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  • Mare Island Naval Shipyard


    The Mare Island Naval Shipyard (MINSY) was the first United States Navy base established on the Pacific Ocean. It is located 25 miles northeast of San Francisco in Vallejo, California. The Napa River goes through the Mare Island Strait and separates the peninsula shipyard (Mare Island, California) from the main portion of the city of Vallejo. MINSY made a name for itself as the premier US West Coast submarine port as well as serving as the controlling force in San Francisco Bay Area shipbuilding efforts during World War II. The base closed in 1996 and has gone through several redevelopment phases. It was registered as a California Historical Landmark in 1960, and parts of it were declared a National Historic Landmark District in 1975.

  • Klapmeier brothers


    The Klapmeier brothers, Alan Lee Klapmeier (born October 6, 1958) and Dale Edward Klapmeier (born July 2, 1961), are American aircraft designers and aviation entrepreneurs who together founded the Cirrus Design Corporation in 1984. Under the leadership of the Klapmeiers, Cirrus was the first aircraft manufacturer to install a whole-plane parachute recovery system as a standard on all its models—designed to lower the airplane (and occupants) safely to the ground in case of an emergency. The device is attributed with saving over 150 lives to date. From the brothers' use of all-composite airframe construction and glass panel cockpits on production aircraft, Cirrus is known for having revolutionized general aviation for modern light aircraft pilots.

  • Polaris (UK nuclear programme)


    The United Kingdom's Polaris programme, officially named the British Naval Ballistic Missile System, provided its first submarine-based nuclear weapons system. Polaris was in service from 1968 to 1996. Polaris itself was an operational system of four ballistic missile submarines, each armed with 16 Polaris A-3 ballistic missiles. Each missile was able to deliver three ET.317 thermonuclear warheads. This configuration was later upgraded to carry two warheads hardened against the effects of radiation and nuclear electromagnetic pulse, along with a range of decoys. The British Polaris programme was announced in December 1962 following the Nassau Agreement between the US and the UK. The Polaris Sales Agreement provided the formal framework for cooperation. Construction of the submarines began in 1964, and the first patrol took place in June 1968. All four boats were operational in December 1969. They were operated by the Royal Navy, and based at Clyde Naval Base on Scotland's west coast, a few miles from Glasgow. At least one submarine was always on patrol to provide a continuous at-sea deterrent. In the 1970s it was determined that the re-entry vehicles were vulnerable to the Soviet anti-ballistic missile screen concentrated around Moscow. To ensure that a credible and independent nuclear deterrent was maintained, the UK developed an improved front end named Chevaline. There was controversy when this project became public knowledge in 1980, as it had been kept secret by four successive governments while incurring huge expenditure. Polaris patrols continued until May 1996, by which time the phased handover to the replacement Trident system had been completed.

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