Could the Lethal F-117 Stealth Fighter Fly Again?

    Dave Majumdar

    Security,

    Sadly it seems like the answer is no. 

    Stealthy strategic bombers like the B-2 however, are designed to operate more like submarines—that is they operate without their presence being noticed. The massive bombers are optimized for “broad band all-aspect” stealth, which means they are able to remain unnoticed even in the presence of low frequency radars by hiding in the background noise and clutter. But even then, the Pentagon didn’t fully anticipate how quickly the Russians and Chinese would develop low frequency radars with performance to threaten even the B-2. “We’ve had the ability to map our threats in real time in the B-2 for a while with our Defense Management System (DMS),” said an Air Force official. “But the growth in the EW [electronic warfare] spectrum wasn’t reasonably anticipated and thus precipitated an upgrade into a new DMS.” But even the B-2 is not going to be able keep pace with the evolving threat, that’s why the new Air Force LRS-B will be optimized to defeat those low frequency systems.

    With the F-117 back in the news, it is a good time to look at the evolution of stealth starting with the Lockheed Martin F-117 Nighthawk. That aircraft was retired in 2008, but would the F-117 still be useful today?

    The answer is that against most mid-range threats like Iran, absolutely. But against higher-end threats like Russia or China, not so much. Technology has advanced since engineers first dreamed up the F-117 “stealth fighter” concept.

    Read full article
    The National Interest

    Loading...

    LEAVE A REPLY

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here