Invisible aircraft does not happen. Stealth-built fighters and bomber bombers with unimportant characteristics and enormous cost are still found by Russian radars and knocked down Russian missiles. We have learned why this is happening.
Worldwide fame stealth technology brought Operation Desert Storm. For six weeks in a row, the American F-117 ground attack aircraft bombed Baghdad. Every night, the US Air Force planes freely crossed all the lines of the Iraqi air defense, hit their targets and returned to bases unharmed. It looked like it was impressive, and it allowed the Deputy Commander of the US Air Force, John Welch, to note with pride: “Technology“ stealth ”brought us back to that fundamental principle of war, which is called a surprise.”
For a while, F-117 became a no less popular American brand than Cadillac or Coca-Cola. Do not forget that any war is a powerful advertisement for it. weapons. If it meets expectations.
Experts do not use the word "invisibility" as applied to stealth technology. To make an airplane or a rocket invisible modern means impossible. You can reduce their visibility, yes, and then only in sight of the radar. This is the first Achilles heel of the invisible aircraft: they are visible to the naked eye of the operator of a short-range man-portable air defense system. And you can see his rocket with a television homing head. In modern MANPADS, a combined method of aiming at the target is used: optical, infrared (by thermal trail), laser, - and stealth technology will not be able to help here. Another thing is that it is desirable to shoot down enemy aircraft at distant approaches, and not at the moment when they fly overhead.
For the long-range detection of targets, there are radars. If you do not take into account the missile defense system, then the average army radar sees the plane kilometers per 300. Stealth technology makes it possible to reduce this distance - but at what cost ...
To scatter a radar beam, an airplane is made angular, consisting of flat faces. This design is called faceted. Wherever possible, the metal is replaced with carbon fiber. Where it is impossible to cover it with radio absorbing materials. To hide the engine compressors from the radar, one of the most visible metal parts in the aircraft, special diffusers are installed in front of them to dampen the radar signal.
Flat nozzles create a wide torch, which reduces visibility in the infrared. For extreme masking, cold air from the air intakes is added to the jet stream. Traditional tail plumage replaces the V-shaped "butterfly", less noticeable for the radar. Even the backs of the pilots' seats in stealth aircraft are made corrugated to scatter radar radiation.
The result is a plane with unimportant combat performance. He can not carry a lot of weapons, since everything is hidden in the fuselage - external pendants are unmasked! It is limited in speed and range. Finally, he is forced to use radar with great care, or even not to have it at all. Since the radiation of the radar gives the most invisible aircraft as clearly as the beam of a flashlight - a robber in a dark house.
There are two more disadvantages. Unobtrusive airplanes are very expensive. The American bomber B-2 Spirit is the most expensive aircraft in stories, the cost of one copy over 1,5 billion dollars. And despite all the tricks, they are still knocked down.
March 27 1999 of the year during the war in Yugoslavia, the invisible F-117 Night Hawk US Air Force aircraft was shot down by the old Pechora anti-aircraft missile system P-125. The first 5В27Д rocket, launched at the Kirov Plant named after the XX Party Congress in 1976, tore off the wing of the American fighter, the second hit the fuselage. Pilot Dale Zelko ejected, hid in the forest and a few hours later was evacuated by helicopter by American special forces.
“On March 24, we left the military unit and moved to the suburb of Belgrade, near the village of Shimanovtsy,” said the commander of the P-125 calculation, Dragan Matic. -Three days passed relatively quietly: they worked by teams, the usual procedure. The main task was not to fall under the AWACS radar that accompanied the NATO aircraft. In the evening of March 27 our entire team was on duty. A colleague from the tracking service reported strong interference in the air - the source of interference was moving in our direction. Five minutes later, radio intelligence transmitted that the target was approaching our calculation. I looked at the monitor and saw it, the signal was clear. Reported to the commander that the goal is fixed, we are ready for defeat. 17 seconds after the command "Fire" the plane was shot down by our missiles.
Having shot, anti-aircraft gunners immediately left the position.
- The faster you relocate, the greater the chances of the calculation to stay alive. For three months of aggression, we changed the position of 24 times. We were watched by AWACS and US satellites. 20 seconds on the air or on the enemy radar - and, consider, you are already dead. “Tomahawk” or a powerful bomb will arrive, continued Matich. - We silently shot and left - this saved our team. No one was injured, although nine people died in my air defense brigade.
The Serbian rocket launcher said that his calculation also hit the F-16 and the B-2 invisible bomber. But these planes reached their airfields, so there is no evidence. A shot down F-117 Americans for a long time called "missing", and then asked to return. Serbs, naturally, refused - now the stealth cabin adorns the museum aviation in Belgrade.