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The Military The Almighty Buck

Long-Wave Radar Can Take the Stealth From Stealth Technology 275

Posted by timothy
from the f35s-cost-more-than-$300-million-each dept.
AbrasiveCat (999190) writes "In the continuing game of cat and mouse between offensive and defensive technologies of war, the technology of radar stealth may have been matched by new multiple frequency radar systems. U.S Naval Institute News reports the Chinese and Russians may be developing such systems. The present radar systems use high frequency waves for accurately locating an incoming target. Stealth aircraft are designed to adsorb or reflect these waves away from the receiver. It turns out longer wave radars can see the stealth aircraft. The longer wave radar lacks the precision of the high frequency radar, but when the two are combined, as the Russians, Chinese (and U.S.) are doing, you can produce accurate targeting radar. The F117 may have been in a golden age for stealth technology, it will be interesting to see if the F35 arrives too late to be effective against other countries with advanced radar systems."
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Long-Wave Radar Can Take the Stealth From Stealth Technology

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  • by Joe Gillian (3683399) on Friday August 08, 2014 @02:08PM (#47631835)

    A few months ago, 60 Minutes aired a series of interviews with Air Force personnel who were behind the F-35 program. All of them said more or less the same thing about the F-35: it doesn't matter if the F-35 is less powerful or doesn't handle as well as other jets, because it was built around radar superiority and being able to detect Russian and Chinese fighters before they could detect it.

    If it's the case that the Russians and Chinese now have radar systems that remove that radar superiority, the F-35 now looks like even more of a gigantic waste of money.

    • by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Friday August 08, 2014 @02:17PM (#47631941)

      It still might have an edge against fighters, at least for the time being. It sounds like the dual radar systems are being installed on larger surface vehicles, but there could always be a smaller version for fighters on the way. Of course, if the fighters are able to receive targeting data from the ships then it wouldn't matter (as long as that targeting data isn't being jammed).

      • Physics may prevent the antennas needed for long wave radar from working on fighters fast and maneuverable enough to be a threat to the F-35.

        • IRST is enough of a problem at mid and short ranges as is.

        • by rickb928 (945187)

          Arrays will be steerable enough.

          Keeping them small enough to fit on ships, that's fun.

        • by budgenator (254554) on Friday August 08, 2014 @09:09PM (#47635177) Journal

          The real purpose of stealth isn't to be invisible, but is to avoid being visible enough to hit. The bird [wikipedia.org] I worked on, the HAWK missile [designation-systems.net] was a semi-active radar homing missile operating in the military portion of the x-band, 10GHzish and was 37 cm, or 14.5 inches in diameter which is about 10 wavelength in diameter which is the rule of thumb for getting enough angular resolution for to hit what your shooting at. By having to go long-wave any semi-active homer isn't going to be able to resolve the target clearly enough to really hit it, having missiles flying close misses to your aircraft is still freaky enough to make a pilots asshole tighten considerable just like you don't want a blind man throwing knives at your sound, which brings us to the other components of stealth which are not being where your expected to be and not doing what your expected to be doing.

    • by spiritplumber (1944222) on Friday August 08, 2014 @02:18PM (#47631967) Homepage
      It won't. The F35 is the classic "it tries to do 255 things, so it does none of them well" thing. It needed rethinking for all sort of other reasons already, but by now it has too much political inertia. You'd have to get too many people to admit they made a mistake.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 08, 2014 @03:28PM (#47632561)

        It won't.

        The F35 is the classic "it tries to do 255 things, so it does none of them well" thing. It needed rethinking for all sort of other reasons already, but by now it has too much political inertia. You'd have to get too many people to admit they made a mistake.

        Wrong! The F-35 does exactly what it was designed to do very well: Provide almost half a trillion dollars in corporate welfare to the aerospace industry spread across 45 states. So what if it's not safe to fly, doesn't do what it was meant to do, and is incredibly expensive over its projected lifetime? Gotta keep Lockheed Martin, insider trading Congressional staffers and Senators, et alia, in Cadillacs and Mink coats...

