web analytics
October 23, 2014 / 29 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Stealth: Not-So-Secret Secrets

F-117 Nighthawk

F-117 Nighthawk
Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force

The US had been working on radar-evading and heat-signature-suppressing technologies since the late 1950s. There is nothing either very secret or surprising about this. All military forces try to hide their forces and are willing to spend a lot of money and effort on various forms of camouflage and concealment.

Stealth technology as we know it came into being in the 1970s, thanks in part to work by a Russian mathematician, but mostly thanks to advances in US computer technology. Lockheed was able to build a technology demonstration aircraft for the air force called the “Have Blue,” which showed that an aircraft with the new radar-evading technology could penetrate Soviet-style 1970s integrated air defense systems.

“Have Blue” was followed in the early 1980s by the secret F-117 Stealth “Fighter,” which was never actually a fighter but, as it was roughly the size of a fighter, the Air Force choose to call it a fighter, even though it would have been more accurate to call it a light reconnaissance bomber.

Although the F-117 was first used during the overthrow of the Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega in 1989, it proved itself during the 1991 Gulf War. The Iraq air defense system, which at the time was the best that Saddam’s oil wealth could buy, was unable to shoot down a single F-117, even though they flew dozens of missions over the most heavily defended parts of Iraq, especially over Baghdad. The F-117s were able repeatedly to hit Iraqi headquarters and other critical targets such as bridges and industrial facilities. It was this that crippled Saddam’s ability to continue the war.

At the same time in the early 1990s, the Air Force was introducing its new strategic bomber, the B-2. This was, and is, an extraordinary aircraft that combines stealth with a long range. The B-2 can fly more than 5000 miles on a single fuel load, as well as anywhere in the world with air-to-air refueling, even with a heavy payload. This bomber was first used against targets in Afghanistan in the fall of 2001.

Since its existence was revealed during the 1980 Presidential campaign, “stealth” has become surrounded by an aura of mystery and invincibility that tends to obscure its value in being able to defeat the most advanced air defense systems. Although talk about invisible and invulnerable airplanes was hogwash, normally skeptical journalists and media commentators bought into the myth, and sometimes used it to propagate a dangerously sterile vision of modern war, especially the idea that wars can be fought with no friendly casualties and almost no casualties on the enemies’ side.

In 1999, during the Kosovo operation, an F-117 was shot down over Serbia by an old Soviet SA-3 surface-to-air missile. This seems to have been done by a Serb missile battalion commander who, using basic intelligence methods, analyzed US air operations. Specifically, Serbian intelligence had informers with cell phones around US bases; the informers would phone in the departure times of US aircraft. Using this data the Serbs were able to make educated guesses when and where US aircraft would appear in the skies over their missile launchers.

The pilot ejected and was rescued, but the wreckage of the plane was recovered by the Serbs; it is believed they gave the debris to Russia as a “thank you” for Moscow’s political support.

Whatever the next military technological breakthrough is, if it keeps American troops alive and victorious in war and globally respected in peacetime, it will be worth every penny.

Originally published by Gatestone Institute http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org

About the Author: Taylor Dinerman is an expert on the Military and National Security affairs.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

3 Responses to “Stealth: Not-So-Secret Secrets”

  1. T-50 not T-80. The latter is a Russian main battle tank. It doesn't fly.

  2. Mogul M Mogul says:

    "It has already cost US taxpayers more than $400 billion. " The 390 billion includes 2400 planes so are you saying that taxpayers have already paid LM in advance for undelivered planes?

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Canadian policeman at scene of terrorist attack in Ottawa on Wednesday.
Terror: US Pledges Support for Canada but Tells Israel to Stay Calm
Latest Indepth Stories
Keeping-Jerusalem

Judea and Samaria (Yesha) have been governed by the IDF and not officially under Israeli sovereignty


n past decades, Oman has struck a diplomatic balance between Saudi Arabia, the West, and Iran.

The Jewish Press endorses the reelection of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. His record as governor these past four years offers eloquent testimony to the experience and vision he has to lead the Empire State for the next four years.

I think Seth Lipsky is amazing, but it just drives home the point that newspapers have a lot of moving parts.

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

Myth #1: It is easy to be a B’nai Noach. It is extraordinarily hard to be a B’nai Noach.

The question of anti-Semitism in Europe today is truly tied to the issue of immigration.

Polls indicate that the Palestinians are much more against a two state solution than the Israelis.

Turkey and Iran the 2 regional powers surrounding the ISIS conflict gain from a partial ISIS victory

Emigration from Israel is at an all-time low, far lower than immigration to Israel from Europe.

Leon Klinghoffer’s daughters: “‘Klinghoffer’ is justified as ‘a work of art’…This is an outrage.”

Do you seriously think that as you kidnap our children we should medically treat and help yours?

Sometimes collective action against the heinous acts of the majority is not enough. The world should not only support the blockade of Gaza; it must enforce the dismantling of Hamas.

The Arab Spring has challenged Jordan with the task of gradual reform with regard to its monarchy.

More Articles from Taylor Dinerman
A nuclear Blast in the Nevada desert

If the Mullahs can simply buy a usable and tested bomb design from North Korea, they could transform their status into a nuclear weapons state overnight.

Rangers

Today, control over all major military spending decisions remain exclusively in the hands of political appointees, and soldiers, sailors and airmen are left with the job of trying to defend their country and themselves with the inferior results of decisions made by politicians.

Since its existence was revealed during the 1980 Presidential campaign, “stealth” has become surrounded by an aura of mystery and invincibility that tends to obscure its value in being able to defeat the most advanced air defense systems.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/stealth-not-so-secret-secrets/2012/07/02/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: