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From: (Ed Rasimus)
Newsgroups: rec.aviation.military
Subject: Re: Two man principle
Date: Fri, 19 Feb 1999 01:30:00 GMT

BOD <> wrote:

>Does anyone know how the 'two man priciple' was achieved when releasing
>nuclear weapons from single seat aircraft such as the Jaguar? or is it a
>simple case of there WAS no two man principle for single seat aircraft?

Two man control is in effect until nuclear release (i.e. the official
authorization to launch by the national command authority). That means
the pilot of a single engine airplane on nuc alert is always
accompanied by the crew chief when entering the "no lone zone" around
a weapon loaded aircraft.

On alerts it takes two people to cross the red line around the
airplane (the sky cop is supposed to shoot you if you don't have a
partner). The pilot goes up the ladder and the crew chief stays in
sight of the pilot. Both players are in view of the security police
type who remains outside the zone.

On an alert scramble the engine is started and the command post relays
a message. If the message is a real war launch, then you roll and
two-man is suspended. If you don't have a real launch message you
don't have the necessary codes to arm the bomb. You also probably
won't be able to get out of the alert area because the gates will stay
closed and there is usually a fire engine or other large truck
blocking the taxiway.

Single seat aircraft pulled a lot of Victor alert over the years in
F-84, F-100, F-104, F-105 and of course also in Jaguars and Hunters
and Mirages. Never a problem for 2-man control.

 Ed Rasimus                   *** Peak Computing Magazine
  Fighter Pilot (ret)         ***   (
                              *** Ziff-Davis Interactive
                              ***   (

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