      • by Dorianny (1847922) on Friday August 08, 2014 @07:43PM (#47634761) Journal

        It won't. The F35 is the classic "it tries to do 255 things, so it does none of them well" thing. It needed rethinking for all sort of other reasons already, but by now it has too much political inertia. You'd have to get too many people to admit they made a mistake.

        Everyone seems to not understand that that's exactly what the F35 requirements were. Unlike previous so called multi-role aircraft, which typically were designed for the Air Force and then poorly adapted to other roles, the F35 is a true Swiss army knife. The criticism seems to be heaviest for the Air Force version, probably because as I mentioned, multi-roles it replaces were initially designed for them. It cannot take on air-superiority fighters in combat, penetrate or evade advanced air defenses but that is not its role, we have specialized fighters and bombers to do that. The role I see for the Air Force F35 is to support the specialized aircraft, mop up remnants and to take over as front line fighter only when air superiority is achieved. It seems terribly expensive for that role now, but this is a Aircraft that's being designed to have the largest and longest production run in history.

    • by alen (225700)

      fixed radar sites may detect it but those in opposing fighters may not be able to. or the fixed ones will only detect it at closer ranges and this will lessen the capabilities for opposing fighters
      and fixed sites can be attacked more easily with cruise missiles

      • by myth24601 (893486)

        That may be well and good in the air to air role but this thing is supposed to be an attack plane too. And how long is it before the new radar tech finds its way into fighters?

        • by alen (225700)

          how long are fighters replaced? every 20-30 years?

          dog fighting isn't that big anymore. US has AWACS now to direct our fighters and attack from behind or some other optimum angle. no one sends fighters against each other for a dogfight anymore.

          even the F117 could be detected in the gulf war, which is why it flew as part of huge mission packages with jamming aircraft and wild weasels

          • by Sand_Man (81150)

            "no one sends fighters against each other for a dogfight anymore"

            Every generation re-learns the falsehood of that kind of thinking at the expense of pilots and planes.

            • by alen (225700)

              we didn't have cruise missiles in vietnam. and not sure about AWACS either.
              these days we have more people "managing" the battle than the war fighters because historically most battles have been won or lost before the fighting began

            • by rickb928 (945187)

              Ditto. And again.

            • Every generation re-learns the falsehood of that kind of thinking at the expense of pilots and planes.

              Not true. Only one generation made this mistake. Today, we are making the opposite mistake, believing in the dogma that dogfighting is still important, when it clearly is not.

              Prior to Vietnam, missiles were supposed to make dogfighting obsolete. That was shown to be wrong in the skies over Hanoi, as well as during the 1973 Yom Kipper War. But it was only wrong because the missiles weren't good enough yet. Today, the missiles are far better, and the missiles of the future will be better still.

            • by delcielo (217760) on Friday August 08, 2014 @05:02PM (#47633427) Journal
              Yes.

              Dogfighting hasn't been important for a while because none of the top tier militaries have squared off against each other. U.S. vs Iraq was never going to produce a serious air war. Neither would U.S. vs Iran, or North Korea, etc.

              But, if the U.S. and Russia ever squared off, you would see dogfighting. Our fighters would try to eliminate their close support and ground attack aircraft. They would send fighters to attack ours. Both would send fighters after each other to suppress them.

              The asymmetrical nature of modern wars has kept it from happening, but we would be foolish to ignore that component of air superiority just because we haven't needed it in 40 years. After all, who were we fighting back then? Oh yeah, Russia by proxy.
        • Probably never. Longer waves means larger antennas. You don't have a place in the fighter to fit the antenna there, and even if you did, the stealthiness of the airplane itself would probably be gone, what with a multiple-meter metallic element EM-gaping through the surface - unshielded, because the radar needs to work. However, you shouldn't need it (at least in many cases). There are still data links in play that the airplane should be able to receive.
          • Long waves on short antennas are just less efficient. It means more electrical power is needed for the transmitter on a small fighter plane.
      • by rickb928 (945187)

        If a ground-based LW radar can guide the AAM, Alli the fighter is doing is getting the middle close enough.

