Stealth aircraft
Overview
 
Stealth aircraft are aircraft
Aircraft
An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

 that use stealth technology
Stealth technology
Stealth technology also termed LO technology is a sub-discipline of military tactics and passive electronic countermeasures, which cover a range of techniques used with personnel, aircraft, ships, submarines, and missiles, to make them less visible to radar, infrared, sonar and other detection...

 to avoid detection by employing a combination of features to interfere with radar
Radar
Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The radar dish or antenna transmits pulses of radio...

 as well as reduce visibility in the infrared
Infrared
Infrared light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength longer than that of visible light, measured from the nominal edge of visible red light at 0.74 micrometres , and extending conventionally to 300 µm...

, visual, audio, and radio frequency (RF)
Radio frequency
Radio frequency is a rate of oscillation in the range of about 3 kHz to 300 GHz, which corresponds to the frequency of radio waves, and the alternating currents which carry radio signals...

 spectrum. Development of stealth technology likely began in Germany during World War II
History of Germany during World War II
The history of Germany during World War II closely parallels that of Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler. He came to power in Germany in 1933. From that point onward, Germany followed a policy of rearmament and confrontation with other countries...

. Well-known modern examples of stealth aircraft include the United States' F-117 Nighthawk
F-117 Nighthawk
The Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk was a single-seat, twin-engine stealth ground-attack aircraft formerly operated by the United States Air Force . The F-117A's first flight was in 1981, and it achieved initial operating capability status in October 1983...

 (1981–2008), the B-2 Spirit, the F-22 Raptor, and the F-35 Lightning II
F-35 Lightning II
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, fifth generation multirole fighters under development to perform ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defense missions with stealth capability...

.

While no aircraft is totally invisible to radar, stealth aircraft prevent conventional radar from detecting or tracking the aircraft effectively, reducing the odds of a successful attack.
Encyclopedia
Stealth aircraft are aircraft
Aircraft
An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

 that use stealth technology
Stealth technology
Stealth technology also termed LO technology is a sub-discipline of military tactics and passive electronic countermeasures, which cover a range of techniques used with personnel, aircraft, ships, submarines, and missiles, to make them less visible to radar, infrared, sonar and other detection...

 to avoid detection by employing a combination of features to interfere with radar
Radar
Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The radar dish or antenna transmits pulses of radio...

 as well as reduce visibility in the infrared
Infrared
Infrared light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength longer than that of visible light, measured from the nominal edge of visible red light at 0.74 micrometres , and extending conventionally to 300 µm...

, visual, audio, and radio frequency (RF)
Radio frequency
Radio frequency is a rate of oscillation in the range of about 3 kHz to 300 GHz, which corresponds to the frequency of radio waves, and the alternating currents which carry radio signals...

 spectrum. Development of stealth technology likely began in Germany during World War II
History of Germany during World War II
The history of Germany during World War II closely parallels that of Nazi Germany under Adolf Hitler. He came to power in Germany in 1933. From that point onward, Germany followed a policy of rearmament and confrontation with other countries...

. Well-known modern examples of stealth aircraft include the United States' F-117 Nighthawk
F-117 Nighthawk
The Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk was a single-seat, twin-engine stealth ground-attack aircraft formerly operated by the United States Air Force . The F-117A's first flight was in 1981, and it achieved initial operating capability status in October 1983...

 (1981–2008), the B-2 Spirit, the F-22 Raptor, and the F-35 Lightning II
F-35 Lightning II
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, fifth generation multirole fighters under development to perform ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defense missions with stealth capability...

.

While no aircraft is totally invisible to radar, stealth aircraft prevent conventional radar from detecting or tracking the aircraft effectively, reducing the odds of a successful attack. Stealth is the combination of passive low observable (LO) features and active emitters such as Low Probability of Intercept Radars, radios and laser designators. These are usually combined with active defenses such as chaff
Chaff (radar countermeasure)
Chaff, originally called Window by the British, and Düppel by the Second World War era German Luftwaffe , is a radar countermeasure in which aircraft or other targets spread a cloud of small, thin pieces of aluminium, metallized glass fibre or plastic, which either appears as a cluster of secondary...

, flares
Flare (countermeasure)
A flare is an aerial infrared countermeasure to counter an infrared homing surface-to-air missile or air-to-air missile. Flares are commonly composed of a pyrotechnic composition based on magnesium or another hot-burning metal, with burning temperature equal to or hotter than engine exhaust...

