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Mystery aircraft photographed over Texas

sferrin

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DSE said:
Flyaway said:
LowObservable said:
DSE - The point being made was that AW&ST did not assert that the SR-72 was some capability being developed and tested in the black. The report was that it was a study that had some real work behind it. Sferrin called it mythical, which is incorrect in any sense of the word.


As for the AFA: At these events the speaker usually talks to reporters on the sidelines after the talk and Q&A. That's usually recorded by the reporters and the speaker's PA person.
According to the info I posted yesterday in the SR-72 thread NASA has just funded LM with an amount a little shy of a million dollars to carry out study work into the propulsion technology they were suggesting for it.

My bad, been running on empty lately. I slipped a decimal point in memory. So that works out to under 4 man-years worth of effort.
That sounds like a lot but it's only 8 guys working for six months. Factor in overhead, test expenses (computer time, tunnel time, etc. and the costs for the people to run all that), management, etc. and that "almost a million" will evaporate like a snowflake on the sun. Not trying to be a downer (really) but I won't think we're serious until I see tens to hundreds of millions devoted to solving these problems. And hell, even that is probably lower than it needs to be.
 

bring_it_on

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bobbymike said:
bring_it_on said:
bobbymike said:
sferrin said:
flateric said:
Sferrin, with all my respect, it sounds like you want SR-72 articles never been published per se. Whats up, doc?
Not at all. Just get tired of being teased. (Rascal anybody?) And a bit frustrated by the US's continued Keystone Cops impersonation when it comes to high speed flight.
From the early 90's to today total Black Budget spending is like $700 Billion there has to be platforms, right? Yes I am an eternal optimist of the subject.
Any good article that traces the budget and spending? The number I've read on the net point to about 15 Billion for the USAF and about 50 Billion total for the Pentagon and the CIA combined.
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,23615.msg240085.html#msg240085
Thanks!
 

sublight is back

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bring_it_on said:
Any good article that traces the budget and spending? The number I've read on the net point to about 15 Billion for the USAF and about 50 Billion total for the Pentagon and the CIA combined.
These are the numbers for the Air Force classified budget in billions. Quellish has pointed out that some of this money goes to the NRO.

1987 11.1
1988 9.9
1989 8.2
1990 8.4
1991 8.3
1992 8.3
1993 7.2
1994 7.4
1995 6.5
1996 6.7
1997 5.4
1998 6.1
1999 6.6
2000 6.4
2001 7.0
2002 8.5
2003 12.4
2004 13.7
2005 15.6
2006 16.2
2007 17.2
2008 16.2
2009 16.6
2010 17.0
 

bobbymike

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So if we assume around $17 billion for 2011 - 2015 then about $325 Billion in total? Where are the hypersonic bombers I was promised in the 80's??? ;)
 

quellish

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bring_it_on said:
Any good article that traces the budget and spending? The number I've read on the net point to about 15 Billion for the USAF and about 50 Billion total for the Pentagon and the CIA combined.

No.
Articles in the popular press and public analysis always seem to be either forest or tree, not both. Unfortunately the nature of this subject requires both depth and breadth to analyze, understand, and explain - which does not lend itself to articles, reports, etc.


Are the numbers being quoted how much was requested, how much was allocated, or how much was actually spent? Was any of the money reprogrammed? For a given program element or account, how did it's activity influence other elements and accounts?