        GBLW radar can use a lot of computer power to get the middle close enough to burn the stealth, or go IR.

    • by pastafazou (648001) on Friday August 08, 2014 @02:33PM (#47632091)
      First off, the F-35 has forced China and Russia to commit a large amount of time and resources to try and counter it's superiority. From an economic standpoint, if you're forcing potential enemies to dedicate time and resources to try and counter your technology, it's a win. Secondly, just because Russia and China are able to develop technology to detect it doesn't mean it's useless. There are numerous other potential uses that don't involve Russian and Chinese radar.
      • by SydShamino (547793) on Friday August 08, 2014 @04:16PM (#47633001)

        First off, the F-35 has forced China and Russia to commit a large amount of time and resources to try and counter it's superiority. From an economic standpoint, if you're forcing potential enemies to dedicate time and resources to try and counter your technology, it's a win. Secondly, just because Russia and China are able to develop technology to detect it doesn't mean it's useless. There are numerous other potential uses that don't involve Russian and Chinese radar.

        Not if it costs 1000x more to create the technology than it does to counter it. Nor if the money to build it was borrowed in part from that potential enemy.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        Developing these new radars is not a direct response to the F-35. In fact it has been known that stealth aircraft are vulnerable to this kind of detection since the late 80s, and it was used successfully to shoot them down in eastern Europe in the 90s.

        These developments are just the natural progression of radar development, in a world where every new military aircraft is getting at least some stealth capabilities. I think we are likely to see a swing back the other way soon, towards massive ECM instead of t

    • by bobbied (2522392)

      Gee, I wouldn't be so quick to assume that the USA didn't already take such technology into account, like they didn't know or expect that changing the frequency of the radar might make detection of "stealth" aircraft possible. The F35 isn't going to be doing missions where this will matter anyway. I'd be more worried about the F22 and B2 platforms.

      Having even traditional stealth like the F35 is known to have is a tactical advantage in the realms and missions they are planning to be used for. It's obvious

    • by tibit (1762298) on Friday August 08, 2014 @02:34PM (#47632111)

      TL;DR: F-35 would have been picked up by British radars that came into use towards the end of World War II. So much for stealth. The funniest thing? Everybody who knows about radars has known it since day one. All stealth planes suffer from this problem. Once the wavelength approaches the facet size, the fact that the facet is smooth and "points elsewhere" doesn't matter. It produces what amounts to specular highlights.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by lgw (121541)

      If it's the case that the Russians and Chinese now have radar systems that remove that radar superiority, the F-35 now looks like even more of a gigantic waste of money

      The F-35 was designed to be stealthy, not stealth. It doesn't need to be undetectable, as it's not a strategic bomber, it just needs to be able to get missile lock on it's foes before they get missile lock on the F-35. That doesn't seem like to change any time soon.

      While any new military project whatsoever will be ridiculed as a colossal waste of money by the left ("it doesn't cost anything to just be nice to everyone!"), the main problem with the cost of most of the recent programs is a large R&D c

      • by DarthVain (724186)

        That was my understanding. Particularly when coupled with lack of payload.

        Like they shouldn't bother even painting the thing, as if it works as it should, no one will ever actually physically see the things anyway. Radar lock on multiple targets over the horizon. Fire missiles. Go back and reload. Repeat until nothing else is in the air but actual birds.

        The enemy situation should basically be "Uh sir, we have a shit ton of missiles coming at us from out of nowhere!".

        That said, I still think the F35 is a col

        • by amorsen (7485)

          Preventing Russia from placing drilling platforms in Canadian waters is a use. If your enemy has air superiority, all you can do is look on angrily like Vietnam does.

