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HALO British top-secret stealth fighter aircraft never revealed to the public.
HALO is classified by the British government as Above Black. HALO is a stealth black aircraft running on RamJets. HALO is the most advance stealth aircraft on Earth. HALO is sometimes termed Aurora. HALO is a large black triangle often mistaken for a UFO.
The airfield at Warton (Lancashire), was first operated as an air depot of the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II, as thousands of aircraft were processed on their way to active service in Britain, North Africa, the Mediterranean and mainland Europe.
Today the airfield is a major manufacturing and testing facility of BAE Systems (and its predecessor companies; British Aerospace, British Aircraft Corporation and English Electric). As such the airfield has been the testing ground for several front line aircraft including the Canberra, the Lightning, the Panavia Tornado and BAE Hawk.
The final new build Tornado left Warton in 1998, a GR.1 for Saudi Arabia. Following this the main assembly hall was re-fitted as the final assembly site of the Eurofighter Typhoon. BAE estimate that modern manufacturing techniques will allow the 30 week assembly time for a Tornado to be reduced to 16 weeks for the Typhoon.
BAE Warton has operated as the base for all British development aircraft (DA) and Instrumented Production Aircraft (IPA). Warton has been home to the initial Typhoon squadrons of the Royal Air Force, No. 17 Squadron and No. 29 Squadron. This was under the so called "Case White" programme where BAE assumes more responsibility for training and support of the new aircraft than previous RAF types which were introduced under a more "in house" system. BAE insist that this allows inevitable problems with any new aircraft to be quickly ironed out by BAE personnel on site. BAE plans to offer this on site service to any export customers.
BAE Warton is also the home to the Nimrod MRA4 Maritime Reconnaissance and Attack aircraft. Three development aircraft are currently(2006) going through trials and evaluation. Eventually the aircraft will be based at RAF Kinloss in Moray. Where the funding for HALO comes from is interesting. In the past, black projects have used money from projects which are already known to the public. A recent study by the Center for Defence Studies at King's College, London, has shown that the cost of the Eurofighter has leapt from £20 Billion to £42.5 Billion, with Britain contributing £15 Billion, the most expensive MoD program ever......
Whether HALO emerges from the Governments Strategic Defence Review is under question. Recently, it was even under doubt as to whether the Royal Navy's Aircraft Carriers will be replaced when they are retired.
The MoD continues to deny the existence of any flying stealth programs. It has been reported that the Media are "D-Noticed" to prevent the reporting of "Flying Triangle" sightings on grounds of National Security.
Reports, however, continue to come in. I'll update this page when I get more information. My thanks go to Andy Cryer of Global Net who supplied the Artistic Impression photo's and information on stealth development at BAe's Wharton Plant at Preston, England. I would like to raise one point which arises from the "photographs" is any one who has looked at the latest version of the JSF ( Joint Strike Fighter) will notice the striking similarity between the two aircraft. It makes me wonder if BAe have borrowed one to help in the development of a British stealth Aircraft. If you think about it, it makes sense as it would be much cheaper than to design one from scratch.
For the past few years there have been an unusually high number of "Triangular UFO" sightings in Britain, particularly in the North-West of England. Since most of these sightings occur near to military airfields, there is much speculation that a new stealth aircraft is under development. £100 million in 1992-1994 was spent on stealth Aircraft development including a specially built secure Research and Development facility at BAe's Warton plant (Lancashire, England) in 1995. BAe was urging the British government in 1997 to go ahead with a stealth Technologies Demonstrator (EAP 2) to fly in 2000 and possible production aircraft by 2013. However I do not know if the green light has been granted.A Hawk T. Mark 1 in mid-1995 was transferred from RAF service to BAe's Warton plant and is involved in undisclosed low observation related program. Including Tests in a mobile hanger on Warton's airfield.
This speculation increased when an unclassified budget document referred to such a project, despite denials by the MoD.
