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Asked by username to Arti, Chris, Dustin, James, Steven on 18 May 2012. This question was also asked by campbellbrown.
Keywords: fighter, jets, stealth
Hi username and campbellbrown,
What we are referring to when we talk about stealth technology is Low Observable Technology.
Achieving low detectability is not a single technology, but is a combination because it applies to numerous aspects of detection. For example visual, heat, sound, and radar are ways we can observe something, so reducing these is the aim of stealth technology.
For stealth aircraft, radar signature is reduced by the shape of the plane. The angles reduce the reflected radar waves back toward the radar station. Also the material of the aircraft is important as it absorbs the radar waves which change the amount of reflected radar. It doesn’t make the aircraft invisible to radar, but reduces it detection. But at the same time, radars are becoming better, and so are overcoming this technology.
Visually, stealth aircraft are coloured black and are only used at night, so they are hard to see by observers.
Sound is not a large concern as many stealth aircraft travel at sufficient altitude and will travel subsonic so they cannot be tracked by their sonic boom.
Heat signatures from engines are reduced in a number of ways. By clever design and positioning of the exhaust that make them hard to see from the ground with infrared detectors, and in some aircraft, pumping cold air into the exhaust, heat signatures are greatly reduced.
Stealth technology does not make aircraft invisible, it just lowers the ability to detect them, they still have to use good tactics to overcome numerous countermeasures.
Dustin nailed it. Very clever tech 🙂
Nice explanation, Dustin! 🙂
By BRIDGE8 under license from Mangorolla CIC 2023