, and ECM
Electronic countermeasures
An electronic countermeasure is an electrical or electronic device designed to trick or deceive radar, sonar or other detection systems, like infrared or lasers. It may be used both offensively and defensively to deny targeting information to an enemy...

. It is accomplished by using a complex design philosophy to reduce the ability of an opponent's sensors to detect, track, or attack the stealth aircraft. This philosophy also takes into account the heat, sound, and other emissions of the aircraft as these can also be used to locate it.

Full-size stealth combat aircraft demonstrators have been flown by the United States (in 1977), Russia (in 2010) and China (in 2011), while the US military has already adopted three stealth designs, and is preparing to adopt another.

Most recent fighter designs will at least claim to have some sort of stealth, low observable, reduced RCS or radar jamming capability, but as of yet there has been no actual air to air combat experience against stealth aircraft.

Background

During World War I, an attempt to reduce the visibility of military aircraft resulted in the German heavy bomber, the Linke-Hofmann R.I
Linke-Hofmann R.I
|-See also:-Further Reading:* Haddow, G.W.; Peter M. Grosz . The German Giants - The German R-Planes 1914-1918 . London: Putnam. ISBN 0 85177 812 7* Gray, Peter & Thetford, Owen. “German Aircraft of the First World War”. London, Putnam...

; this had a wooden structure covered with transparent material.

This was followed by the Horten Ho 229
Horten Ho 229
The Horten H.IX, RLM designation Ho 229 was a late–World War II prototype fighter/bomber designed by Reimar and Walter Horten and built by Gothaer Waggonfabrik...

 flying wing
Flying wing
A flying wing is a tailless fixed-wing aircraft which has no definite fuselage, with most of the crew, payload and equipment being housed inside the main wing structure....

 fighter-bomber, developed in Germany during the last years of World War II. In addition to the aircraft's shape, which may not have been a deliberate attempt to affect radar deflection, the majority of the Ho 229's wooden skin was bonded together using carbon-impregnated plywood resins designed with the purported intention of absorbing radar waves. Testing performed in early 2009 by the Northrop-Grumman Corporation established that this compound, along with the aircraft's shape, would have rendered the Ho 229 virtually invisible to Britain's Chain Home
Chain Home
Chain Home was the codename for the ring of coastal Early Warning radar stations built by the British before and during the Second World War. The system otherwise known as AMES Type 1 consisted of radar fixed on top of a radio tower mast, called a 'station' to provide long-range detection of...

 early warning radar, provided the aircraft was traveling at high speed (approximately 550 mph (245.9 m/s)) at extremely low altitude (50–100 feet).

In the closing weeks of WWII the US military initiated "Operation Paperclip
Operation Paperclip
Operation Paperclip was the Office of Strategic Services program used to recruit the scientists of Nazi Germany for employment by the United States in the aftermath of World War II...

", an effort by the US Army to capture as much advanced German weapons research as possible, and also to deny that research to advancing Soviet troops. A Horton glider and the Ho 229 number V3 were secured and sent to Northrop Aviation for evaluation in the United States, who much later used a flying wing design for the B-2 stealth bomber. During WWII Northrop had been commissioned to develop a large wing-only long-range bomber (XB-35) based on photographs of the Horton's record-setting glider from the 1930s, but their initial designs suffered controllability issues that were not resolved until after the war. Northrop's small one-man prototype (N9M-B) and a Horton wing-only glider are located in the Chino Air Museum
Planes of Fame
Planes of Fame Air Museum is an aviation museum located in Chino, California, and Valle, Arizona. The museum has many flying and static aircraft, along with multiple rare examples under restoration.-History:...

 in Southern California.

Modern stealth aircraft first became possible when Denys Overholser, a mathematician working for Lockheed
Lockheed Corporation
The Lockheed Corporation was an American aerospace company. Lockheed was founded in 1912 and later merged with Martin Marietta to form Lockheed Martin in 1995.-Origins:...

