Fast mover down
Air Force jet crashes in Iraqi province
By THOMAS WAGNER, Associated Press Writer 29 minutes ago
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Mortar rounds crashed into an oil processing facility near the northern city of Kirkuk on Monday, igniting a huge blaze, and a U.S. Air Force jet with one pilot crashed while supporting American soldiers fighting in Anbar province, a hotbed of Iraq's Sunni Arab insurgency.F-16.net has the follow history of the series.
The government fully lifted a curfew on Monday, allowing vehicles back on the roads and reopening the international airport on the fourth day after suspected Sunni insurgents used bombs and mortars to kill more than 200 people in Sadr City, a large Shiite slum, in the worst attack by militants in the war. Sectarian violence continued across the country with a total of 91 people killed or found dead.
The fire at the pipeline filtering facility shut down the flow of crude to the massive Beiji refinery to the southwest, according to an official at the North Oil Co., who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters. The flames erupted at 6:30 p.m. and burned for several hours before they were extinguished, the U.S. military said.
The facility is 15 miles northwest of Kirkuk, a city which sits amid some of Iraq's richest crude oil deposits.
Earlier Monday, a bomb exploded beneath an oil pipeline south of Baghdad and set it on fire, and Iraqi and American forces were deployed to secure the area, police said.
No injuries were reported in the 7:30 a.m. blast near Mahmoudiya, about 20 miles south of Baghdad, said police 1st Lt. Haider Satar. The fire was put out about noon. The pipeline carries crude oil from storage tanks in nearby Latifiyah to the Dora refinery in Baghdad.
Since the U.S.-led war toppled
Saddam Hussein in March 2003, the country's oil industry has suffered many such attacks on its pipelines.
The F-16CG jet that crashed was supporting coalition ground forces when it went down at about 1:35 p.m. in Anbar province, about 20 miles northwest of Baghdad, the military said in a brief statement. The statement had no information about the suspected cause of the crash or the fate of the pilot.
Mohammed Al-Obeidi, an Iraqi who lives in the nearby town of Karmah, said by telephone that he saw the jet flying up and down erratically before it nose-dived and exploded in a farm field. He said other U.S. warplanes rushed to the crash site and were circling around it.
Maj. Gen. William Caldwell, a U.S. military's spokesman, said he doubted the jet was shot down because F-16s fly very fast and have not encountered weapons in Iraq that are capable of taking them down.
The next major production block (Block 40/42), sometimes known as the "Night Falcon" because of its enhanced night/all-weather capabilities, appeared in 1989. It was unofficially designated F-16CG/DG when the USAF wanted to call the LANTIRN capable Viper an F-16G, but Congress wouldn't approve a "new" aircraft, which was politically seen as a threat to the F-22.
The first Block 40/42 F-16 rolled out of the Fort Worth facility in December 1988, and was delivered during the same month. Production ended temporarily in 1995, and will restart again in 1999 to build a 21-aircraft order for Egypt.
Block 40/42 (also part of MSIP III) introduced the LANTIRN navigation and targeting pods and the associated holographic HUD, the GPS (Global Positioning System) navigation receiver, APG-68V(5) radar (with a 100+ hour Mean Time Between Failures or MTBF) and ALE-47 decoy launchers, digital flight controls (replacing the old analog ones), automatic terrain following, and a diffractive optics heads-up display. Also included were a new positive-pressure breathing system to improve G-tolerance for the pilot, full provisions for internal electronic countermeasures, an enhanced envelope gun sight, and a capability for bombing moving ground targets.
Now, there have been a couple of combat crashes of the plane in Kosovo and Iraq, but Centcom is dishonest and has obscured the shoot down of several aircraft
posted by Steve @ 12:37:00 AM