A return to the Air Force for the sleek Blackbird?

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posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 06:17 PM
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Saw this on a facebook post and finally found the source. I'm surprised this isn't getting more attention than it has. The head of the U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) General C. Robert Kehler, told a group of defense writers in Washington that the U.S. Military has a huge gap that needed to be filled with an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft.

Kehler released a short statement:

“I personally believe that the nation will need an air ISR capability that is suited for hostile environments that we are likely to encounter in future conflicts,” Kehler said. Kehler's concern is about what is called in defense circles “anti-access/area denial,” or A2/AD. Broadly speaking, A2/AD refers to policies that limit the ability of the United States and its allies to move freely in the world, both politically and militarily.


The author goes on to say that for the last two decades the U.S. has been using satellites and drones to do it's ISR dirty work. To me this is sort of a blow to Aurora believers (im not a believer in aurora). However, satellites are predictable, and can't stay on a target for extended periods of time, like a UAV can. Some UAV's have been built specifically with A2/AD in mind (RQ-170). Others choose to stay high and stay on station for long periods of time, hoping they aren't spotted.

We also have the aging U-2. Created by Skunk Works, the U-2 can fly above 70,000 feet and stay aloft for over half a day. However, with no stealth to speak of, and a low cruising speed, they are easily spotted and could be shot down. As we all know, the SR-71 can fly around Mach 3.2, and fly higher than the U-2. It's cobra like appearance gives it a naturally low RCS, along with the special RAM paint makes it one of the first stealth planes built. It was also never shot down by enemy fire power.

Towards the end of the article gives us some hints and somewhat confirmations. First, There's these paragraphs:


There's widespread agreement among military analysts that Kehler is right about StratCom's need. China twice has successfully destroyed its own satellites with ground-based missiles, indicating that ours could be at risk, too.

“We're going to need more ISR, not less,” said Steven Bucci, director of the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation, a think tank. “Strategically, I think it's a great idea. We've gone a long while without any kind of replacement for the SR-71.”

“I think what Gen. Kehler was most concerned about was the capabilities of other nations to disrupt our satellites,” she said. “We may need to develop some new kind of platform.”


For the Aurora believers, the second and third paragraphs are the most damning. "We've come along way without a replacement" speaks volumes about what the United States has been using for its ISR in the last two decades. Mind you these are not normal reporters. These are defense writers, the very people that go behind the scenes of top secret black projects in order to report on them when they are ever declassified. One defense writer in the group has an active TS clearance.

The last statement is the most exciting as well though. A new platform would finally give the Aurora believers something in the sky that the US can admit to. General Kehler isn't clear and dry that the replacement needs to be the SR-71 from the past though:


Kehler hasn't specified exactly what he's looking for. “What those ISR capabilities look like ... and how much of it we will need remains to be seen,” he said in his statement.

Bucci said he presumes that designers would start with something like the SR-71 and modernize it. The new plane would certainly employ stealth technology, like the B-2 bomber.

His best guess is that a new spy plane would cost at least twice as much as an F-22, the Air Force's current fighter. Recent estimates on that aircraft have ranged from $350 million to more than $400 million apiece, when development costs are included.


Well whatever happens with this, I'll be watching it closely. A new aircraft will never make it though washington right now in this political nightmare. But perhaps they could dig up a few SR-71's and pull them from some museums and use them as an interim stop-gap until a new ISR platform is fielded (Can we say LRS-B anyone???).

Or maybe they will just release the info on the fast-moving, record breaking, recon aircraft thats been spotted around the world already!

Source




posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 06:24 PM
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Originally posted by boomer135


Or maybe they will just release the info on the fast-moving, record breaking, recon aircraft thats been spotted around the world already!





Thats the thing. What the hell are they if they are not recon craft


I dont beleive the more wild reports. But still its hard to belief the AF doesnt have SOMETHING sitting in a hanger somewere
And I find it very very hard to beleif tecnology hasnt moved on from the blackbird and even the Stealth bombers



posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 06:28 PM
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Hey Boomer, you have background in all this. Your piece mentions satellites and their limits for lack of time on station and timing as predictable as the math used to figure orbits can make it. Why don't they put spy satellites into Geo-Sync orbits?

I understand the altitude/distances are radical in difference but it's space, right? No air...no matter, so no worries, isn't it? Stronger cameras should see the same thing, in theory...shouldn't they? Then you have full coverage of the world, 24/7 and 'un-moving' with a couple dozen?



posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 06:50 PM
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reply to post by boomer135
 


This actually ties I nicely with my thread about UAVs and the A2/AD threat. It's about time someone noticed we were a bit short in the ISR department.



posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 07:00 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


Because once it's fixed, I have two options to deal with it. Arrange an "accident" that renders it nonfunctional, or even easier, while its looking over here, I go over there out of camera range and build a new R&D facility, leaving just enough activity at the old one that it takes a little while to notice.



posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 07:04 PM
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Wrabbit2000
Hey Boomer, you have background in all this. Your piece mentions satellites and their limits for lack of time on station and timing as predictable as the math used to figure orbits can make it. Why don't they put spy satellites into Geo-Sync orbits?

I understand the altitude/distances are radical in difference but it's space, right? No air...no matter, so no worries, isn't it? Stronger cameras should see the same thing, in theory...shouldn't they? Then you have full coverage of the world, 24/7 and 'un-moving' with a couple dozen?


