March 25, 2019

GOOD TO KNOW: Why F-22s, F-35 and New B-21 Bombers Should All Be Feared.

While there is broad agreement that these newer air defenses do make it harder for stealth platforms to remain fully undetected, there are a variety of reasons why actually destroying a stealth platform – and completing the entire “kill chain” – will remain extremely difficult, if not impossible, to accomplish, according to a former 3-Star Air Force weapons developer.

“Bi-static radar can help detect low observable aircraft. However, to intercept a stealth aircraft requires transfer of detection from a large acquisition radar to a much smaller interceptor radar either on an aircraft or a missile that can track—or maintain continuous “lock-on” of the low observable aircraft. When you transfer track from an acquisition radar to a weapons interceptor necessary to engage at longer ranges than the stealth aircraft can detect and fire at the interceptor, that dramatically reduces the probability of the stealth aircraft being engaged. Detection is not what it is all about, you have an entire kill chain where every element must be successful to intercept and destroy a low-observable aircraft,” Ret. Lt. Gen. David Deptula, Dean of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, told Warrior Maven in an interview

Deptula explained that moving beyond a ground-based radar with a very large aperture to a much smaller “engagement” radar presents substantial challenges for attackers.

Stealth has become the automotive safety of military aerospace: It’s the minimum you have to provide to play with the big boys.

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