          • by DarthVain (724186)

            Which unless they are positioned need the Canadian shoreline, near a military base F-35 is not going to be particularly useful, less so in the North, where that is more likely to happen, if anywhere. Besides, seriously, is Canada going to threaten Russian drilling platforms? That is silly.

            However to expand on that, lets say for example that is the case, it would be a better case for getting an aircraft carrier than F-35's. Even then, I am not sure how well an aircraft carrier would really function in the no

          • by Dishevel (1105119)
            Canada would want a Sub for that. Cruise in under the weather and fire a few torpedoes at the legs. Done.
        • by lgw (121541)

          Well, the enemy pilots might well understand from longer-wave radar (even current scanning radar) there are F-35s attacking, but need to get closer to get missile lock. Meanwhile, the F-35s locked at far greater distance, already have missiles on the way, and are leaving. But you can design a missile today that would just fly close enough to the F-35s to get a, then switch to terminal guidance (it's a common design strategy, in general) - but with existing radar and F-35s, you have to be content with the

          • build a ground radar station with long-wave, or an aircraft where the required antenna is part of the wings leading edge. Then build missiles programmed to chase the echoes created by this long-wave radar when it reaches an F-35. And then watch the spectacle of fireworks created by the F-35 falling from the sky.
          • by DarthVain (724186)

            I just think spending the money on say US heavy lift globalmasters is a much better fit for Canada than F-35's.

            Anyone we are likely to get in a tussle with is likely going to have little air power or technological advantage, even using our current equipment. Those that do, i.e. Russia and China etc... well the amount of F-35's we get are likely going to make little difference anyway.

      • If it's the case that the Russians and Chinese now have radar systems that remove that radar superiority, the F-35 now looks like even more of a gigantic waste of money

        The F-35 was designed to be stealthy, not stealth. It doesn't need to be undetectable, as it's not a strategic bomber, it just needs to be able to get missile lock on it's foes before they get missile lock on the F-35. That doesn't seem like to change any time soon.

        While any new military project whatsoever will be ridiculed as a colossal waste of money by the left ("it doesn't cost anything to just be nice to everyone!"), the main problem with the cost of most of the recent programs is a large R&D cost that isn't spread across enough planes/ships/whatever. I'm not the biggest fan of the F-35, but at least the idea of having one plane that will be used for many roles and by many allies keeps the per-unit cost from being insanely high - it's a wise procurement approach in a time of quickly falling defense budget.

        It's no longer all about whether the F-35 can detect a Su-35, J-10, etc. with it's onboard radar first or not. Sure, being able to see the opponent on your onboard radar first is an advantage the F-35 has and it is an important one but modern fighters that operate in an integrated and networked air defense system, situational awareness can flow from many different sources these days other than just your fighter's onboard radar. The Su-35, J-10 (or whatever) can give the F-35 a very hard time if it carries I

    • by timeOday (582209)

      the F-35 now looks like even more of a gigantic waste of money.

      I wouldn't jump immediately to that conclusion. Every advance has some countermeasure, but just because you can build a research prototype that's somewhat (we don't know how much) effective at this, does NOT mean that all the eastern bloc air defenses around the world suddenly have that capability. It doesn't even mean they will get it within the next 20 years.

      For example the longer wavelength might require large antennae and multiple fix

      • by 0123456 (636235)

        Anyways, stealth is far from all the F35 brings to the table. The summary criticizes it for perhaps not being a good dogfighter, but if all aircraft are easy to track, that's even more irrelevant, because something easy to track is easy to shoot down at long range.

        If you're shooting at long range, why bother with a fighter when you can buy a drone for a small fraction of the pirce?

        • by timeOday (582209)
          I do think there's a risk of not getting our money's worth from the F35 if the missions we need to do all continue to be more suitable for cruise missiles (is that a drone?)
    • by ganjadude (952775)
      we dont know, perhaps some of these holdups are to try and work on stopping the long wave radar as well as short wave? i dont know, just hopeful i suppose
    • And then they are going to say that the whole purpose of the F35 was to not absorb radar waves, but absorb money waves.