I don't know too too much about satellites but from what I gathered, if you put a satellite in geo sync orbit, that satellite will hit the same exact place on the ground at the same exact time everyday. So I guess you could put a satellite (or many dozens) in geo sync orbit to have it hit iran's nuclear labs everyday or downtown moscow or something. But your only hitting that one spot one time a day. Not very good if you need 24/7 coverage of something.



posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 07:11 PM
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Originally posted by Wrabbit2000
Why don't they put spy satellites into Geo-Sync orbits?


A KH-11 spy satellite orbits at between 250km-1,000km. A geosynchronous orbit is about 42,000km. So the optics in a geosynchronous spy satellite would have to be a lot lot lot better, as it is about 42 times further away.



posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 07:17 PM
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I think the Blackbird is a beautiful airplane, and no doubt it could fly faster than the missiles that tried to shoot it down. I've heard some very funny stories about some of the cowboys who flew the thing. But one item astonished me. The pictures they took were on film and had to be taken back to base and developed! It wasn't a real-time digital platform at all; it was strictly analog!

Just blew me away when I first heard it.



posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 07:25 PM
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I wonder if that secret Air Force robot shuttle could be used for recon? Maybe they're testing out it's capabilities, evaluating if they can keep it on target over an area and so forth?

I think what we are about to see is the disclosure of some kind of recon plane that's been in service but highly secretive. It'll be "new to the public" but old news to the people that worked on it.

"Wow look at our new shiny spy plane!" .... Three years later it's taken out of service.



posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 07:26 PM
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I fell in love with the SR 71 when I saw the movie D.A.R.Y.L.. So it is nice to hear these rumours that the Blackbird will get re-instated (with a few upgrades in it I am sure as well)


edit on 14-8-2013 by Skywatcher2011 because: added note



posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 07:48 PM
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reply to post by boomer135
 



Geosynchronous orbit keeps the satellite at the same spot 24/7, but its so high that imaging becomes a problem.



posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 07:51 PM
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reply to post by schuyler
 


One of the updated systems on the U-2 allows for real time image transmission. You may be able to apply the same system to a Blackbird as well.



posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 07:53 PM
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The satellites we do have can be moved. They have a certain amount of fuel in them that allows this. But as you might imagine, moving them takes the highest priority and is not done lightly. You have to have a very good case and move through the chain of command. It basically takes an Act of God to do it,

but it can be done.



posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 08:06 PM
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reply to post by boomer135
 


In geosynchronous orbit the satellite will be over the same place all the time, it's orbit it's roughly the same as its takes for the earth to do one rotation so it will always appear to be in the same region of the sky, but it will move slightly north or south.

A geostationary orbit will always be in the exact same spot everytime you look at it but can only be over the equator. As zaphod mentioned though they could just build another R&D facility in another place while the satalite is looking at that one.



posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 08:06 PM
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Originally posted by boomer135

Or maybe they will just release the info on the fast-moving, record breaking, recon aircraft thats been spotted around the world already!




The UK Government has censored documents given to the UK public under declassification rules to hide two airbreathing platforms seen over the UK skies, and photographed (hence the photos being in the document) that could be confused with a wedged shaped high speed 'UFO'. EDIT# The censoring was done to spare the US blushes, not UK airframes.

Two.

The UK Gov. knows full well the NSA has a high speed air breathing recon capability. That articles bull#.



edit on 14-8-2013 by Astr0 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 08:06 PM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
reply to post by schuyler
 


One of the updated systems on the U-2 allows for real time image transmission. You may be able to apply the same system to a Blackbird as well.


Wouldnt its stealth abilitys though just be well out of date? I mean this is 1964 tec


Ok flying it over Afghanistan wont have a problem but I bet you could put a camera on a spitfire and fly it over there.

But Syria or Iran? I mean dont they have up to date Radar and missle defence systems?

And China and Russia would be able to track the dam things and even if they cant shoot it down they will be mighty pissed at the USA violating its airspace!
edit on 14-8-2013 by crazyewok because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 08:09 PM
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reply to post by Astr0
 


Maybe not. Just because its American doesnt mean its USAF or even more unlikley Army.

If I rember right the CIA operated some blackbirds right? These craft could be the CIA's Blackbird replacements.Plus there role may not even be foreign recon but domestic recon. Which fits the profile of them hovering over citys.

Either that or the UK has super advanced military tec beyond the USA
But Im thinking its my first theory.
edit on 14-8-2013 by crazyewok because: (no reason given)
edit on 14-8-2013 by crazyewok because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 08:17 PM
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Originally posted by crazyewok
reply to post by Astr0
 


Maybe not. Just because its American doesnt mean its USAF or even more unlikley Army.

If I rember right the CIA operated some blackbirds right? These craft could be the CIA's Blackbird replacements.Plus there role may not even be foreign recon but domestic recon. Which fits the profile of them hovering over citys.

Either that or the UK has super advanced military tec beyond the USA
But Im thinking its my first theory.
edit on 14-8-2013 by crazyewok because: (no reason given)
edit on 14-8-2013 by crazyewok because: (no reason given)


The UK doesn't have it, just is the refueller stop over location (both air and ground stop off). Two of these separate platforms have been photographed and two outta two are still classified TS by the UK government on behalf of the Americans.

Who ever flies them, has kept them hidden. For reasons only they know. My guess is high speed high mach 4-5 regime airframes are still a touchy subject.



posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 08:19 PM
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reply to post by crazyewok
 


The CIA operated A-12's which were retired in 1968 because president Lyndon Johnson realized that there were two agencies (air force and CIA) that were operating two fleets of high performance aircraft doing pretty much the same mission so he retired the A-12's.



posted on Aug, 14 2013 @ 08:20 PM
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reply to post by Stealthbomber
 


Well someone buzzing around the UK with highspeed stealth aircraft which are not B-2's





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