by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) July 31, 2012
A US national pleaded guilty Tuesday to obstructing the vision of military pilots during training, AFP learned from a legal source.
Robert Bruce, 56, faces up to 20 years in prison for repeatedly pointing a laser beam at US Navy pilots flying over and around Naval Air Station Oceana, in the eastern state of Virginia, according to court documents cited in a statement from the prosecution.
Numerous calls to the station's "Community Noise Complaint Line" included a threat that if he had a rifle, "he would take potshots at the aircraft," according to the statement.
"Laser harassment of aircraft not only places pilots and passengers at risk, but also endangers those on the ground," said Virginia prosecutor Neil MacBride.
"Those who choose to place our military personnel in peril should be on notice that their conduct is against the law and will not be tolerated."
The F-18 pilots, "endangered multiple times by laser dazzling during landing practice," eventually found Bruce when they "pinpointed the origin of the laser with a mapping device, leading authorities to Bruce's home."
Agents of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service obtained video recordings of Bruce in the act, before his arrest on June 5.
Bruce will be sentenced on October 19.
Aerospace News at SpaceMart.com
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U.S. OKs Israeli systems deal for F-35s
Tel Aviv, Israel (UPI) Jul 30, 2012
A reported agreement by the Pentagon and Lockheed Martin to install Israeli-made electronic warfare systems in 19 F-35I Joint Strike Fighters ordered by the Jewish state gives a major boost for the $2.75 billion deal that has been worrying the Israelis. Sources familiar with the negotiations say the program, worth some $450 million to Israeli defense contractors, is expected to expedite ... read more
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