Air combat and stealth

Introduction For a long time, visual detection was the only type of detection possible. But in World War II, two significant advances appeared: radar, as well as radar- and IR- -guided missiles. Until 1970s, these were defeated through jamming and decoys. Early German attempts at building LO aircraft – Ho-229 – never got anywhere, albeit…

Defining stealth

Introduction Word “stealth” has lately become a catchword used to define the weapon – mostly aircraft – as “superior”, with little or no thought as to what the term actually means. Stealth fighters, stealth bombers, stealth ships… even stealth tanks, the craze is in full swing. But how much do these weapons deserve the label?…

Stealth – evolution of justification

Radar stealth does not work very well against airborne threats for three very simple reasons. First, visual identification is necessary before engagement, which requires fighters to close in to either eyeball or optical sensor range. This means that larger fighter is at disadvantage, and stealth fighters are always larger than comparable non-stealth fighters. Second, pilots…

How stealthy is the F-35

Introduction F-35 is the newest Western flying piano. Apparently US have already forgotten all the lessons of World War II and Vietnam war, where such impressive-on-paper-but-sluggish fighters ended up on mercy of far more nimble fighters and were thus relegated to ground attack roles. In fact, F-35 was designed as a ground attack aircraft, only…

Value of stealth aircraft

Introduction Unlike US Navy and every other air force across the world, USAF has decided to transit to an all-stealth air force. But due to the Moore’s law, processing power doubles every 18 months – which means not only improvements in sensors that are already very capable of detecting stealth aircraft, but also that, as…

Is the F-22 really superior to all other fighter aircraft

USAF often touts F-22 as being the best fighter aircraft in the world. Is that really so? What are requirements for a good fighter aircraft? By analyzing past wars we can see that following requirements have never changed: high agility at dogfighting speeds (currently in the medium subsonic to transsonic regime) superior situational awareness low…

On AviationIntel F-22 vs Typhoon article

http://aviationintel.com/2012/07/28/in-response-to-reports-of-simulated-f-22-raptor-kills-by-german-eurofighters/   While author is indeed correct that training sorties do not necessarily mean that one type of aircraft is superior, multiple sorties can, when analyzed properly and assuming that setup is known, provide some information about respective fighter’s capabilities. Huge control surfaces and thrust vectoring are useful for high-altitude and low-speed maneuvers, not in…

F-22 fact spinning on USAF website

I was browsing http://www.af.mil, when I have found this page. While most, possibly all, of claims there have been addressed in my F-22 Analysis, I am aware that it is very long read, and as such I will examine claims here. First claim is that “The F-22 possesses a sophisticated sensor suite allowing the pilot to track,…

Cleaning up Red Flag Alaska F-22 vs Typhoon debate

Since Eurofighter Typhoons defeated F-22s at Red Flag Alaska in June 2012, discussion has produced many claims. I will address some of them here: 1) WVR combat is only small spectrum of air combat. Yes, and no – it mainly depends on numbers, and who you are shooting at. As enemy numbers, as well as quality of…