Thursday, October 26, 2017

Get 'Em While They're Still Not Entirely Obsolete.

If this thing works, they won't have to fire a round to deal a severe blow to Western military forces.

Russia says it will begin testing a new photonic radar system next year that will detect any aircraft, stealthy or not, at ranges perhaps up to 400 miles.

It's the "next generation" of radar technology, one that it's believed conventional stealth technology cannot defeat. The system is built around laser pulses in lieu of standard electro-magnetic radiation. The prototype technology was produced by a team of researchers in Italy a few years ago. Some have labelled it "quantum radar."

The Russians, it seems, picked up on the early research and ran with it.  Russia claims its own next generation fighter (Gen 6) will bristle with stealth defeating, very long range technologies including photonics and a new generation of optical sensors.

These systems, if they prove practical, may leave the West with all of its hyper-expensive eggs in one rapidly fraying basket.  For what is the F-35 when stripped of its cloak of invisibility? It could be very pricey dead meat.

There's a one-two punch in this, the development of VLRAAM, very long range air to air missiles. Both Russia and China are developing air launched, long range missiles designed to take down the F-35's essential support aircraft - aerial refueling tankers and long-range radar platforms (AWACS) which are big, slow, cumbersome and easily detectable at great distances.  Take those down and the F-35 could be, at best, a one-mission warplane.

That's the Achilles' Heel of a system that takes 20 years to develop, test, fix, and deploy. It gives the other side all sorts of time to analyze your technology, steal your secrets and develop their own, often much less costly, counter-technologies.

Since primitive men first picked up sticks, there has never been a weapon that wasn't neutralized or rendered obsolete in due course.  For some reason we imagined that didn't apply to the porcine F-35.


Trailblazer said...

And rumors fly!

Whilst the missile hit is being denied; I remember the F117 incident

Everything is possible.

The F117 had a short secractive life with no notable accomplishments.

I fear the F35 will suffer the same fate.


The Mound of Sound said...

My recollection is that the F-117 performed reasonably well during the initial strikes on Baghdad during the Desert Storm campaign.

Trailblazer said...

Flying over Baghdad at night with aa fire as the primary defence is not so huge a test.
Add to that the wild weasel support.