Re: Lockheed Senior Peg page

Help keep this
web site online

[ Post a Reply ] [ Discussion Forum Index ] [ FAQ ]

Message posted by MIKEY (Member since 05/04/2020) on November 04, 2023 at 14:52:18 PST:

I have a subscription to AWST and found the page in their archive. As far as I see saving a page is not possible as a pdf,text only or complete web page. I am not computer savy but if you want the pics I don't know how to include in the text file. Saving as web page complete does not allow the user to scroll around the web page.
New data on classified U.S. Air Force programs track the service’s
changing emphasis from manned aircraft to unmanned stealth vehicles to
algorithms that penetrate enemy defenses with even less notice but with
equal, and perhaps even more, destructive power.

There are many classified programs, stretching back to the Cold War,
that remain blank spots to the white world. But two projects,
still-classified and closely held by Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, can
now be associated with a picture and a mission. They also can lay down
addition markers in the Air Force’s transition to the clandestine
digital package that can prowl the information corridors and data
storage site of an enemy communications network.

THE FIRST, SENIOR PROM, is an F-l 17like design that has been identified
both as a stealthy cruise missile prototype and an unmanned
reconnaissance aircraft, roles that aren’t mutually exclusive and show
the Air Force’s interest 25 years ago—even before the F-l 17 flew—in
stealthy, unmanned aircraft that could penetrate even the most
sophisticated air defenses.

The Senior Prom design was flight tested as part of a competition that
was won by the General Dynamics/McDonnell Douglas (now Raytheon/Boeing)
AGM-129 advanced cruise missile. A second Lockheed project is called
Senior Peg, which is thought to have been a candidate for the advanced
tactical bomber competition that was eventually won by what is now
Northrop Grumman and fielded as the B-2 bomber. Its faceted design
resembles that of the F-l 17 and the wing’s trailing edges bring to mind
the saw-tooth design of the B-2 that helps the stealth bomber control
its radar reflection by segmenting it and directing it, very precisely,
away from the aircraft. It also was designed to penetrate the foe’s best

A series of Senior Prom pictures shows the design’s evolution. Early in
the flighttesting phase, it appeared with high-visibility orange stripes
and a large ventral fin. Later pictures have the ventral fin removed and
the aircraft painted black. The wings look like they are designed to
fold against the wide, flat body for compressed carriage. Little
information is available on the Senior Peg demonstrator, but according
to one account the photo is a model that did not fly. There are some
indications, based on a number of sightings in the Western U.S., that
the design may have served as the basis for other, still-classified

Thirteen Senior Prom launches were made from DC-130 drone carriers and
all were considered successful, according to one researcher. Some were
allowed to deliberately hit the ground, while others were recovered by
parachute. First flight was in late 1979 or early 1980 and the test
program was over by the time of the first YF-117 flight in 1981. The
sorties were flown from the secret Groom Lake air base located on the
Nevada Test Ranges northwest of Las Vegas.

Senior Prom and Senior Peg are among a number of programs with the
“Senior” designation that include Senior Bowl (the supersonic D-21 drone
launched by the SR-71/M-21 mother ship), Senior Crown (the SR-71 and
YF-12 programs), Senior Trend (F-117 Nighthawk), Senior Sky (F-22
development) and Senior Needle (support for advanced cruise missile
special access program).

William M. Arkin’s new book, Code Names, gives a quick survey of many of
the “Senior” appellations, which he says were reconnaissance-related
U.S. Air Force special-access-programs. Senior Book signified Taiwanese
U-2 operations over China. Senior Look referred to U-2 operations in
Europe. Reconnaissance programs, under which he lists Senior Prom, also
include Senior Blade (ground station for exploiting U-2R digital
imagery), Senior Mace (signals intelligence exploitation), Senior Year
(the current U-2 satellite data link) and Senior Citizen (which Arkin
says included “Aurora”-type high-speed reconnaissance aircraft or other
low-observable systems).

Other, more contemporary Senior programs named by Arkin reveal and track
the Air Force’s growing interest in and development of the new field of
computer network warfare and electronic attack, which include Senior
Keystone (related to classified information warfare) and Senior Suter.
However, the Air Force’s theme remains the same—penetrating the enemy’s

Senior Suter is a Big Safari-managed special access program. Big Safari
itself is a shadowy Air Force unit that has developed small numbers of
specialized reconnaissance systems, including drones, in what are often
classified programs. The Suter technology was developed during the last
several years by BAE Systems and involves invading enemy communications
networks and computer systems, particularly those associated with
integrated air defense systems (AW&ST Aug. 16, 2004, p. 24; Nov. 4,
2002, p. 30). Suter 1 allowed U.S. operators to monitor what enemy
radars could see. The capability enables U.S. forces to assess the
effectiveness of their stealth systems or terrain-masking tactics. Suter
2 permits U.S. operators to take control of enemy networks as system
managers and actually manipulate the sensors, steering them away from
penetrating U.S. aircraft. Suter 3 was tested last summer to add the
ability to invade the links to time-critical targets, such as
battlefield ballistic missile launchers or mobile surface-to-air missile
launchers. Aircraft involved in the Suter programs include the EC-130
Compass Call, RC-135 Rivet Joint and F-16CJ strike aircraft specialized
for suppression of enemy air defenses.

Information operations and computer network attack programs are now
considered the military’s most closely guarded projects, surpassing even
new stealth advances. Some of the info ops code names listed by Arkin’s
book inelude Space 7 (Air Intelligence Agency’s advanced programs
division, directorate of information operations), Quick Draw (AIA
information operations center), Midnight Stand (Strategic Command
offensive information operations advanced concept technology
demonstration), Iron Hare 99 (first demonstration of offensive computer
warfare capabilities), Evident Surprise (to deconflict and execute
offensive info war), Crucial Player (predictive analysis of info war and
terrorist threats to emerging technologies), Constant Web (Air Force
database for adversary military command, control and communications
structures), Adversary (USAF command-and-control analysis for info war
targeting), Arena (info war analyses, evaluation and decision-making to
create country studies of electronic infrastructure) and Black Demon
(USAF cyber-warfare exercise to develop network operations warfighting
capabilities from the tactical level through fullscale warfare). ©

In Reply to: Lockheed Senior Peg page posted by Vahe Demirjian on October 30, 2023 at 14:01:34 PST:


Post a Reply

(*) are required fields
Name (*):
Password (*):
Subject (*):
Message (*):

Optional information:
Link URL:
Link Title:
Image URL:

[ Discussion Forum Index ] [ FAQ ]