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Janxy

US Stealth Air Fleet mostly grounded?

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US Air Force in a seriously stealthless state

The US Air Force has been left seriously short of stealth capacity following the grounding of its F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters (JSFs), while its F-22 Raptor fleet has been stuck on the tarmac since May. The US's entire stealth aircraft capability currently comprises just 20 operational B-2 Spirit bombers.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/08/10/stealth_grounded/

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But those two were technicly not stealth to begin with, to the eye maybe not radar, F-35 even less, our one and only true stealth fighter was..the F-117, we lost our stealth capabilities when we pushed that to the side and didn't expand on it's design.

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The article neglected to mention why this matters. I guess we'll have to stick to defense in case of a MW2-style invasion during the next few months.

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But those two were technicly not stealth to begin with, to the eye maybe not radar, F-35 even less, our one and only true stealth fighter was..the F-117, we lost our stealth capabilities when we pushed that to the side and didn't expand on it's design.

I guess ArmA2 provides you with your aircraft information.

The Raptor not only replaces the role of the 117, it expands on it to include further capability that was not yet introduced into the Nighthawk design. Early 80's there were talks about fitting Sidewinders on to the aircraft to fullfill a role that no other aircraft could do... The raptor now does it.

S41

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The F-117 is a true stealth plane. F-22 and F-35 are merely "low-observation" compromises.

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F-22 and F-35 use newer stealth technologies and that's why they don't need that awkward shape that the F-117 had.

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I think they measure radar cross section in terms of the radar return of a cross section of a sphere of some size. They say the F-35 has the radar cross section of a metal golf ball. The area of a circle that has an equal diameter to a golf ball is 0.001439 m^2. The supposed radar cross section of the f117 is 0.025 m^2.

Maybe I'm going about it the wrong way?

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The F-22 is grounded for Oxygen issues. Several pilots have reported Hypoxia effects over 22,000ft and it is now believed to be the cause of the crash of the F-22 in Alaska.

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Don't really need stealth when your enemies best AA defense is an RPG and some 7.62

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Don't really need stealth when your enemies best AA defense is an RPG and some 7.62

You mean S400 and some 30mm

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Ye , True Stealth was F-117 - those F-22 and F-35 are just like "attack stealth fighter"

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I wonder if those numbers I found are averages, or from the front, or even representative at all...

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I dont see how the grounding of the F-35, which is still very much in development and not deployed, is such a big issue? Its not like they're losing any capability by having the 20 prototype/test batch grounded. Normal media sensationalism bullshit imho.

@NodUnit, as Max points out, the F-35 and F-22 have much lower radar cross sections than the F-117 ever did, making them more stealthy. Technology moves on, as do the designs.

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The F-22 are grounded and production has been stopped long ago, the F35 are in trials/flight test programms.

The F-35C completed its first steam catapult launch July 27 2011. ;)

"Stealth" is just another buzzword in media/film and many people do think that everything with "stealth" = invisible, superstrong!

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The F-117 is a true stealth plane. F-22 and F-35 are merely "low-observation" compromises.

No Celery. I guess another ArmA V-pilot, or Civil fighter jock chippin in.

The Raptor and the F-35 are Stealth aircraft just as much as the F-117. The difference comes in the technology bracket. We "now" can incorperate stealth into a EW package to further enhance the capabilities of the a/c.

We didn't replace the F-117 without thinking about the long term stratagy.

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Say that to the pilots participating at Red Flag saying that even though they could see the F-22 directly in front of them, their radar simply could not. Note also that the F-117 was so new and volatile in its design that if the Flight computer failed, the pilot had no choice but to eject. Now i don't know about you, but the loss of the F-117, which was limited in capability and lifespan, is not that big a loss.

Also how exactly has the F-35 "fleet" been grounded when it hasn't even been delivered? How are you comparing the F-117, a dedicated ground attack aircraft, to the F-22, an air superiority fighter?

I mean i've seen some real stupid "aircraft vs aircraft" discussions, but this tops the lot. I'd be real surprised if anyone here actually knew 30% of what either aircraft can actually do.

edit: May i also point out that the F-117 has been lost in combat.

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Love how condescending some people get over this sort of discussion as well Innomadic. They really bring out the worst in people (although I do admit the A3 forums are worse).

