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  1. F-4E 73-1175, 422nd Fighter Weapons Squadron, 57FWW, Tactical Fighter Weapons Center, Nellis AFB, 1980-81. My test jet for the First Article Acceptance Test of the Aerial Gunnery Target System, a version of the SECAPEM target. Despite the checkout shown below, and my request to do a ground release test ("We don't do that in operational testing."), our first deployment of the target was an ignominious event with both the target and the tow pod dropping from the aircraft and impacting on Dog Bone Dry Lake on the Nellis Ranges! The A/A37U-33 AGTS consisted of two separate pods. One pod contained the nylon towline and served as the towline connection to the aircraft. The smaller target pod contained a fabric mesh "tetraplane" for visual augmentation, which would deploy when the towline was fully extended, and a microphone on the nose for scoring miss distance as the shockwaves of the bullets passed the target. A control panel for the target replaced the ECM pod control panel in the cockpit. The tetraplane had a radar reflector to aid tracking by the shooter. The image below is a screen shot from a SECAPEM marketing video for the TAXAN system, a current version of the AGTS, showing the tetraplane target (very similar to the 1980 target). Thanks for looking, Sven
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