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By A. J. Jackson

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A fifth U-2R (another SYERS equipped aircraft) arrived on 11 October, having been despatched from Osan AFB, South Korea. From mid September, Iraq began launching MiG-25s in response to the U-2 border flights and henceforth they were provided with an F-15 MiG-Cap. The high level of systems integration derived from SYERS and ASARS ensured that within 10 minutes of a target being imaged by either system, its co-ordinate were available to the Theatre Air Control Centre. Indeed the system worked so well that when coalition attacks began, the nine U-2s (which soon became twelve) were virtually high altitude Forward Air Control (FAC) platforms detecting the positions of SA-2, SA-3 and AAA sites as well as 'Scud' missiles.

I ~-----IW------i r the Convair Division of General Dynamics to field to them non-funded, non-contracted design submissions for a reconnaissance gathering vehicle, which adhered to the aforementioned performance criteria. Both companies accepted the challenge and were assured that funding would be forthcoming at the appropriate time. For the next twelve months, the Agency received designs that were both developed and refined, all at no expense! It was however, readily apparent to Bissell that the cost of developing such an advanced aircraft would be both high-risk and extremely expensive; government funding would be a prerequisite and to obtain this, various highranking government officials would have to be cleared into the programme and given concis, authoritative presentations on advances as they occurred.

Precision Location Strike System operation required three TR-ls to operate as a team. Loitering at high altitude with Elint sensors which were data-linked to a ground station they enabled threat emitters to be -i r m c '" Below The U-2R/S together with the RC-135 (depicted is an RC-135U, Combat Sent aircraft, used for technical ELiNT collection, complete with bogus serial numbers applied to the nose and tail) are without doubt the most sophisticated air breathing intelligence gathering platforms in the western world.

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Blackburn Aircraft since 1909 by A. J. Jackson

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