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Stealth aircraft - safety?


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How do stealth aircraft operate during times of peace?

 

I assume a stealthy aircraft is (almost) invisible to all radar, both military and civilian. Flying unseen must be a risk, especially but not only in civilian airspace. I know there are transponders - while those broadcast an identity, I don't know if they provide a location. Then there's the datalink-type stuff, but that's only useful to whoever has matching equipment. Certainly not civilian operators, and I imagine a small minority of military operators.

 

Separately, I assume a military wouldn't want civilian air traffic control personnel becoming accustomed to exactly how stealthy these aircraft are, and the situations/ranges in which they start being detected.

 

So are stealth aircraft somehow configured to be less stealthy at peace time? Perhaps having stuff mounted under the wings even when it's not needed? Or is safety managed in another way, with this type of information being less secret than I imagine?

 

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They often carry additional radar reflectors, look like small antennas but can actually reflect a lot of radar energy. Search for images of Luneburg lens.

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Wow, that's interesting, and makes so much sense. Those "Luneberg lenses" are so compact to be able to light up a full aircraft.

 

Thanks for the info!

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Couple pics of reflectors - 

 

 

131CA4BC-EE8E-441D-BEB8-B509A24DDBB6.jpeg

D0288751-34C3-4821-B078-73E5CFCC2C4E.jpeg

480E6FE5-BFA5-4670-B282-F1B1DE6BF8C2.jpeg

C3FAFD10-375F-45F3-B492-4F383EEE0A50.jpeg

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But that is not just for Stealth Aircrafts... also normal jets are somtimes using AMA (Acceleration Monitoring Assembly) stuff, like the F-16, that has also a real small RCS.

 

That gives radar systems the chance to see them earlier or faster.

59995_1306613731.jpg

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Every Aircraft have an Transponder wich returns a Signal when it hit by an Radarbeam so you can see it. The Pilot can select what the Transponder want to return all, any, or nothing of: Aircraft Type, Registration, Altitude, Speed. I dont know why you need Radar Reflectors when you have an Transponder. Look on Flight Tracker any Military Aircraft can you see but without Details how Registration or Aircraft Type

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Even sailing boats carry reflectors to make them more visible to the RADAR of other vessels.

 

See the source image

 

Unintended stealth can have unpleasant consequences.

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sure but we talk about Aircrafts. In that case every Aircraft wich use the Airspace uppper FL10 , in TMZ, or CTRs Airspace must have to use an Transponder, without you never get the permission to fly in this Airspace. Look on Flighttracker in any times you can see Belgian F-16 wich fly with transponder-on, also Helis, C17, and many more.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Ghostraider said:

 I dont know why you need Radar Reflectors when you have an Transponder. 

 

 

Right now there's an issue with Turkey wanting to aquire both Stealth and anti-Stealth. They want F-35's. And they want S-400 SAM system.

 

Russia is all for Turkey buying both. But the Pentagon says "oh no. You get ONE or the other, not both".

 

Why? Because S-400 has an advanced powerful radar system, with lots of software. And a constant internet connection to Russia. The radar onboard, even in peacetime, is collecting data. If they can regularly have F-35's flying close to their fancy radar, they will eventually figure out how to early detect the F-35, what it's stealth vulnerabilities are, what it's strengths are. And one day a bribed airman may well remove the reflectors... giving Russia and it's S-400 dev team all the data they dreamed of.

 

So you use the transponder to allow ATC to help keep you and other traffic safe. And you use the reflectors to keep the enemy guessing as to what your real RCS values really are. 

 

Now.... I'm not sure about TCAS and ADSB in mil jets though... 

 

hmm

10 hours ago, Cupra said:

But that is not just for Stealth Aircrafts... also normal jets are somtimes using AMA (Acceleration Monitoring Assembly) stuff, like the F-16, that has also a real small RCS.

 

That gives radar systems the chance to see them earlier or faster.

59995_1306613731.jpg

 

Is that system to help get precision data for assessing training BFM engagements, or Red Flag and the like?

 


Edited by Rick50
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vor 41 Minuten schrieb Rick50:

Is that system to help get precision data for assessing training BFM engagements, or Red Flag and the like?