For example (hypothetically):
A certain PE code had been suspicious since it was identified as being part of a group of special access programs in 1993. It was suspected to be one of three different things (an organization, resources for an organization, or an operational program managed by a service but under the OSD). At one point this PE code was thought to be for a certain classified program - one that had since been ended and declassified (it was not that program, the PE continued). In 2008 a certain budget document was published with a greater level of detail than in previous years, and associated that PE code was an account, which was then referenced in the C-1 construction documents. With that information it was clear that in that and the previous fiscal year certain construction activities at certain locations were associated with that PE code, and they were paid through accounts X, Y, and Z. From there it was possible to find out who was paid for the work, where it occurred (though this was obscured somewhat), etc. It was also possible to associate those construction contracts with a limited number of locations, all of which could be observed in some way. Several of those locations were... very interesting. Just the fact that work was happening there associated with this PE code was notable. At the point when all of this information came together (2011-2012), one of the organizations/units suspected to be part of this PE code activity changed ownership from a service to... something other than a service. And right at that point this PE code which had been active at relatively consistent levels for more than 20 years disappeared. And the amount that had been projected for that PE code for the next year was requested elsewhere, as part of the accounts for the new owning organization. At this point many pieces accumulated over the years fell into place. It was possible to connect other accounts with the activity associated with this entity, and many of those accounts had years of history tracked. A much more complete picture formed from many small pieces of information that had previously not been associated with any activity.


You could easily write a short book about how the picture I am illustrating above came together over 20 years. An article would be difficult. And that is just *one* PE code (albeit a pretty interesting one).


Or you can just say "billions and billions of classified dollars" being spent on "black projects". And there is your article. That seems to be par for the course.
 

Flyaway

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marauder2048 said:
LowObservable said:
DSE - The point being made was that AW&ST did not assert that the SR-72 was some capability being developed and tested in the black. The report was that it was a study that had some real work behind it. Sferrin called it mythical, which is incorrect in any sense of the word.


As for the AFA: At these events the speaker usually talks to reporters on the sidelines after the talk and Q&A. That's usually recorded by the reporters and the speaker's PA person.
Sure, there was the standard sidebar; Seapower, SLD and Janes were there as well. No mention of RQ-180.
Seems clear then that Airforce Magazine must have had some kind of exclusive on the information then.
 

marauder2048

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Flyaway said:
marauder2048 said:
LowObservable said:
DSE - The point being made was that AW&ST did not assert that the SR-72 was some capability being developed and tested in the black. The report was that it was a study that had some real work behind it. Sferrin called it mythical, which is incorrect in any sense of the word.


As for the AFA: At these events the speaker usually talks to reporters on the sidelines after the talk and Q&A. That's usually recorded by the reporters and the speaker's PA person.
Sure, there was the standard sidebar; Seapower, SLD and Janes were there as well. No mention of RQ-180.
Seems clear then that Airforce Magazine must have had some kind of exclusive on the information then.
Certainly plausible. But I would have expected its disclosure at an open access event to be accompanied by, at the very least, the obligatory AF Fact Sheet quellish mentioned upthread.

The same Gen. Otto (i always think of the inflatable auto-pilot from "Airplane") is giving a classified briefing on "The Future of Air Force ISR" in about a month.
Perhaps we'll know soon after that.
 

bring_it_on

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bobbymike said:
So if we assume around $17 billion for 2011 - 2015 then about $325 Billion in total? Where are the hypersonic bombers I was promised in the 80's??? ;)
My first thought after looking at this was that they have to have fielded limited Prompt Global strike capability with access to that much money. ;)
 

bring_it_on

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quellish said:
bring_it_on said:
Any good article that traces the budget and spending? The number I've read on the net point to about 15 Billion for the USAF and about 50 Billion total for the Pentagon and the CIA combined.

No.
Articles in the popular press and public analysis always seem to be either forest or tree, not both. Unfortunately the nature of this subject requires both depth and breadth to analyze, understand, and explain - which does not lend itself to articles, reports, etc.


Are the numbers being quoted how much was requested, how much was allocated, or how much was actually spent? Was any of the money reprogrammed? For a given program element or account, how did it's activity influence other elements and accounts?


