Stealth aircraft

stealthstealth fighterstealth bomberstealthylow-observablestealth fighter jetstealth fightersstealth planeaircraftB2 Stealth bombers
Stealth aircraft are designed to avoid detection using a variety of technologies that reduce reflection/emission of radar, infrared, visible light, radio frequency (RF) spectrum, and audio, collectively known as stealth technology.wikipedia
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Stealth technology

stealthstealthystealthier
Stealth aircraft are designed to avoid detection using a variety of technologies that reduce reflection/emission of radar, infrared, visible light, radio frequency (RF) spectrum, and audio, collectively known as stealth technology.
Stealth technology also termed low observable technology (LO technology) is a sub-discipline of military tactics and passive and also active electronic countermeasures, which cover a range of techniques used with personnel, aircraft, ships, submarines, missiles, satellites and ground vehicles to make them less visible (ideally invisible) to radar, infrared, sonar and other detection methods.

Radar cross-section

radar cross sectionradar signatureRCS
These are usually combined with active measures such as carefully planning all mission maneuvers in order to minimize the aircraft's radar cross-section, since common actions such as hard turns or opening bomb bay doors can more than double an otherwise stealthy aircraft's radar return. Passive (multistatic) radar, bistatic radar and especially multistatic radar systems detect some stealth aircraft better than conventional monostatic radars, since first-generation stealth technology (such as the F117) reflects energy away from the transmitter's line of sight, effectively increasing the radar cross section (RCS) in other directions, which the passive radars monitor.
For example, a stealth aircraft (which is designed to have low detectability) will have design features that give it a low RCS (such as absorbent paint, flat surfaces, surfaces specifically angled to reflect the signal somewhere other than towards the source), as opposed to a passenger airliner that will have a high RCS (bare metal, rounded surfaces effectively guaranteed to reflect some signal back to the source, lots of bumps like the engines, antennas, etc.).

Radar

radar stationradarsradar system
Stealth aircraft are designed to avoid detection using a variety of technologies that reduce reflection/emission of radar, infrared, visible light, radio frequency (RF) spectrum, and audio, collectively known as stealth technology.
For similar reasons, objects intended to avoid detection will not have inside corners or surfaces and edges perpendicular to likely detection directions, which leads to "odd" looking stealth aircraft.

Petr Ufimtsev

Pyotr UfimtsevUfimtsev, Petr
Modern stealth aircraft first became possible when Denys Overholser, a mathematician working for Lockheed Aircraft during the 1970s, adopted a mathematical model developed by Petr Ufimtsev, a Soviet scientist, to develop a computer program called Echo 1.
Pyotr Yakovlevich Ufimtsev (born 1931 in Ust-Charyshskaya Pristan, West Siberian Krai, now Altai Krai) is a Soviet/Russian physicist and mathematician, considered the seminal force behind modern stealth aircraft technology.

Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II

F-35F-35 Lightning IIF-35B Lightning II
Well-known modern examples of stealth of U.S. aircraft include the United States' F-117 Nighthawk (1981–2008), the B-2 Spirit, the F-22 Raptor, and the F-35 Lightning II.
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engined, all-weather stealth multirole fighters.

Chengdu J-20

J-20Chengdu J-20 B/CChengdu J-20 Black Eagle
The People's Republic of China started to flight testing its Chengdu J-20 stealth multirole fighter around in 2011 and made first public appearance at Airshow China 2016. Chengdu J-20 – Chengdu Aircraft Corporation
The Chengdu J-20, also known as Mighty Dragon, is a single-seat, twinjet, all-weather, stealth fifth-generation fighter aircraft developed by China's Chengdu Aerospace Corporation for the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF).

Sukhoi Su-57

PAK FASu-57Sukhoi PAK FA
Newer stealth aircraft, like the F-22, F-35 and the Su-57, have performance characteristics that meet or exceed those of current front-line jet fighters due to advances in other technologies such as flight control systems, engines, airframe construction and materials.
The fighter is designed to have supercruise, supermaneuverability, stealth, and advanced avionics to overcome the prior generation fighter aircraft as well as ground and naval defences.

Mikoyan LMFS

LMFSMiG LMFS
🇷🇺MiG LMFS – Mikoyan
The Mikoyan LMFS Liogkiy Mnogofunktsionalniy Frontovoi Samolyet (LMFS)—or Light Multi-Function Frontal Aircraft, is a proposed Russian stealth, single-engine multirole combat aircraft, loosely based on the cancelled Mikoyan Project 1.44.

1999 F-117A shootdown

shot downOne F-117 fighter was lost over Yugoslavia1999 downing of an F-117 Nighthawk
The F-117 performed its usual role of striking precision high-value targets and performed well, although one F-117 was shot down by a Serbian Isayev S-125 'Neva-M' missile commanded by Colonel Zoltán Dani.
The 1999 F-117A shootdown was an event that took place on 27 March 1999, during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia (i.e. Operation Allied Force or Operation Noble Anvil), when an Army of Yugoslavia unit used an S-125 Neva/Pechora to shoot down a Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk stealth aircraft of the United States Air Force.

