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Thread: Stealthy Warplanes. Will developing detection technology ultimately render them obsolete?

  1. #1 Stealthy Warplanes. Will developing detection technology ultimately render them obsolete? 
    Forum Masters Degree Double Helix's Avatar
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    Dec 2020
    Untold amounts of money have been spent on stealth aircraft, those capable of evading detection by radar due to their structural features, and materials of construction. Such planes include the F-117 Nighthawk, the B-2 Spirit, the F-22 Raptor, and the F-35 Lightning.

    Other countries are working on such planes, and reports indicate the Chinese and Russians have developed them, and appear to be effective in their stealthy capabilities.

    But I was reminded recently of when the Serbs shot down an F-117 using a supposedly obsolete radar-guided SAM. They apparently realized (or were told by the Russians), to look for a specific signal the F-117 would return whenever it opened its bomb bay doors. This worked, as the plane was lit up by the missile's radar system, and shot down. Fortunately the American pilot was able to eject, and was rescued later.

    This all brought to mind advances in detection using more and more sophisticated radar technologies, and advanced computer systems and programs to rapidly sort out the noise from real target signatures.

    Does anyone have any ideas if new tech is going to making such incredibly costly aircraft sitting ducks for a low cost missile, or can the aerospace experts continue to avoid detection by unique design and material changes?

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