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With technology that had never been seen before, the U.S. Air Force went to amazing lengths to keep the stealth F-117 Nighthawk program under tight wraps during the 1980s. As the program matured into an operational force, deploying F-117s in small numbers became a real possibility. But maintaining the aircraft’s veil of secrecy while doing so was uncharted territory. Enter the “Klingon Cloaking Device,” a ruse that would help prove such deployments could work.
We used the A-7 in our deployments to Young Tiger in South Korea and then to Great Britain. It was under our cover story for the A-7 of advanced avionics testing that the Klingon Cloaking Device was developed. We needed some purpose for the A-7s to be so special, and have all the attention and security that seemed to accompany the 4450th wherever we went.
It was in this vein that TSgt’s. Phillip Barta and Charles Baggerly took a BLU-27 napalm bomb shell, reinforced it according to Tactical Air Command instructions for a baggage pod, and constructed the Klingon Cloaking Device.