Eurofighter Typhoon

TyphoonEurofighterTyphoons
The French Rafale, the British/German/Italian/Spanish Eurofighter and the Swedish Gripen also make extensive use of IRST.
Although not designated a stealth fighter, measures were taken to reduce the Typhoon's radar cross section (RCS), especially from the frontal aspect.

HAL AMCA

AMCAadvanced avionicsfifth generation stealth aircraft
🇮🇳AMCA – ADA / HAL
It is a single-seat, twin-engine, stealth all weather multirole fighter aircraft.

Flying wing

flying-wingbi-directional flying wingFlying wing plane
Nearly three decades later, a more serious attempt at radar "invisibility" was tried with the Horten Ho 229 flying wing fighter-bomber, developed in Nazi Germany during the last years of World War II.
This approach eventually led to the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit stealth bomber.

Dassault Rafale

RafaleRafale MRafales
The French Rafale, the British/German/Italian/Spanish Eurofighter and the Swedish Gripen also make extensive use of IRST.
Although not a full-aspect stealth aircraft, the cost of which was viewed as unacceptably excessive, the Rafale was designed for a reduced radar cross-section (RCS) and infrared signature.

Tupolev PAK DA

PAK DATu PAK DA
🇷🇺PAK DA – Tupolev
The PAK DA is planned to be a new stealth strategic bomber and is expected to enter service in 2025–30, with the first aircraft previously planned for delivery in 2020, but delivery will likely be after 2023.

Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider

B-21B-21 Raidernew strategic bomber
🇺🇸B-21 Raider – Northrop Grumman
As part of the Long Range Strike Bomber program (LRS-B), it is to be a very long-range, stealth strategic bomber for the United States Air Force capable of delivering conventional and thermonuclear weapons.

Xian H-20

H-20
🇨🇳Xian H-20 - Xi'an Aircraft Industrial Corporation
The Xian H-20 (alternatively Xian H-X) is a subsonic stealth bomber design of the People's Liberation Army Air Force, due to enter service in the future.

Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group

ChengduChengdu Aircraft CorporationChengdu Aerospace Corporation
Chengdu J-20 – Chengdu Aircraft Corporation
Chengdu Aerospace has been cited for its success in developing China's first fifth-generation aircraft and stealth fighter jet.

Shenyang Aircraft Corporation

ShenyangSACShenyang Aircraft Factory
Shenyang J-31 – Shenyang Aircraft Corporation
Shenyang Aerospace has been cited for its success in developing China's second fifth-generation aircraft and stealth fighter jet, after Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group, and the first line of Chinese fighter jet engines.

Bistatic radar

bistaticbi-staticbi-static system
Passive (multistatic) radar, bistatic radar and especially multistatic radar systems detect some stealth aircraft better than conventional monostatic radars, since first-generation stealth technology (such as the F117) reflects energy away from the transmitter's line of sight, effectively increasing the radar cross section (RCS) in other directions, which the passive radars monitor.
In forward scatter, the scattering can be modeled using Babinet's principle and is a potential countermeasure to stealth aircraft as the radar cross section (RCS) is determined solely by the silhouette of the aircraft seen by the transmitter, and is unaffected by stealth coatings or shapings.

MBB Lampyridae

🇩🇪MBB Lampyridae – West German stealth fighter prototype
The MBB Lampyridae (Latin for Fireflies) was a low-observable medium missile fighter (MRMF) developed during the 1980s by the West German aerospace company Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB).

HESA Shafaq

Shafaq
🇮🇷HESA Shafaq – HESA / IAMI
The HESA Shafaq or Shafagh (, "Twilight" or "Aurora") is an Iranian subsonic stealth aircraft project being developed by the Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company (HESA).

Force multiplication

force multiplierforce multipliersforce-multiplier
This apparent disadvantage however is offset by the reduction in fewer supporting aircraft that are required to provide air cover, air-defense suppression and electronic counter measures, making stealth aircraft "force multipliers".
At one extreme, a stealth aircraft like the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit strategic bomber can attack a target without needing the large numbers of escort fighter aircraft, electronic-warfare aircraft, Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses, and other supporting aircraft that would be needed were conventional bombers used against the same target.

NATO bombing of Yugoslavia

1999 NATO bombing of YugoslaviaOperation Allied ForceNATO bombing
In the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia two stealth aircraft were used by the United States, the veteran F-117 Nighthawk, and the newly introduced B-2 Spirit strategic stealth bomber.
On March 27, 1999, the 3rd Battalion of the 250th Missile Brigade, under the command of Colonel Zoltán Dani, equipped with the Isayev S-125 'Neva-M' (NATO designation SA-3 Goa), downed an American F-117 Nighthawk. Yugoslav air defense operators found they could detect F-117s with "obsolete" Soviet radars operating on long wavelengths. The pilot ejected and was rescued by search and rescue forces near Belgrade. This was the first and so far only time a stealth aircraft has been shot down.

Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk

F-117F-117 NighthawkF-117A Nighthawk
Well-known modern examples of stealth of U.S. aircraft include the United States' F-117 Nighthawk (1981–2008), the B-2 Spirit, the F-22 Raptor, and the F-35 Lightning II.

Cellulose acetate

acetateCellonacetate microfilm
During World War I, the Germans experimented with the use of Cellon (Cellulose acetate), a transparent covering material, in an attempt to reduce the visibility of military aircraft.
Stealth aircraft