It’s either one of the biggest aviation news scoops in the last decade, or the latest in Hollywood fakery. Today ace aviation reporter David Cenciotti circulated the above photo, apparently depicting a stealth helicopter similar to those used by the U.S. Joint Special Operations Command in the May 2011 that killed Osama Bin Laden in his Abbottabad, Pakistan, compound. The photo originally appeared with little notation on Photobucket.
Archived posts with tag ‘stealth’
Some commenters claim the Red Flag exercise is not indicative of the way the F-22 would fight in the real world. In an actual shooting war, an F-22′s opponent “won’t make it to visual range,” one reader asserted. The stealthy Raptor would allow it to sneak up high and fast and kill the enemy from long range using an AMRAAM missile, commenters insist.
The fast, stealthy F-22 Raptor is “unquestionably” the best air-to-air fighter in the arsenal of the world’s leading air force. That’s what outgoing Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz wrote in 2009.
A New Chinese Stealth Fighter?
Chinese warplane developers will surprise you. Just a few months ago, a Hong Kong magazine appeared to prove that the rumored Chinese J-16 stealth fighter was not a stealth fighter at all, rather a slightly-tweaked, and non-stealthy, Chinese copy of a Russian Sukhoi jet. But now photos are circulating of a partially assembled Chinese warplane that could be a version of the L-15 trainer … or it could be the rumored J-21 stealth fighter. If the latter, it would be China’s second stealth warplane, after the J-20 that debuted two years ago.
The second copy of China’s stealth fighter prototype has just flown at a research facility in the city of Chengdu. The first flight of the J-20 Mighty Dragon with the nose number 2002 doubles Beijing’s stealth test fleet at a time when America’s latest jet fighters are hobbled by cost overruns, labor disputes and lethal design flaws. But it’s far from certain how much, and how fast, the new Chinese jet will alter the military balance.
The U.S. military is already investing tens of billions of dollars to make its jet fighters less visible to radars and infrared sensors. Now the Pentagon wants the defense industry to come up with a system that can cloak fighters from another telltale type of radiation: ultra-violet energy from the sun.
The jet fighter suddenly appears directly overhead, twin engines roaring, landing gear dangling like claws, diamond-shaped wings tracing an impressive black silhouette against the grayish sky. The airplane, displaying the red-star insignia of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, whips past and disappears beyond the opposite horizon.
After nearly 20 years of development and $65 billion, the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter entered service with the U.S. Air Force in 2005. But it wasn’t until this month that the first squadron of Lockheed Martin-built F-22s was fully combat-ready with ground-mapping radars and a flexible bomb payload — standard equipment on most Air Force strike jets. The cost to bring the roughly 150 front-line Raptors up to this normal level of capability: an extra $8 billion, boosting the per-jet cost from $350 million to almost $400 million.
Prepare the dissection table. Iran says it’s planning to disassemble its prized acquisition: a CIA-operated drone that apparently crashed on its territory. Its goal: to learn how the drone, apparently a stealth RQ-170 Sentinel, evades radar and how its top-secret sensors work. Which has the U.S. worried about Iran copying its advanced flying robot. ”There is the potential for reverse engineering, clearly,” U.S. Air Force Chief Gen. Norton Schwartz conceded.
There are lots of surprising claims in Chuck Pfarrer’s new book SEAL Target Geronimo, a supposedly inside account of the May 2 raid that killed Osama bin Laden in his Abbottabad, Pakistan, compound — and none more surprising than this. The former commando-turned-author Pfarrer insists the Army’s 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment possesses not one, but two stealth transport helicopter designs. The stealthier of the two was held back from the mission for fear of one crashing and giving up its secrets, Pfarrer claims.
More bad news for the Pentagon’s next-generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the most expensive weapons program in Defense Department history — and arguably the most important one in the Pentagon today. The Air Force has confirmed what observers long expected: that the land-based F-35A model probably won’t be ready for combat until 2018, two years later than previously scheduled.