Why Not Give Away ALL of Our U.S. Secrets!?!
The call sign of Air Force One belongs to either one of the planes used by the American President during his term of office. The planes are referred to as the 'Presidential Fleet' and are capable of flying half way around the world, without refueling.
The aircraft is an amazing achievment in airborne communications systems, affording it's elite passengers access to information from all over the world; employing the use of both secure and non-secure voice, fax and data communications.
The aircraft are maintained and operated by the which are part of Air Mobility Command's 89th Airlift Wing, based at Andrews Air Force Base, Suitland, Maryland.
This morning United Press International reported:
Information about Air Force One's unique navigation system was provided to a Russian company in 1998, a U.S. government investigation found.
The U.S. State Department found a subsidiary of defense contractor Northrop Grumman provided portions of the computer source code of Air Force One's navigation software, ABC News reported Saturday.
The Air Force One planes are Boeing's 747-200B series aircraft with the unique tail codes; 28000 and 29000, with Air Force designation VC-25A. It is the military version of the Boeing 747.
The planes often operate in tandem with Marine One, the helicopter which transports the President to airports where a vehicle motorcade would be inappropriate.
Airforce One also has extensive medical facilities, such as a fold-out operating table, emergency supplies and a well-stocked pharmacy. George W. Bush also had a treadmill added during his term in office.
Every flight's staff includes a doctor, senior staff, Secret Service and security personnel and news media.
There are some other impressive design, development and specification facts about Air Force One on Wikipedia, if you'd like to read more on the topic.
Investigators said the breech by Litton Industries, which Northrop Grumman bought in 2001, "resulted in harm to the U.S. national security," government documents say.
Los Angeles-based Northrop has agreed to pay a $15 million fine for 110 violations of the Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, the network reported.
"The United States government has never authorized the export of this critical source code, even to our closest allies," the charging letter said. "This unauthorized export resulted in Russia obtaining knowledge in developing critical INS software that is specifically unique to Air Force One."
It seems that officials also reported that between 1994 and 2003, the company failed to notify the State Department that the computer guidance system was also sent to Angola, Indonesia, Israel, China, Ukraine and Yemen.
Other Interesting Links:
Airforce One, Supersized
United Press International
Report: Air Force One Data Given to Russia
The White House
Air Force One
The White House
by Eric Draper
Some images are designated as Public Domain located via Wikipedia.