A US Marine Corps pilot posits in a very good new issue of Joint Forces Quarterly that the age of stealth domination in airpower is over.
Since the 1991 Gulf War, the USAF has launched thousands of stealth bombing sorties against the hardest targets offered by Baghdad, Belgrade and Baghdad again, yet suffered only one recorded combat loss when an F-117 was shot down over Serbia in 1999. Perhaps no other technology in history has dominated the battlefield as long or as absolutely as the stealthy airframe.
But technology marches on. Ask any World War II battleship captain. Lt. Col. Arend G. Westra, a plans officer at the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, writes that counter-stealth technology -- namely, passive radar -- is quietly achieving parity with the likes of the B-2, the F-22 and, eventually, the F-35.
Westra makes another important point. If there is a classified counter-stealth development program underway, it's not apparent from reading Westra's article. He argues that the US military and industry needs to launch a crash technology program. If anything, the technology could be leveraged to understand the techniques potential adversaries could use to shoot down our stealth aircraft.