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ST. LOUIS, Aug. 19, 1996 McDonnell Douglas has successfully completed the first launch and powered flight of an MA-31 aerial target at the Naval Air Warfare Center's missile test range in Pt. Mugu, Calif.
The aerial target was launched from a U.S. Navy QF-4 on Aug. 13 at 1:15 PDT. The MA-31 descended to 1,000 feet above the sea, flew straight and level at speeds approaching Mach 2.4 and performed a series of 10g lateral maneuvers. The MA-31 has sea-skimming range of 16 plus nautical miles.
"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, McDonnell 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."
The MA-31 is a Russian Air Force X-31A supersonic anti-radar and anti-ship missile that has been converted into an aerial target by a team from McDonnell Douglas, the U.S. Navy and the Russian missile producer Zvezda-Strela which is located near Moscow.
spokesman Bob Alarotti confirmed for WorldNetDaily that the Russian Krypton missiles supplied to the U.S. Navy did not include the electronics and "seeker" head.
"The Russians supply the basic MA-31 Krypton vehicle only," stated Alarotti. "No Russian electronics. No Russian radar seeker."
Defense contractor McDonnell Douglas wrote a 1995 document, titled "MA-31 FOREIGN TECHNOLOGY COMPARISON TEST (FCT) PROGRAM REVIEW HIGHLIGHTS," showing that the Russian missile needed to be improved.
"The MA-31 target will need (pre-planned product improvements) P3I in order to meet the range and ground/surface launch requirements for the Supersonic Sea-Skimming Target program. The range of the MA-31 target in its FCT configuration is approximately 15 nm (nautical miles) at low altitude," states the review document.
According to the 1995 McDonnell Douglas review, one "extended-range option" given to the Russian contractor "adds an auxiliary fuel tank, a reduced-drag nose cone, changes the fuel to JP-10 (which has a higher specific energy content than the Russian fuel), and modifies the ramjet nozzle. The extended-range modification is intended to increase range to approximately 42 nm (nautical miles) at 10m (meter) altitude."
d. MA-31. The MA-31 is a non-recoverable supersonic missile capable of speeds
up to Mach 3.5 at high altitudes and Mach 2.4 at low (sea skimming) altitudes. The MA-31 is derived from the Russian X-31 anti-radiation air-to-surface missile and modified for target use. The MA-31 uses a solid rocket booster to accelerate the target to ramjet speeds, at which point the liquid fueled ramjet is used for sustained flight. The target is launched from a QF-4 and is currently planned to be integrated onto the F-16
in the near future. The following is a list of TA/AS and functional descriptions of the most commonly used in the M-31.
TARGET AUXILIARY/AUGMENTATION SYSTEMS FUNCTIONAL DESCRIPTION
Radar Tracking Beacon
A radar transponder used to enhance radar tracking.
Miss Distance Sensor Set
A non-cooperative scoring device capable of providing
automatic, near-time data reduction; secure telemetry
transmission; and multiple scoring capability.
R-2540 (V) DRW
Command Destruct Receiver
A solid state FM VHF receiver/decoder designed to respond
to coded audio IRIG tones to initiate flight termination in
order to meet missile range safety requirements on programs
with stringent environmental and reliability requirements.