RE: Russian Stealth Aircraft? Anyone?
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RE: Russian Stealth Aircraft? Anyone?
Friday, April 10, 2009 (7:46 PM)

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Posted by
Historybuff (3)
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RE: Russian Stealth Aircraft? Anyone?
I'd like some info on this too seeing as how I'm doing a story that involves how the Serbian 250th Missile Defense Brigade shot down that F-117. I remember how the news said they were shipping the remains off to Russia for study, Russia not having the technology at the time. It would be cool to know if the remains ever got there, and if, in fact, they resulted in a Russian Stealth program.

I've found some info on PAK TA's, Sukhoi's T-50 stealth fighter, an answer to the F-22 (almost looks identical, but no thrust vectoring).
According to Wiki, its still in development, which means it may or may not have had anything to do with the incident.


Posted by
MarlboroManX (48)
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RE: RE: Russian Stealth Aircraft? Anyone?
Posted: April 11, 2009 (9:25 PM)
In so far as Russian Stealth, that is not a simple question. An F-117 was shot down, and parts of it were shipped off. However most of the plane is in a museum. Some sources claim that a B-2 was brought down, don't believe it. It is bunk, only a handful of B-2's were ever made and hiding the loss of one would be as difficult as hiding the loss of an aircraft carrier.

As far as the F-117 that was shot down, I find it highly unlikely that the Russians got very much use out of it. While the Russians have proven to have an impressive capability to reverse-engineer technology (a la air to air missiles) given the sheer fragility of the Radar Absorbent Material on an F-117 (even rain can wreck it) I find it highly unlikely that anything useful survived the impact of a missile, combined with the ball of fire, and the fall to Earth.

While examining the airframe itself might seem useful, it would provide very little information the Russians did not already know. All 1st Generation stealth aircraft were based on the WW2 Horton Brothers Night Fighter. Shape is the first concern in stealth (right angles in particular are bad) So if no RAM survived examining the wreckage wouldn't provide much more than pictures which are widely available.

There are many claimaints out there that the Russians have developed a plasma-stealth screen. I have posted several points stating why this is not realisitc, and perhaps not even possible. They are in the thread titled "Plasma Stealth Bah" so I'll not repeat them here.

In new generation Russian aircraft it seems they are making greater strides toward low-observability, but stealth does not seem to be a very high concern. Why? Is debatable, maybe the Russians know how stealth works but don't have the industrial know-how to replicate it, maybe they have it and just don't see it as being worth the design compromises necessary.

Also on the F-117 that was shot down, keep a few things in mind. Number one, the F-117 was shot down because Air Force planners got lazy, and sent F-117's on the exact same path, mission after mission, allowing the enemy to know exactly where it would be. Number two it was tracked with long-wave radars which are better at tracking stealth aircraft, but suffer against normal aircraft because non-stealth aircraft create a huge return that can obscure other things. If the Air Force insisted on sending the F-117's on the same path time after time, they should have put a few non-stealth aircraft in the vicinity to obscure the radar picture. And finally while I don't have my sources on this computer (you can find them with a little googling) it is believed that the missiles that took down the F-117 had been customized to incorporate TV-guidance along with infrared, etc.

In so far as stealth, I think you will see the Russians continue to improve on low-observability, but true stealth does not seem to be a part of their combat doctrine. I have read some reports that the PAK-FA will attempt to incorporate some stealth features, but again it does not seem to be a top priority. The current docrine seems to be warfare with fast, maneuverable aircraft using very long range missiles.

Russia still lags well behind the west in terms of stealth, but they're smart enough if they make it a priority (which it doesn't seem they are) but if they do, they will get there eventually.


Posted by
Historybuff (3)
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RE: RE: Russian Stealth Aircraft? Anyone?
Posted: April 14, 2009 (3:37 AM)
Thanks for the info Marlboro, very detailed. I came across a lot of this in the course of my own research since posting, but most of it is admittedly speculative. I remembered that story about the B-2, in looking up this subject I found no info on it. One last question, Wikipedia's own page on the Kosovo war says that the fighter went down because the pilot bailed, possibly prematurely. Not sure where I read this, can't seem to find the link anymore.

There was also a BBC article that claimed a NATO informant leaked the flightpath information the Russians, who in turn passed it on to the Serbs. Here it is: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/431408.stm

Anyway, this is all for the sake of fiction so I'm using most of it. Thanks!

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