The 1 Reason Why America's F-22s, F-35s, And B-2 Bombers Can't Be Stopped

Kris Osborn

Key point: You can't kill what you can't see.

Despite the loud and fast-growing chorus of analysts, critics and weapons developers who continue to raise the question as to whether stealth technology may slowly be becoming obsolete, some senior weapons developers are citing some ways current and emerging stealth platforms will - for years to come - remain very difficult to destroy.

Russian built S-300 and S-400 air defense weapons, believed by many to be among the best in the world, are able to use digital technology to network “nodes” to one another to pass tracking and targeting data across wide swaths of terrain. New air defenses also use advanced command and control technology to detect aircraft across a much wider spectrum of frequencies than previous systems could. Also, much is being made of Russia’s emerging S-500 system, purported to be even more sophisticated against stealth aircraft.

While there is broad agreement that these newer air defenses do make it harder for stealth platforms to remain fully undetected, there are a variety of reasons why actually destroying a stealth platform - and completing the entire “kill chain” - will remain extremely difficult, if not impossible, to accomplish, according to a former 3-Star Air Force weapons developer.

“Bi-static radar can help detect low observable aircraft. However, to intercept a stealth aircraft requires transfer of detection from a large acquisition radar to a much smaller interceptor radar either on an aircraft or a missile that can track—or maintain continuous “lock-on” of the low observable aircraft. When you transfer track from an acquisition radar to a weapons interceptor necessary to engage at longer ranges than the stealth aircraft can detect and fire at the interceptor, that dramatically reduces the probability of the stealth aircraft being engaged. Detection is not what it is all about, you have an entire kill chain where every element must be successful to intercept and destroy a low-observable aircraft,” Ret. Lt. Gen. David Deptula, Dean of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, told Warrior Maven in an interview

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