SELLING ROPE
TO THE HANGMAN
by Charles Smith

"Gentlemen, Comrades, do not be concerned about all you hear about Glasnost and
Perestroika and democracy in the coming years. These are primarily for outward
consumption. There will be no significant internal changes in the Soviet Union,
other than for cosmetic purposes. Our purpose is to disarm
the Americans, and let them fall asleep."
Mikhail Gorbachev (1987)

Russia will soon destroy an entire American missile factory and witness former Soviet missiles flying over American skies. All with the single stroke of Bill Clinton's pen.

In May 1995, Boeing/McDonnell Douglas was awarded a $4.7 million contract to evaluate four Russian built Kh-31 ramjet cruise missiles under the foreign comparative test program. That contract included an option for the procurement and target presentation support of up to 20 targets. The titanium Kh-31 was built in 1988 by Zvezda-Strela for the former Soviet Union. In 1997, the U.S. Navy test-fired the four kerosene Kh-31 cruise missiles. In 1998, the Clinton administration gave Boeing/Douglas and Zvezda-Strela engineers additional funding to improve the Russian missile range to over 100 miles. The Clinton program to improve the Russian missile also requires the U.S. Navy to employ Russian engineers on board American ships to observe attempts to shoot it down.

The improved Kh-31, called the MA-31 target drone, is slated to become the Clinton pick for a long delayed Navy high-speed target program. The Clinton selection of the Russian missile is also expected to force the closure of an Allied Signal production plant in Indiana that builds a superiorproduct. Zvezda-Strela missiles grace the arsenals of the sworn enemies of the United States such as Serbia, Libya, Iraq and Iran. Zvezda-Strela has openly documented plans to export the improved weapon, using U.S. technology and profits from the Navy target drone contract.

According to the Navy, the modified Russian Kh-31s flew at a blistering 2.7 times the speed of sound while cruising at a mere 30 feet over the sea. Three of the MA-31 target drones were test-fired to verify performance. The MA-31 is faster than a rifle bullet, traveling over a mile every two seconds. The fourth MA-31 drone was flown in a live fire exercise in which the Navy was reportedly unable to shoot it down. The Navy has requested and obtained permission from the Clinton administration to purchase nine more of the hot cruise missiles from the Russian Zvezda-Strela missile design bureau.

"The success of this test flight proves that a Russian missile can be easily and successfully modified for use in the United States as a nonlethal target," said John Reilly, Boeing/Douglas MA-31 program manager. "Our team worked long and hard to prove to the world that Russian- American military-industrial cooperation is a reality in the post-Cold War era. Now we are hoping to build on this foundation," stated Reilly. Boeing's Reilly told Aviation Week and Space Technology the Russian missile has a range of 50 to 100 nautical miles.

Despite the Boeing claims of 50 to 100 nautical miles the real MA-31 performance is poor at best. According to the actual test results obtained from Boeing, the Russian MA-31 can fly only a mere 16 miles. In fact, one test conducted by Boeing recorded the MA-31 ran out of fuel and fell into the sea after traveling only 8 miles. The Russian missile falls far short of U.S. Navy requirements for a target missile with a minimum low altitude range of 50 miles. The short-range problem forced Boeing/Douglas to use a F-4 Phantom to carry the missile close enough for firings against Navy ships. Such a mission also places the F-4 and pilot at great risk. The risk of losing a pilot was apparent to Boeing engineers. Boeing and Zvezda converted the Navy launch plane into a radio-controlled drone (QF-4) to carry the Russian target missile. The QF-4 will be flown by remote control from a safe distance using either a chase plane or ground base. The QF-4 radio controlled launch adds to the cost of the project by adding ground crews and support vehicles. There is only one QF-4 attached to the project. The MA-31 can only be fired from a single site and only one at a time.

Russian missile engineers will need detailed specifications on American Navy radars in order to modify the MA-31 missile into a usable target drone. Boeing and Zvezda engineers will have to share data on Aegis radars and participate in live fire exercises. This will require Russian engineers to be on site and on board U.S. Navy Aegis ships. Boeing has now acquired funding to increase the poor range for the Russian missile using air launched cruise missile technology developed during the Cold War (ALCM). Furthermore, the Russian Zvezda-Strela design bureau demanded that testing of the extended-range MA-31 must be done inside Russia. Once modified, the extended range MA-31 is intended to simulate advanced cruise missile threats such as the Russian SS-N-22 cruise missile or the supersonic French ANS missile, the replacement for the widely exported French Exocet. Both the SS-N-22 and the ANS have a range of over 50 miles. Possible customers for the Kh-31 include India, Syria, Libya, Iran, Iraq and China. India, Iraq, China and Libya have all purchased Russian built MiG or Sukhoi fighter aircraft capable of carrying the Kh-31 without modification. Iran flies a large number of U.S. built F-4 Phantoms bought by the Shah -- the same plane picked by Boeing and Zvezda to carry the MA-31.