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This whole argument seems to be apples to oranges to me, the F-117 wasn't a fighter in any sense.

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Love how condescending some people get over this sort of discussion as well Innomadic. They really bring out the worst in people (although I do admit the A3 forums are worse).

Mate i've seen Su-37 vs Su-47 vs F-22 vs Tyhoon fights, its just ridiculous

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I think they measure radar cross section in terms of the radar return of a cross section of a sphere of some size. They say the F-35 has the radar cross section of a metal golf ball. The area of a circle that has an equal diameter to a golf ball is 0.001439 m^2. The supposed radar cross section of the f117 is 0.025 m^2.

Maybe I'm going about it the wrong way?

The devil is in the detail: You mention a metal golf ball which doesn't have the same RCS as a "normal" golf ball. Since the planes also use radar absorbing coating the RCS is also frequency dependent; I've read (I think on SimHQ in the SAM-simulator-thread) about the shooting down of the F-117 in Serbia where they used a longer-wave radar band, assuming those wavelengths would reflect from the Nighthawk's interior, to track its path.

So it could be indeed that the current Stealth fighters have a lower RCS for some radar frequencies, and the F-117 for some other. It all depends on the equipment the enemy is using.

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The devil is in the detail: You mention a metal golf ball which doesn't have the same RCS as a "normal" golf ball. Since the planes also use radar absorbing coating the RCS is also frequency dependent; I've read (I think on SimHQ in the SAM-simulator-thread) about the shooting down of the F-117 in Serbia where they used a longer-wave radar band, assuming those wavelengths would reflect from the Nighthawk's interior, to track its path.

So it could be indeed that the current Stealth fighters have a lower RCS for some radar frequencies, and the F-117 for some other. It all depends on the equipment the enemy is using.

I'm not sure where you think someone mentioned a normal golf ball. Radar cross section is always measured against metal spheres of a size that would return the same amount of radar energy.

RAM coating is always 1/4 of the expected wavelength to be absorbed, I think.

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I dont see how the grounding of the F-35, which is still very much in development and not deployed, is such a big issue? Its not like they're losing any capability by having the 20 prototype/test batch grounded. Normal media sensationalism bullshit imho.

@NodUnit, as Max points out, the F-35 and F-22 have much lower radar cross sections than the F-117 ever did, making them more stealthy. Technology moves on, as do the designs.

Sorry DM that's just not true. The F-117 actually has the same RCS as the B-2 and the F-22 and F35 have about twice that from the front. (RCS changes relative to the angle presented to the emitter) If we're talking about all-angle/mean-RCS the F-117 is still 10x better than the F-22 and F-35. As someone said earlier. This new generation is really just a compromise between function and detectability. Especially since they now all have radar and datalinks etc broadcasting away. It just increases the probability of detection.

I agree with you about the sensationalist media BS. I do wish people would realise that Stealth isn't the super weapon the defence contractors and politicians would have us believe. All it is, is a method of getting closer without being seen or locked.

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its like "oh noes two planes are grounded! We have no air defence!"

but wait....what about the F-16, F-15, F-18 and so on? :p

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I agree with you about the sensationalist media BS. I do wish people would realise that Stealth isn't the super weapon the defence contractors and politicians would have us believe. All it is, is a method of getting closer without being seen or locked.

I think it had it's day.

The secret in "secret weapon" is card that can only be played once.

Imagine instead that it had been a Cold War scenario when F117 first flew, and they took down soviet air defences with it, not Saddams.

Edited by Baff1

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Sorry DM that's just not true. The F-117 actually has the same RCS as the B-2 and the F-22 and F35 have about twice that from the front. (RCS changes relative to the angle presented to the emitter) If we're talking about all-angle/mean-RCS the F-117 is still 10x better than the F-22 and F-35. As someone said earlier. This new generation is really just a compromise between function and detectability. Especially since they now all have radar and datalinks etc broadcasting away. It just increases the probability of detection.

I agree with you about the sensationalist media BS. I do wish people would realise that Stealth isn't the super weapon the defence contractors and politicians would have us believe. All it is, is a method of getting closer without being seen or locked.

Yeah, the new generation stealth (actually low observability) aircraft might have a larger radar cross-section but they're also faster, more maneuverable and better armed, which makes them more effective.

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