 

No. Google for ACMI pod.. I do not have the type number right here... the pod on the picture is for making the Viper more visible to radar system. Called Acceleration Monitoring Assembly . They sometimes are also painted orange or something like that........  

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On 5/23/2021 at 8:17 PM, Ghostraider said:

sure but we talk about Aircrafts. In that case every Aircraft wich use the Airspace uppper FL10 , in TMZ, or CTRs Airspace must have to use an Transponder, without you never get the permission to fly in this Airspace. Look on Flighttracker in any times you can see Belgian F-16 wich fly with transponder-on, also Helis, C17, and many more.

 

Transponders do not give location data.  They can report altitude and an ident code.  You still require SSR to locate aircraft. 

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On 5/23/2021 at 1:12 AM, G.J.S said:

Couple pics of reflectors - 

 

 

131CA4BC-EE8E-441D-BEB8-B509A24DDBB6.jpeg

D0288751-34C3-4821-B078-73E5CFCC2C4E.jpeg

480E6FE5-BFA5-4670-B282-F1B1DE6BF8C2.jpeg

C3FAFD10-375F-45F3-B492-4F383EEE0A50.jpeg

Those devices are not what you think they are for, they do not affect RCS. 

[sIGPIC]2011subsRADM.jpg

[/sIGPIC]

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5 minutes ago, SUBS17 said:

Those devices are not what you think they are for, they do not affect RCS. 

I’m ex aircrew, go on, educate me then.

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13 minutes ago, MiG21bisFishbedL said:

tenor.gif


HEY!?! Don’t hog the popcorn chap, pass it round . . . 🍿

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On 5/27/2021 at 3:04 PM, G.J.S said:

I’m ex aircrew, go on, educate me then.

 

Don't bother, you're not talking to someone who doesn't know - you're talking to someone who needs real help, no joke or /s.

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1 hour ago, GGTharos said:

 

Don't bother, you're not talking to someone who doesn't know - you're talking to someone who needs real help, no joke or /s.


Yeah, SUBS has “intrigued” me many times - and I quite agree. :smilewink:

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On 5/28/2021 at 7:04 AM, G.J.S said:

I’m ex aircrew, go on, educate me then.

 

So, and again no.

6 hours ago, G.J.S said:


Yeah, SUBS has “intrigued” me many times - and I quite agree. :smilewink:

 

Go out and visit every F22 on the Planet and take a photo. Do any of them have what you see in that picture?

[sIGPIC]2011subsRADM.jpg

[/sIGPIC]

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6 hours ago, SUBS17 said:

 

So, and again no.

 

Go out and visit every F22 on the Planet and take a photo. Do any of them have what you see in that picture?


Yes. The only time they come off is for actual combat ops. Same as when the -117 was front line, then the biscuit boxes come off. 
Still waiting for a little education from you about the first thing sensei.

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On 5/29/2021 at 5:08 AM, G.J.S said:


Yes. The only time they come off is for actual combat ops. Same as when the -117 was front line, then the biscuit boxes come off. 
Still waiting for a little education from you about the first thing sensei.

Would there be a situation where they may be removed for domestic flight ops, such as an airshow display? I'm having trouble actually spotting the F-22's reflectors in my airshow photos. Mostly because I favor a 2-3 or 11-10 o'clock position for a picture. 

 

The F-35's are always apparent, but all my F-22 shots have their weapons bays wide open:

 

Yo51JYX.jpg

qBh8cUj.jpg

uXeITZ1.jpg

 

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6 minutes ago, MiG21bisFishbedL said:

Would there be a situation where they may be removed for domestic flight ops, such as an airshow display? I'm having trouble actually spotting the F-22's reflectors in my airshow photos. Mostly because I favor a 2-3 or 11-10 o'clock position for a picture. 

 

The F-35's are always apparent, but all my F-22 shots have their weapons bays wide open:

 

Yo51JYX.jpg

qBh8cUj.jpg

uXeITZ1.jpg

 

Hello chap. I’m pretty sure the reflector on the -22 is on centre line, roughly just ahead of the main landing gear. From the angle of your shots, given that the bay doors are open the reflector would be hidden unfortunately.

Great images btw.

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