There Is Only 1 Way To Make the F-22 and F-35 Better: Stealth Refueling Tankers

Sebastien Roblin

Sebastien Roblin

Security,

Is this possible? 

There Is Only 1 Way To Make the F-22 and F-35 Better: Stealth Refueling Tankers

The Air Force has additional ideas for making its future tankers more survival, including incorporating active protection systems to shoot down incoming missiles—yes, possibly with lasers. Another concept, however, would involve using next-generation radar jammers that employ a cognitive intelligence system to automatically adjust frequencies to keep up with frequency-agile radars. Such jammers could obscure or even misrepresent the position of an aircraft on radar. The Pentagon also would like its next-generation tankers to feature more autonomation to reduce the number of necessary crew and speed up the refueling process.

The United States has devoted billions of dollars to building stealth fighters, stealth bombers, stealth cruise missiles and stealth spy drones. Surely a stealth tanker for refueling aircraft midflight would be an extravagance too much?

(This first appeared late last year.)

However, the concept of a stealth tanker is not as absurd you’d think for one simple reason: the Pentagon’s F-35 and F-22 stealth fighters, which it has made the lynchpin of its twenty-first century air warfare strategy, simply can’t fly far enough.

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