    • by jon3k (691256)
      Let's not forget about IRST [wikipedia.org]. Turns out no matter how stealthy you build a plane it still has to ignite hydrocarbons to stay in the air.

      The question I have about long wave radar is: can they mount it in a jet or is it only ground/ship based? Can it be identified and destroyed by an AGM-88 HARM missile? Do we expect to send F-35 into any country or war zone that would have these radars deployed? The military isn't ever just one plane or ship, it's a series of interconnected systems designed to defeat
  • Looks like they added some stealth technology to that "L"
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Longwave radar is not new,
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Woodpecker

  • On modern weather radars every so called stealth plane is a sitting dug.
    Well known since ... hm, 1993? Or not so well known, as it is not relevant for a missile fight and the limited lock on capabilities of on board radar systems?

    • by bobbied (2522392)

      Maybe so, but try to point and shoot a missile at a 600 MPH target using a weather radar that updates every 2 min. Can we say, not going to hit anything? Then figure that a weather radar station is pretty darned big and if anything goes boom it will be the transmitter.

    • by jon3k (691256)
      Uh, what? F-22 has the radar cross section of a ball bearing. It's smaller than a bird on radar.
  • Not news (Score:5, Informative)

    by afidel (530433) on Friday August 08, 2014 @02:13PM (#47631895)

    The F117 that was lost in the Balkans NATO mission in 1999 was shot down by an S-125 modified to use longer wavelenths than the RAM paint on the aircraft would absorb. The issue has been known since then and it's very likely that the F22 and F35 low observability design characteristics have taken this into account as much as physics and material science will allow.

    • Other sources say, the shut down was completely random.
      'Spies' used cell phones to contact forces in Serbia when the planes started in germany.
      Using a simple: 'lets count down the time till they are here' method, they launched thousands ground to air missiles, and the hit was completely random.
      However, your suggestion makes sense, too.

    • by jon3k (691256)
      Partially correct. It was only seen because the bomb bay doors were open:

      From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]:

      In 2005, Colonel Zoltán Dani confirmed in an interview suggested that those modifications involved using long wavelengths, allowing them to detect the aircraft when the wheel well or bomb bay doors were open.

  • by CajunArson (465943) on Friday August 08, 2014 @02:16PM (#47631931) Journal

    Articles like this have been around since the 1980s and have appeared on Slashdot before in regards to practically every stealth aircraft in existence including at least the F-117 and the B2.

    Here's the kicker though: The long-wave radars that can sort of track stealth aircraft aren't able to track them with the precision needed to get a missile up there to shoot one down. If an adversary already knows that you are sending planes into a general geographic region, then the long-wave radar doesn't really tell them anything that they didn't know already.

    Anyone in the military who has dealt with stealth technology will tell you that "stealth" is much more than a coating or wing shape that magically makes your airplane disappear. It's a whole strategy that uses technology + suitable tactics to make stealth work in practical situations. Stealth aircraft are not completely invisible and do not have to be completely invisible to be effective.

    • by bobbied (2522392)

      Well said, stealth is abut controlling RF return and IR emissions and using your knowledge of your weapon system and the advisories ability to find you to your advantage. It's about having tactics to give you the most advantage out of what the technology gives you.

    • Definitely well known for a long time. I remember seeing an article around 1990 about one of the radar systems that I worked on in the mid-1980s as being able to track the B-2. Both systems were over the horizon radars (very long wave length; antenna arrays stretching for a mile or so). Good tracking accuracy if you looked at it as a percentage of the range but the minimum range was like 400-500 miles (not classified; characteristic of the radar) so even a 1% accuracy means at best a location within 4 or

  • it will be interesting to see if the F35 arrives to late to be effective ...

    It will be interesting to see if the F35 arrives at all.

    • by mi (197448)

      It will be interesting to see if the F35 arrives at all.