The sightings concentrated in the North-West indicate that HALO, as the project is believed to be called, is being tested there. A likely candidate is the British Aerospace plant at Warton, on the Ribble estuary. Warton was heavily upgraded in 1994, and now has some of the best IR and Radar testing facilities in the world. Added to this is the "Special Projects Facility", a closely protected building which even most BAe employees aren't allowed into.
The idea that HALO may be a BAe project gains strength when you remember that BAe is involved in the RAF's Future Offensive Air System. This is to develop a replacement for the Tornado GR 4 Strike aircraft in 2013. I think the program started in 1992 after the Tornado did so badly in the Gulf War. Although a stand-off missile is under consideration for FOAS, another idea is for a stealth aircraft.
In 1992 it was stated that the RAF would have a functioning Technology Demonstrator for a stealth aircraft "By the end of the 1990's". RAF Tornado's have been testing Radar Absorbent Materials since November 1990.
Interestingly, the original FOAS specification was based on that of the U.S. Navy's cancelled A-12 stealth Bomber. The A-12 looked like many of the possible HALO sightings: "A small Silver triangle"
There have been a large number of sightings, but I'll only mention the more unusual or interesting ones here. On 26 September 1994, there was a "major incident" at RAF Boscombe Down on the south coast. An aircraft made an emergency landing, and the wreckage was immediately taken into a hangar and covered with a tarpaulin. Apparently the SAS were called out to secure the area. The next day, a C-5 cargo plane flew thedebris out. Many reports claimed that the aircraft was an "Aurora", but an eyewitness reported that the aircraft was:
"A stealth Bomber, of a type similar to the B-2, but about the size of a Tornado."
Boscombe Down is the main test base for DERA, and the MoD claimed that what crashed was a Tornado testing a classified radar decoy. However, it seems that there is no classified decoy project, which casts doubt on this version of events.
Perhaps the most famous "HALO" incident was the "Manchester Airport UFO" of 5 January 1995. The pilots of a Boeing 737 coming in to land at Manchester were passed by what they described as a "wedge-shaped" aircraft. The following is an extract from the official CAA near miss report.
The B737 pilot reports that he was over the Pennines, about 8 or 9 NM SE of Manchester Airport, at 4000ft, while being radar vectored by Manchester radar on 119.4. He was flying at 180-210 kt on a N heading and squawking 5734 with Mode C selected. Although it was dark, visibility was over 10km with a fairly strong NW wind (340/30). While flying just above the tops of some rugged Cu both he and the first officer saw a lighted object fly down the RH side of the ac at a high speed from the opposite direction. He was able to track the object through the RH windscreen and side window, having it is sight for a total of about 2 seconds. There was no apparent sound or wake. The first officer instinctively 'ducked' as it went by.
The first officer reports that his attention, initially focused on the glare shield in front of him, was diverted to something in his peripheral vision. He looked up in time to see a dark object pass down the right hand side of the ac at high speed; it was wedge-shaped with what could have been a black stripe down the side. He estimated the object's size as somewhere between that of a light aircraft and a Jetstream, though he emphasized that this was pure speculation. It made no attempt to deviate from its course and no sound was heard or wake felt. He felt certain that what he saw was a solid object - not a bird, balloon or kite.
In early 1997, members of a Morcombe UFO group videoed a "Flying Triangle" over the pennines. However, all that can actually be seen on the film is a bright light moving across the sky. It has been suggested that this is a helicopter following power lines.
On February 13, 1997, a black triangle was seen flying in formation with two RAF Tornado's over Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire. The three aircraft seemed to be heading for a NATO exercise area in the North Sea. Could this have been HALO on its way to take part in a NATO exercise?
Interestingly, in the February 6, 1995 issue of Aviation Week and Space Technology, it was reported that: Defence and industry officials confirm that there are at least two U.S. and one British classified, fixed-wing aircraft prototyping programs underway.
Original source: http://robocat.users.btopenworld.com/halo.htm
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