For example (hypothetically):
A certain PE code had been suspicious since it was identified as being part of a group of special access programs in 1993. It was suspected to be one of three different things (an organization, resources for an organization, or an operational program managed by a service but under the OSD). At one point this PE code was thought to be for a certain classified program - one that had since been ended and declassified (it was not that program, the PE continued). In 2008 a certain budget document was published with a greater level of detail than in previous years, and associated that PE code was an account, which was then referenced in the C-1 construction documents. With that information it was clear that in that and the previous fiscal year certain construction activities at certain locations were associated with that PE code, and they were paid through accounts X, Y, and Z. From there it was possible to find out who was paid for the work, where it occurred (though this was obscured somewhat), etc. It was also possible to associate those construction contracts with a limited number of locations, all of which could be observed in some way. Several of those locations were... very interesting. Just the fact that work was happening there associated with this PE code was notable. At the point when all of this information came together (2011-2012), one of the organizations/units suspected to be part of this PE code activity changed ownership from a service to... something other than a service. And right at that point this PE code which had been active at relatively consistent levels for more than 20 years disappeared. And the amount that had been projected for that PE code for the next year was requested elsewhere, as part of the accounts for the new owning organization. At this point many pieces accumulated over the years fell into place. It was possible to connect other accounts with the activity associated with this entity, and many of those accounts had years of history tracked. A much more complete picture formed from many small pieces of information that had previously not been associated with any activity.


You could easily write a short book about how the picture I am illustrating above came together over 20 years. An article would be difficult. And that is just *one* PE code (albeit a pretty interesting one).


Or you can just say "billions and billions of classified dollars" being spent on "black projects". And there is your article. That seems to be par for the course.
Thanks for the detailed explanation. Much appreciated.
 

Flyaway

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marauder2048 said:
Flyaway said:
marauder2048 said:
LowObservable said:
DSE - The point being made was that AW&ST did not assert that the SR-72 was some capability being developed and tested in the black. The report was that it was a study that had some real work behind it. Sferrin called it mythical, which is incorrect in any sense of the word.


As for the AFA: At these events the speaker usually talks to reporters on the sidelines after the talk and Q&A. That's usually recorded by the reporters and the speaker's PA person.
Sure, there was the standard sidebar; Seapower, SLD and Janes were there as well. No mention of RQ-180.
Seems clear then that Airforce Magazine must have had some kind of exclusive on the information then.
Certainly plausible. But I would have expected its disclosure at an open access event to be accompanied by, at the very least, the obligatory AF Fact Sheet quellish mentioned upthread.

The same Gen. Otto (i always think of the inflatable auto-pilot from "Airplane") is giving a classified briefing on "The Future of Air Force ISR" in about a month.
Perhaps we'll know soon after that.
That's interesting to hear. At the minimum maybe a clearer confirmation of its existence.

On another issue Popular Science have had an RQ-180 model created for X-plane flight simulator, obviously purely based on some educated guesswork.

http://www.popsci.com/fly-two-top-secret-drones
 

flanker

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flanker said:
Dumb question time and i guess it has been covered by i can't be bothered to go through 25 pages;

The Texas aircrafts that will supposedly be revealed before year end; are they directly related to LRS-B? Yes, no or we don't know? (considering the recent comments that LRS-B design might get revealed before year end)
Sooooo... I take it no one has a clue.
 

quellish

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flanker said:
Sooooo... I take it no one has a clue.

To answer the question there would have to be a definitive and widely accepted identification of the objects photographed. There isn't.


If you asked me, I would say yes, there is a direct connection to LRS-B - these aircraft are of the type LRS-B will be replacing!


If you ask someone else you will get a different answer.


Flame war ensues.
 

flanker

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Flame war ensues.
Dunno... the way i see it The God has spoken so... :p

It would be an interesting coinsedence if two new non-related frames were revealed before year end, especially with these Texas frames looking awfully a lot like what NGB might look like... So i am also inclined to think there is a definite relation.
 

flateric

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flanker said:
Sooooo... I take it no one has a clue.
I do. Don't hold your breath, pal)
 

Flyaway

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I wonder if they'll do a B-2 with the program & roll it out of hanger one day. If someone wanted to do some synchrony perhaps on the same date in November. ;D
 