      And it, probably, should not. Modern technology already does — or soon will — allow sending a "zerg rush" of remotely-operated drones to overwhelm enemy's defenses. Remotely operated by the new generations raised on video-games — and often too fat for personal fighting anyway [washingtonpost.com].

      Oh, and it is not just aircraft — the same logic would apply to tanks and ships. Once you no longer need to care about the soft pink body(ies) inside the

  • From what I read, the Russians can definitely defeat the previous generation of stealth technology. This is in fact, nothing new, we have known about this issue for years.

    Stealth is at heart one of most top secret technologies.

    I guarantee you, that people have been trying to improve it since before the Russians realized they could do the combo long/short radar.

    The real question is, will the next generation stealth technology be defeated by this method, rather than the current generation.

    That, is someth

    • From Aviation Week

      It wasn’t hard for the Russians to assess the JSF’s stealth performance. By 1995, everyone knew that shape was the major driver of RCS, with materials being used to control local scattering phenomena. As the JSF’s target service entry date arrived, so did the Russian answer, and it was on display at the MAKS air show, held in Moscow in August.

      The 55Zh6ME radar complex addresses many of the limitations of the old VHF radars. Although you see three radars—stepping down from VHF (metric) to L-band (decametric) and S-band (centimetric)—the Russians call them modules of an integrated radar system. Each unit is fitted with the Orientir satellite-navigation system, which provides a very accurate location and north reference. That should make it possible to provide sensor fusion—ensuring that when two or more of the radar units detect a target, it will show up as one in the control center.

      The VHF part of the system (see photo) has a P-14-sized, 30-meter-wide antenna, but it folds onto an 8 x 8 truck. The antenna has an active, electronically scanned array, so if it gets a hit on a faint target, the array can dwell on it as the antenna rotates (or swings back and forth for a sector search). At the same time, it will cue its L-band and S-band sisters to focus on the target area like searchlight beams.
      Some commentators will look at the Russian brochures, note that the reference ranges are against targets with an RCS of one square meter and observe that stealth aircraft have a far smaller RCS, which they do—in centimetric bands. Giving what was probably the least provocative answer under the circumstances, a Russian engineer notes that the Chinese DF-15 short-range ballistic missile has a 0.002 m2 RCS in X-band, but is a very non-stealthy 0.6 m2 in VHF.

      Two exhibitors at MAKS were showing passive RF tracking systems. They are intended to exploit active emissions from the target but do not discriminate. Scattered energy from a radar will work just as well. The U.S. Air Force does have a modern facility for testing such bistatic radar signatures, but it was commissioned after the JSF was designed.

      Of course, this sort of analysis relies on unclassified data. As the author himself states.

      There may be a universe where it is smart to give your adversaries (or their armorer) 25 years’ notice of exactly how you plan to render their defenses obsolete. We just don’t live there.

      instead, we live in a world where one must have faith that a trillion dollar weapons program has been designed correctly. How comforting.

  • by Zeorge (1954266) on Friday August 08, 2014 @02:18PM (#47631969)
    I should say, former Eastern Block, that is. But, this is nothing new and has been known for some time now. They have these huge deployable radar arrays that operate in the VHF and UHF bands. Originally, it was due to their limited technology capability but then it was realized that there was specific advantages to using those bands. Notably, no one else is looking for radar in VHF and UHF so you could be being tracked and have no idea.


    This is also how they took down a stealth fighter over Kosovo, they used 900MHz-band cell towers, tuned ground radar station to look for the return, and then manually guided the missiles until they were close enough (probably for the heat signature to become evident) to lock on.


    I really hope this was all factored into the design of these multi-billion money pit of an aircraft.
  • the F117 ushered in the stealth era (after flight surface control tech caught up with Ufimtsev's paper)

  • it was proven to be detectable by radar before the gulf war started and it rarely went on a mission by itself. most of the missions it flew were part of large groups including jamming aircraft. it was believed that the F117 would never survive on a mission by itself because stealth was always about having a slight edge and not total domination

  • The lowest frequency you could use to track a target should be on the order of one that results in the target being 1/2 wavelength. Given the F35 is 16 meters long, that works out to about 10 Mhz. I highly doubt there is an effective way to absorb/deflect a radar pulse at such a low frequency (and depth of penetration) in an aircraft.

