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Raymond Blackman, one of the world's leading experts on foreign navies and veteran editor of the renowned military reference book "Jane's Fighting Ships," has died, his family said Friday. He was 78.

"Jane's Fighting Ships" is one of the volumes on military hardware and other subjects produced annually by the Jane's publishing house and studied by defense forces around the world.Blackman, who edited "Fighting Ships" from 1949-73, died Wednesday. His family gave no cause of death. He lived at Portsmouth, the home of a major Royal Navy base, on the south coast of England.