Iranian F-4s flew anti-ship missions during their "Road To Jerusalem" wargames in late 1997, firing Chinese made C.801 cruise missiles at simulated targets. Zvezda-Strela has already courted Iranian sales, showing the Kh-31 at a number of Moscow and Middle East air shows. The detail designs on how to modify a F-4 Phantom to carry the MA-31 are being offered to Iran by Zvezda thanks to Bill Clinton.

The Clinton decision to back a Russian missile has serious defense and security consequences. American contractors already have a missile that exceeds all Navy requirements called SEA SNAKE. Yet, the administration's decision to delay awarding contracts may send American missile engineers to the unemployment line and close down a facility that has worked with the Navy since World War II.

Sea Snake is a 1990s version of the U.S. Navy Talos/Vandal ramjet powered missile produced by Allied Signal at Mishawaka, Indiana. The Talos missile was deployed as the number one surface to air defense missile for the Navy during the Cold War. Some versions even carried nuclear warheads. Talos is a battle proven weapon. Talos had a long and successful career filling Navy air defense needs until it was retired from service in the late 1980s. During the Vietnam War a single Talos destroyed two MiGs at a distance of over 65 miles. Talos was also used to strike North Vietnamese radar sites on the ground over 75 miles inland. Allied Signal Director for New Business Development Mike Boies noted that the Talos story did not end with its retirement from active service.

"When Talos was retired we modified and successfully fired over 500 missiles as Navy target drones called Vandal," stated Boies. "The Navy has nearly used up all the Vandals so we propose to build the Sea Snake. Sea Snake was designed to take advantage of our years of experience with Talos and Vandal. Sea Snake combines the best features of Talos ramjet with the latest American technology such as GPS and a programmable guidance computer," stated Boies. "It can be fired from nearly every Navy test range. Sea Snake was designed to meet the specifications of the Navy's Aerial Target Launch Ship (ATLS)."

Allied Signal claims that Vandal was merely "successful" are modest indeed. The Vandal/Talos target drone was so fast and maneuverable that it frequently outperformed the Navy anti-missile defenses intended to replace it. The proposed Sea Snake is more than a son-of-Talos/Vandal; it is a super-Talos. It can fly at over 1,500 miles an hour, skimming over the sea at only nine feet above the surface. Sea Snake is not a short distance sprinter but a long distance, air-breathing monster. The missile can maintain that blazing low altitude speed for over 50 miles. The American built Sea Snake is as fast as a rifle bullet and has the range needed to safely test future Navy anti-missile systems, including lasers.

The advantages of the American missile are obvious. More than one Sea Snake can be fired from multiple sources at the same target, simulating real combat. Sea Snake can be fired from every U.S. Navy range such as Wallops Island in Virginia and Point Mugu California. Allied Signal designed it to be fired from a multi-million dollar launch ship built by the Navy precisely for that job. In time of war the super-Talos may yet find a place in the U.S. Navy arsenal again. A weaponized Sea Snake would have the speed and impact of a battleship shell. Sea Snake could serve as a bunker buster and heavy artillery weapon, carrying the destructive power of the USS New Jersey.

The Russian missile is clearly inferior and comes from an unreliable source. The Russian missile cannot be labeled "non lethal" no matter what Clinton claims to the contrary. Thousand-pound titanium bullets traveling at twice the speed of sound do not need much in the way of explosives. The MA-31 heritage is rooted in the Kh-31; a missile designed to kill.

The political and economic instability of the Clinton administration may force American engineers out of business. President Clinton threatens to select the Russian contractor for political reasons and not based on the needs of national defense. According to the Clinton administration, the political and economic instability of Russia may force Zvezda-Strela out of business unless they get American money.

MA-31 and Sea Snake details, images and photos -
http://www.softwar.net/kh31.html
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[COMMENT]: If this doesn't make you ILL - the fact that sending a copy of this to Congress or anyone else would be in VAIN - because all of them have been helping Clinton to do this. All you have to do is to look on the web pages of the Center for Responsive Politics at http://www.crp.org and you will find who CONTROLS congress and ALL of the "elected" officials. There is ALSO no recourse in the federal agencies - all under the CONTROL of the White House - and there is no recourse in the courts - AND there is no recourse in the ELECTION process....PROOF TUESDAY NOV 3.. So what can we do with this information??? Send it to your independent newspapers, and DARE them to investigate. That's all I can think of. If anyone can think of another alternative, I'd love to hear it. .....Dot Bibee


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