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The flight's composition of a few B-2's and one 'unknown' flying wing suggests to me that the aircraft is a support aircraft, such as an electronic support aircraft similar to an EF-111. The last EF-111 flew in 1998 and the only official tactical USAF ELINT aircraft is the EC-130 Compass Call (while the Navy has the EF-18 Growler). No dedicated designed ELINT aircraft is operational in either branch of service. With the B-2 being stealth deficiet in certain radar wave lengths its is very possible that the USAF wanted an aircraft that could support the B-2's, especially in areas where enemy radar coverage is thoroughly overlapping. Having a stealth ELINT aircraft, that could 'run-with-the-pack' evading detection and then engage the SAM/AAA sites with active electronic suppression. The Su-35/37's S-400 radar system can detect down to 0.02m sq, making the B-2 vulnerable. A stealthy EWS aircraft would be needed to carry the B-2 over until the LRS-B aircraft comes along.
 

500 Fan

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I'm not sure if this video has ever cropped up on any other topic on this forum but the comments at 04:00 are interesting and appear to indicate that there are further Northrop Grumman Flying Wing designs flying that aren't yet in the public domain. I hope this tiny piece of information is of interest.


500 Fan.

PS, I didn't know where else to post this video so hopefully it might have a tiny bit of relevance to this topic.
 

rooster

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Well, I doubt that all of the secret demonstrators that have ever flown are the Have Blue, Tacit Blue, and Bird of Prey. Remember, the USAF/DoD would have kept the B-2 itself - a very large aircraft - a completely black program - totally secret- probably until after its first flight had there not been a law requiring (a financial law) Northrop to reveal it's existence to the media in the late 70s or early 80s. Obviously they have been doing something in the desert for all of these years more than flying Migs and Sukhois out of all those hangars.

Tom Clancy once did an interview and he spoke about 3 programs that his sources told him about that were operational aircraft. Well, you can't find that interview anyplace at all online anymore. Its gone.

So anyway, boring Friday night, might as well finish the Clancy story. He spoke about a stealthy drone flying wing, a subsonic manned aircraft (I think electronic attack) and a supersonic manned f117 replacement. Would love to find the clip, but it just doesn't exist anymore.

Then you think about the stealth helicopters used in Neptune Spear. Obviously our military hasnt been sitting still and stagnant all these years. And thank goodness too. I think it would be crazy for stealth to have been "invented" 40 years ago and all we have is 20 bombers,180 raptors, and finally just getting around to fielding the jsf operationally.

Anyway I think whatever was spotted in Texas and Kansas is cool to speculate about.
 
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Flyaway

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Well, I doubt that all of the secret demonstrators that have ever flown are the Have Blue, Tacit Blue, and Bird of Prey. Remember, the USAF/DoD would have kept the B-2 itself - a very large aircraft - a completely black program - totally secret- probably until after its first flight had there not been a law requiring (a financial law) Northrop to reveal it's existence to the media in the late 70s or early 80s. Obviously they have been doing something in the desert for all of these years more than flying Migs and Sukhois out of all those hangars.

Tom Clancy once did an interview and he spoke about 3 programs that his sources told him about that were operational aircraft. Well, you can't find that interview anyplace at all online anymore. Its gone.

So anyway, boring Friday night, might as well finish the Clancy story. He spoke about a stealthy drone flying wing, a subsonic manned aircraft (I think electronic attack) and a supersonic manned f117 replacement. Would love to find the clip, but it just doesn't exist anymore.

Then you think about the stealth helicopters used in Neptune Spear. Obviously our military hasnt been sitting still and stagnant all these years. And thank goodness too. I think it would be crazy for stealth to have been "invented" 40 years ago and all we have is 20 bombers,180 raptors, and finally just getting around to fielding the jsf operationally.

Anyway I think whatever was spotted in Texas and Kansas is cool to speculate about.
As a side point I didn’t know Tom Clancy was that well connected that he’d know about SAPs?
 