    I've known this since the 1980s... I highly doubt that I'm in any way unique. I expect there are a number of spread spectrum 30-50 Mhz radars out there, just for catching "st

  • it will be interesting to see if the F35 arrives to late to (sic) be effective against other countries with advanced radar systems

    The F35 is a joke of an airplane.

    It's a wishlist of everything compiled by senior brass, and structured in such a way as to foist off the R&D costs onto partner nations.

    The F35 is, and always was, a terrible idea, overly ambitious, and a plan to put everything possible into an aircraft.

    It's a giant sink hole of money which the US sucked other countries into considering as an

    • by Justpin (2974855)
      The F35 is a government subsidy program for Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin were pretty much given a blank cheque to write for as much as they want. The irony is Lockheed Martin had a completed and viable aircraft the F-22 which could have been modified like the F-15 which grew over the years to become the F-15E
    • by jklovanc (1603149)

      I'm surprised most countries have't told the F35 program to go jump off a pier and go find an actual plane which exists and can be flown today.

      What would you suggest that is not already 20 years out of date? Remember you need to cover air superiority, ground attack, carrier based, and VTOL. All of these types of aircraft in the US inventory are getting very long in the tooth (with the possible exception of the f22). You can use as many different aircraft as you like. It is very easy to give a simple solution without actually solving the problem.

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        Remember you need to cover air superiority, ground attack, carrier based, and VTOL

        Yeah, that was the wishlist. And a pony, and an ice-cream, and a red rider BB gun with a compass in the stock.

        That was the American wishlist. This was not the requirements of the client states who got suckered into this program.

        At the time this was being peddled round, many other countries could have used aircraft from other countries, or even older existing US aircraft to meet their needs.

        What does the US do for their solut

        • by jklovanc (1603149)

          This was not the requirements of the client states who got suckered into this program.

          The requirement of many "client states" is that they, since they will generally be deployed along side other nations and almost always the US, use the same parts and maintenance equipment as the US. It is a huge advantage to be able to borrow parts and equipment from other squadrons.

          or even older existing US aircraft to meet their needs.

          Do you mean the aircraft that will no longer be built or supported by US industry after the US moves to the F-35? Replacing an obsolete aircraft with a slightly less obsolete aircraft is not an upgrade?

          Again, what aircraft would

  • by msobkow (48369)

    Hundreds of billions of dollars, and it's obsolete and useless before it even gets out the hangar.

  • That stealth technology is vulnerable to long-wave radar is old, old news. I believe that the Aussies' Jindalee (JORN) radar has shown this a long time. Also, back in the 90s, the Russians claimed that there is no stealth for wavelengths longer than 30 cm (1 GHz) AFAIR.

    Now the obvious problem is that it's not easy to make a compact radar for a long wavelength but if you can steer a missile close enough with a cumbersome radar then other sensors on the missile might finish the job off. Other sensor technolog

  • The F117 may have been in a golden age for stealth technology, it will be interesting to see if the F35 arrives to late to be effective against other countries with advanced radar systems."

    Is it just me or "to late to be" sounds odd?

  • I think stealth just arranges for reflections not to be bounced back at the transmitters. If you have a lot of receivers located in other places you'll still see the bounce. Sweden has a system like this.
  • Knowing an aircraft is present is one thing, being able to shoot it down is quite another matter. You can't use these low-frequency radars in fighter aircraft or missiles, because the antenna size would be too large. So you have to use a ground station to guide your fighters to an intercept point, and get close enough to use either IR missiles or get close enough for HF radar to work. But by then your non-stealthy fighter will be far inside the detection range of the F-35 and will have gotten a couple of mi

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