Procurement: December 14, 1999

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Still trying to cover a $500 million hole in the F-22 development budget, the US Air Force is considering plans to delay buying the C-130J transport by one (or even several) years. The Air Force eventually wants to replace its entire C-130 inventory with the efficient new J-series, but says it can afford to wait a few years for this.--Stephen V Cole

After the Pentagon shut down the Dark Star recon drone program, Boeing completely abandoned it, not even keeping a core development group to preserve the technology. The program began 15 years ago as a huge unmanned aircraft (the size and cost of a B-2) to penetrate the most heavily defended airspace. As the Cold War ended, the program was redesigned several times, resulting finally in the small Dark Star airframes which carried only one sensor (either a camera or a synthetic aperture radar). The Air Force refused to use the three finished aircraft over Kosovo, insisting that they were good for nothing but museum displays.--Stephen V Cole

 


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