Tag Archives: Stealth

Here's An Idea: The Air Force Builds 200 B-21 Stealth Bombers

Here's An Idea: The Air Force Builds 200 B-21 Stealth BombersThe B-21 has disappeared into the “black” world of military technology, and will only reemerge when the bomber is ready.On October 27, 2015, nearly thirty-four years to the day after Northrop Grumman was awarded the contract to develop the first stealth bomber, the U.S. Air Force awarded Northrop a contract for a new bomber: the B-21 Raider. While many of the details of the Raider are shrouded in mystery, we do know a few things about it, and can infer others.(This first appeared in 2017.)The B-21 Raider bomber takes its name from both the twenty-first century and the legendary 1942 raid by Gen. James “Jimmy” Doolittle’s force of B-25 Mitchell bombers against targets in and around Tokyo, Japan. In invoking the Doolittle Raid, the Air Force is drawing attention to attack’s audacious nature, the strategic and tactical surprise, and the epic distances General Doolittle and his “raiders” flew to accomplish their mission.Recommended: Why Doesn't America Just Kill Kim Jong-un?



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Stealth Bomber (1940s Style): Check Out the YB-49 Flying Wing

Stealth Bomber (1940s Style): Check Out the YB-49 Flying WingAlthough the YB-49 never reached full production, experience with the frame helped validate the concept which now dominates international thinking on strategic bomber design.As the United States approached World War II, it enjoyed the luxury of many innovative aircraft companies, and a ton of money to spend.  Part of this bounty went to pursuit aircraft, part to tactical attack planes, and part to long-range bombers. This last generated one of the most interesting failures ever to emerge from the U.S. aviation industry; the Northrop YB-49 “flying wing” bomber.The Flying WingEarly aviation engineers appreciated the potential for a “flying wing” design. A flying wing, which minimizes fuselage and usually eliminates the tail, reduces many of the aerodynamic compromises associated with a normal fuselage, reducing overall drag. However, many of these features enhance stability, meaning that a flying wing often lacks the stability of a traditional airframe. This makes the aircraft more difficult to fly, especially before the advent of fly-by-wire technology. A flying wing can also struggle with creating space for crew, payload, and defensive armament, as any of these can reduce the aerodynamic advantages than the shape offers.



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The F-22 Raptor Is the World's Best Stealth Fighter (And It's Going To Get Even Better)

The F-22 Raptor Is the World's Best Stealth Fighter (And It's Going To Get Even Better)Funding for an F-22 sensor upgrade will only come later in the 2020s and is likely to include an electro-optical module similar to the F-35’s EOTS and DAS systems to operate in heavy jamming environments. Such an upgrade would mirror the F-15X, which recently received a similar system.While much attention has been focused recently on the F-35 and F-15X, not much has been given to the U.S. Air Force’s premier air superiority fighter, the F-22 Raptor.(This first appeared last month.)While the Raptor was one of the most advanced aircraft in the world when it entered service in the early 2000s, sensor, radar, and datalink technology have all advanced since then.The Raptor has received relatively few upgrades compared to legacy fourth generation F-15 and F-16 aircraft and now is significantly outdated in some ways. For example, F-16s, F-15s, and F/A-18s are all equipped with the JHMCS missile cueing technology, which allows a pilot to lock onto an aircraft just by looking at it. The F-22 currently does not have this capability.



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Debris Found After Japanese F-35A Stealth Fighter Crashes at Sea

Debris Found After Japanese F-35A Stealth Fighter Crashes at SeaThe plane and its pilot, a man in his 40s, went missing about 135 kilometers (85 miles) off the Japanese coast Tuesday after departing Misawa Air Base on the northeastern corner of Honshu Island, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force said in a statement. A part of what’s believed to the the plane’s tail was spotted floating near where it disappeared, Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya told reporters Wednesday. The Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35 is considered the most expensive U.S. weapons system.



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The Super Secret SR-72 Spy Plane (That Might Also Be a Stealth Bomber)

The Super Secret SR-72 Spy Plane (That Might Also Be a Stealth Bomber)Hypersonic weapons—those capable of flying over five times the speed of sound—are the hot new buzz word of defense industrial complexes across the globe. China, Russia and the United States have all vigorously and relatively openly pursued a diverse array of hypersonic weapons programs, adding fuel to the fire of a growing arms race.While long-range ballistic missiles could already attain hypersonic speeds, they travel in predictable arcs and can be detected well in advance, giving military and political leaders time to react. Furthermore, an increasing number of air defense systems may be at least partially capable of intercepting ballistic missiles.However, back in 2013 Lockheed executive Robert Weiss caused a stir when he told Aviation Week the aerospace titan was well into developing a hypersonic aircraft—and invoked the legendary SR-71 Blackbird spy plane by dubbing it the SR-72.



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The Stealth Fighter America Said No To: Boeing's X-32

The Stealth Fighter America Said No To: Boeing's X-32It would have taken the place of the F-35.



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'F-22 Raptor' of Stealth Submarines: Meet the U.S. Navy's Seawolf-Class

'F-22 Raptor' of Stealth Submarines: Meet the U.S. Navy's Seawolf-ClassA rare breed.



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Stealth Surprise: How the F-35 and 6th Generation Fighters Could Join Forces (And Be Unstoppable)

Stealth Surprise: How the F-35 and 6th Generation Fighters Could Join Forces (And Be Unstoppable)The ultimate weapon?



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America's F-35 Stealth Fighter: The Ultimate Missile Killer?

America's F-35 Stealth Fighter: The Ultimate Missile Killer?The Pentagon wants to add F-35 stealth fighters to America's missile shield. But to have any chance at shooting down ballistic missiles, the F-35 might need a new weapon.



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F-22 vs. F-35: Which Stealth Fighter Wins in a Shootout?

F-22 vs. F-35: Which Stealth Fighter Wins in a Shootout?The U.S. Air Force’s original plan was for the F-22 to be its high-end air superiority fighter while the F-35 was designed to be primarily an air-to-ground strike aircraft, but one which could defend itself.



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