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Battle of the X-planes - Excellent article from Popular mechanics

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posted on May, 15 2003 @ 10:57 AM
Illustration by Northrop Grumman

A secret air war is being waged in clear California skies and in dreary Pentagon briefing rooms. It is the battle of the X-planes--some so secret they have never been photographed. The outcome of this quiet conflict will determine where and how the nation fights its future wars: in air or space, with humans or silicon chips in the cockpit.

All wars simmer before they erupt. The battle of the X-planes began in the early 1990s with advances in microelectronics, completion of the Global Positioning System (GPS) and the success of cruise missiles during Operation Desert Storm. Together, those developments convinced even the most conservative defense planners that it was time to change the technology of aerial combat. With this objective in mind, the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) began exploring new ways to fight from space. At the same time, AFRL and DARPA also embarked upon a program to alter close combat. The name of that program is Future Aircraft Technology Enhancements (FATE).


posted on May, 15 2003 @ 12:34 PM
I believe X-planes are impractical and is most likely impossible to develope because it violates a mutual agreement between nations with outerspace capabilities to create a "peaceful enviorment for the research of outer space". Put in simpler words is that outerspace should not be used as a mean to lauch missiles or wage wars or such. If that mutual agreement is broken. It won't be a long time before China, Russia and the U.S. launch nuclear-armed satelites (there is a movie on this i remember, Space Cowboys or something like it). That i would be truely the end of the world. It is not easy to shoot a satelite down and shooting one down might mean HUGE human casulties (the Soviets had the biggest nukes and they can be easily fit into a satelite. One can wipe out the whole east cost). Anyway, the experimentation with war waged from space is dangerous. Even it is legal, there is still a lot of technical difficulties and the technology is just not there yet.

posted on May, 15 2003 @ 12:50 PM
AerokingSatellites are actually quite easy to shoot down, due to treaties though, ASAT technology has stalled.
However the US had an active weapon launched from an F-15 at 100 000 ft. This posessed an infra-red seeker which homed in on the target satellite for a kinetci kill.
The Soviet/Russian capability was even more extensive. I think there maybe a thread or two here on the topic.

Besides ICBM's only take 30 minutes to hit any target in the world, why bother with the expense of putting satellites into space.

posted on May, 15 2003 @ 12:56 PM
Ah, maybe I am wrong on shooting down satellites. I don't know much in this area. Maybe I should find some stuff on it to read...

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