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November 10, 1997

HEADLINE NEWS

Defense Policy Bill Hostage to Repair Flap

HEADLINE NEWS

Navy Study Tackles 21st Century Threats

HEADLINE NEWS

Moldovan MiG-29s To Fly for USAF

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HEADLINE NEWS

Defense Policy Bill Hostage to Repair Flap

WASHINGTON A narrow but divisive jobs issue threatens to sidetrack the main defense policy bill that Congress adopts each year to guide the Pentagon. The dispute concerns the handling of weapons repair and maintenance, an otherwise routine matter that has become politically charged.

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HEADLINE NEWS

Navy Study Tackles 21st Century Threats

Unmanned reconnaissance and strike aircraft would be launched from the helicopter decks of small warships

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HEADLINE NEWS

Moldovan MiG-29s To Fly for USAF

WASHINGTON The U.S. Air Force is expecting a major operational windfall from its purchase of 21 MiG-29s from Moldova. If service officials can juggle the budget, they plan to reform the Air Force’s once top-secret “Red Eagles” unit that flew Soviet-made fighters and strike aircraft from the Groom Lake and Tonopah airfields on the restricted Nevada test ranges, senior service officials say.

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HEADLINE NEWS

S-37 Testbed Evaluates New Fighter Concepts

MOSCOW The Sukhoi Design Bureau is flight testing the S-37 experimental forward-swept-wing aircraft at the Zhukovsky flight research center in hopes of generating Russian air force interest in the design for its “fifth-generation” fighter requirement.

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HEADLINE NEWS

X-33 Design Gets Go-ahead

LOS ANGELES Lockheed Martin passed the critical design review for NASA’s X-33 research rocket plane on Oct. 31, moving one step closer to first flight in July 1999. The X-33 is to test the technologies that would be used in a single-stage-toorbit launcher that Lockheed Martin calls “VentureStar,” and some of the X-33 engineers have switched to refining that design.

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HEADLINE NEWS

Ariane Orbit Shortfall, Booster Loss Assessed

KOUROU, FRENCH GUIANA, and PARIS European Space Agency and CNES French space agency technicians are investigating why an on-board computer shut down the Ariane 5’s cryogenic engine earlier than planned during the booster’s second qualification launch.

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HEADLINE NEWS

Navy Weighs Radical Weaponry, Aircraft

WASHINGTON Miniaturized weapons and aircraft that fly in surface effect are two ideas evaluated by the Navy’s Strategic Studies Group 16. Although the concepts were not briefed to the chief of naval operations, they were included in two attachments to the study (see p. 32).

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HEADLINE NEWS

747 Production Resumes, But Delays Mount

Some fear that assignment of engineers to production line support could slow developmental programs

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HEADLINE NEWS

Pentagon OKs Two EELVs

WASHINGTON Citing phenomenal growth in commercial demand for launches, Pentagon officials have approved a plan to develop two new families of U.S. launchers instead of one. The decision means that Boeing and Lockheed Martin, the two finalists that have been competing for the U.S. Air Force’s Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) contract, will likely both win awards to develop their new families of launchers.

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HEADLINE NEWS

Aerospike Engine Makes First Flight

LOS ANGELES NASA’s Lockheed SR-71 has made the first of a series of flights in support of the X-33 program, carrying a subscale linear aerospike rocket engine piggyback to test it under different flight conditions. The Oct. 31 flight from Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards AFB, Calif., was an envelope clearance and systems test flight and did not operate the Boeing Rocketdyne Div. engine, though the propellant tanks were pressurized with inert gas.

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