home Depot gadgets
and 35 year old airplanes and even a few HORSES....
but it WILL BE a heck of a lot of fun dealing with your
local warlords, drug lords and village elders along with
the odd charging wild goat or flash flood!
Now to answer the WHY of all this...it's actually pretty simple!
The USA has overlap in many areas...Intelligence Gathering,
Warfighting, Logistics and even SpecOps. Military personnel,
private contractors i.e. Blackwater (or Acedemi/Xe Services now!)
plus civilians all vie for a piece of the 600+ Billion Dollar DOD Budget
and each must JUSTIFY their existence, so we now have a hodge-podge
of either competing service branches OR services that normally were
antoganistic to each other COOPERATING on operations so as to keep
the money and jobs flowing in. Their ACTUAL mission is almost
an afterthought...I say follow the M-O-N-E-Y!
And in that sphere of competing money interests, you also get the global
strategy players...the POLITICOS who are STILL in the Cold War era
of which there are only two types --- HAWKS and SUPER HAWKS
-- NO DOVES in this group! These guys are Anti-Russia and Anti-China
and ANYTHING that even remotely looks like Chinese or Russian influence
just grates on their Ronald Reagan-era One-For-The-Gipper nerves...ergo...
so much HUMINT and other SpecOps to wrest control away from the
incoming hordes of COMMIES!
AND FINALLY...a bunch of Oil, Gas and Mining interests that are just
ITCHING to take advantage of plots to gain control of a potential
TWO TRILLION DOLLARS OR MORE of stuff in the ground
and who better to do that sort of "Gunboat" and "Chopper GunShip"
diplomacy than the already bought and paid for U.S. Military!
edit on 2013/3/7 by StargateSG7 because: xtra info...