Week-ahead open thread: Radar versus stealth, round 2?



The Mitchell Institute, an Air Force Association-funded think-tank, will release on Thursday a new paper called “Radar Game and the Value of Stealth”, by Rebecca Grant. It comes 12 years after Grant first published a paper called simply “The Radar Game“, which defended the US Air Force’s long insistence on a mostly- (if not all-) stealth fleet of fighters and bombers. It will be interesting to see if any of the advances in bi-static radar or integrated air defenses have altered Grant’s conclusions over the last 12 years. Stealth technology also has come a long way since Have Blue, which combined a forgotten Soviet mathematician’s formulas with Skunk Works engineer Denys Overholser’s vision for aircraft surfaces that bounce signals away from a radar receiver. As the USAF plots the strategy for developing a new penetrating bomber, balancing the need for survivability with the cost of stealth technology will be a key issue. 

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5 Responses to Week-ahead open thread: Radar versus stealth, round 2?

  1. Robert 27 September, 2010 at 7:23 pm #

    Comparing to the cost of designing and fielding VLO aircraft to that of super-SAM systems

    [in the post-Cold War era], the stealthy side will most likely lose the end game. Just a speculation.

  2. Jetcal1 27 September, 2010 at 10:25 pm #

    Sorta’ makes you wonder if the combination of stealth and this is the next step

    http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/the-dewline/2010/09/e-bomb-the-missile.html

    A nice, stealthy hypersonic missile launced from beyond detection range?

  3. SMSgt Mac 28 September, 2010 at 3:34 am #

    He who radiates least radiates best.
    He who radiates most makes the biggest target.

    The inverse square law isn’t going anywhere, and remember LO isn’t just shaping or mud (RAM) but also ‘technique’.

    Advantage: Stealth

    Thanks for the tip! Always look forward to the writings Dr. Grant does for public consumption. ‘Radar Game’ made things alot easier to explain stuff to the relatives and I expect more of the same in the update.

  4. Matthew G. Saroff 28 September, 2010 at 4:43 am #

    Processing power makes a difference.

    The USAF ganged 2200 Playstation 3 together to make a quite competent supercomputer that could fit in a PLS container. (http://40yrs.blogspot.com/2009/11/death-of-stealth.html)

    For about $1/2 million at retail.

    Using that processing power, and sensor fusion, and I think that getting a position in real time is quite doable.

  5. SMSgt Mac 29 September, 2010 at 2:45 am #

    Processing power is usually good to have. And it is potentially useful IF you actually ‘receive something’ to process.

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