DWG

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[QUOTE="Flyaway, post: 359370]
As a side point I didn’t know Tom Clancy was that well connected that he’d know about SAPs?
[/QUOTE]

It's fairly easy to connect him with people who _might_ know about SAPs. His writing partner on Red Storm Rising was Larry Bond, who was also author of the Harpoon wargaming rules (still going strong, wish they'd release 4th Edition). There are several people in the Harpoon community who were senior naval analysts in their day jobs. Of course whether they would admit to knowing about SAPs is another question entirely.
 

Jeb

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Clancy's big success was getting hints and tidbits of information in passing or public domain and imaginatively drawing plausible fictional connections as part of his writing. Like the F-19 in Red Storm Rising...it was a total miss in terms of details (supersonic, air-to-air, general shape description) but the concept and how it could be used against AEW assets was solid.
 

RavenOne

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Clancy's big success was getting hints and tidbits of information in passing or public domain and imaginatively drawing plausible fictional connections as part of his writing. Like the F-19 in Red Storm Rising...it was a total miss in terms of details (supersonic, air-to-air, general shape description) but the concept and how it could be used against AEW assets was solid.
Another good author is Dale Brown...as if you look over his 2 decades of writing, some of the systems did not exist let alone were forecasted at the time..then several else’s later they came into service. Ok maybe under different designations ...but even some of the made up stuff was based solid aerospace projects in USA.

Sky Masters Inc and their DC-10 launching NIRSATS rocket...probably based on Orbital Sciences LOckheed-L-1011 Stargazer (modified by my local Marshall’s Aerospace to launch Pegasus rocket in 92/93).

In Silver Tower, written in 80s he mentions the Soviet Scimitar Space Fighter which is based on their mini unmanned shuttle that was depicted by the DOD as a satellite killer,

There’s been enough modified Buff projects in the early days ...one rot so classified so the Old Dog is not so far fetched.

Cheers
 

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sferrin

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Clancy's big success was getting hints and tidbits of information in passing or public domain and imaginatively drawing plausible fictional connections as part of his writing. Like the F-19 in Red Storm Rising...it was a total miss in terms of details (supersonic, air-to-air, general shape description) but the concept and how it could be used against AEW assets was solid.
You sure it was supersonic? As I recall, it could barely fly at all and was referred to by its pilots as, "the wobbly goblin".
 

Jeb

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Clancy's big success was getting hints and tidbits of information in passing or public domain and imaginatively drawing plausible fictional connections as part of his writing. Like the F-19 in Red Storm Rising...it was a total miss in terms of details (supersonic, air-to-air, general shape description) but the concept and how it could be used against AEW assets was solid.
You sure it was supersonic? As I recall, it could barely fly at all and was referred to by its pilots as, "the wobbly goblin".
I'm about 95% sure that his F-19 had burners and was at least touching the Mach when the pilot started the climb to kill the Mainstay with Sidewinders. I also don't recall the "wobbly goblin" named being used in RSR...they called it the Frisbee.
 

Jeb

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Clancy's big success was getting hints and tidbits of information in passing or public domain and imaginatively drawing plausible fictional connections as part of his writing. Like the F-19 in Red Storm Rising...it was a total miss in terms of details (supersonic, air-to-air, general shape description) but the concept and how it could be used against AEW assets was solid.
Another good author is Dale Brown...as if you look over his 2 decades of writing, some of the systems did not exist let alone were forecasted at the time..then several else’s later they came into service. Ok maybe under different designations ...but even some of the made up stuff was based solid aerospace projects in USA.
I remember Day Of The Cheetah in particular being a rather amazing look at what combat aviation could be like if stealth had never been discovered. I've never been quite successful at picturing just how ANTARES was supposed to look (I think at some point Brown & his editors forgot how many engines it was supposed to have) but the Cheetah was awesome...the F-15 STMD setup in Strike Eagle colors. Also, F-16XLs and F-20s in active service!
 

coanda

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Yes, I went through Dale Browns books pretty quick once I discovered them. They're just not going for that 4 engined V-tail B52 though....

I thought at the time that he had to have someone pointing him in the right direction with some of the technologies.
 
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