 Aircraft during the 1970s, adopted a mathematical model developed by Petr Ufimtsev, a Russian scientist, to develop a computer program called Echo 1. Echo made it possible to predict the radar signature an aircraft made with flat panels, called facets. In 1975, engineers at Lockheed Skunk Works
Skunk works
Skunk Works is an official alias for Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Development Programs , formerly called Lockheed Advanced Development Projects. Skunk Works is responsible for a number of famous aircraft designs, including the U-2, the SR-71 Blackbird, the F-117 Nighthawk, and the F-22 Raptor...

 found that an aircraft made with faceted surfaces could have a very low radar signature because the surfaces would radiate almost all of the radar energy away from the receiver. Lockheed built a model called "the Hopeless Diamond", so-called because it resembled a squat diamond, and looked too hopeless to ever fly. Because advanced computers were available to control the flight of even a Hopeless Diamond, for the first time designers realized that it might be possible to make an aircraft that was virtually invisible to radar.

Reduced radar cross section is only one of five factors the designers addressed to create a truly stealthy design such as the F-22. The F-22 has also been designed to disguise its infrared emissions to make it harder to detect by infrared homing ("heat seeking") surface-to-air or air-to-air missiles. Designers also addressed making the aircraft less visible to the naked eye, controlling radio transmissions, and noise abatement.

The first combat use of purpose-designed stealth aircraft was in December 1989 during Operation Just Cause in Panama
Panama
Panama , officially the Republic of Panama , is the southernmost country of Central America. Situated on the isthmus connecting North and South America, it is bordered by Costa Rica to the northwest, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south. The...

. On 20 December 1989, two USAF F-117s bombed a Panamanian Defense Force barracks in Rio Hato, Panama. In 1991, F-117s were tasked with attacking the most heavily fortified targets in Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 in the opening phase of Operation Desert Storm and were the only jets allowed to operate inside Baghdad's city limits.

General design

The general design of a stealth aircraft is always aimed at reducing radar and thermal detection. It is the designer's top priority to satisfy the following conditions; some of which are listed below, by using their skills, which ultimately decides the success of the aircraft:-
  • Reducing thermal emission from thrust
  • Reducing radar detection by altering some general configuration (like introducing the split rudder)
  • Reducing radar detection when the aircraft opens its weapons bay

Limitations

Instability of design

Early stealth aircraft were designed with a focus on minimal radar cross section
Radar cross section
Radar cross section is a measure of how detectable an object is with a radar. A larger RCS indicates that an object is more easily detected.An object reflects a limited amount of radar energy...

 (RCS) rather than aerodynamic performance. Highly-stealth aircraft like the F-117 Nighthawk are aerodynamically unstable in all three axes and require constant flight corrections from a fly-by-wire
Fly-by-wire
Fly-by-wire is a system that replaces the conventional manual flight controls of an aircraft with an electronic interface. The movements of flight controls are converted to electronic signals transmitted by wires , and flight control computers determine how to move the actuators at each control...

 (FBW) flight system to maintain controlled flight. Most modern non-stealth fighter aircraft are unstable on one or two axes only. However, in the pursuit of increased maneuverability, most 4th and 5th-generation fighter aircraft have been designed with some degree of inherent instability that must be controlled by fly-by-wire computers.
As for the B2 Spirit, based on the development of the flying wing aircraft by Jack Northrop since 1940, design allowed creating stable aircraft with sufficient yaw control, even without vertical surfaces such as rudders.

Dogfighting ability

Earlier stealth aircraft (such as the F-117 and B-2) lack afterburner
AfterBurner
The AfterBurner is a lighting solution for the Game Boy Advance system that was created by Triton-Labs.Originally, portablemonopoly.net was a website created to petition Nintendo to put some kind of light in their Game Boy Advance system...

s, because the hot exhaust would increase their infrared footprint, and breaking the sound barrier would produce an obvious sonic boom, as well as surface heating of the aircraft skin which also increased the infrared footprint. As a result their performance in air combat maneuvering required in a dogfight
Dogfight
A dogfight, or dog fight, is a form of aerial combat between fighter aircraft; in particular, combat of maneuver at short range, where each side is aware of the other's presence. Dogfighting first appeared during World War I, shortly after the invention of the airplane...

 would never match that of a dedicated fighter aircraft. This was unimportant in the case of these two aircraft since both were designed to be bombers. More recent design techniques allow for stealthy designs such as the F-22 without compromising aerodynamic performance. Newer stealth aircraft, like the F-22, F-35 and the Sukhoi T-50, 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.

Electromagnetic emissions

The high level of computerization and large amount of electronic equipment found inside stealth aircraft are often claimed to make them vulnerable to passive detection. This is highly unlikely and certainly systems such as Tamara
Tamara passive sensor
Tamara was the third generation Czechoslovak electronic support measures system that used measurements of time difference of arrival of pulses at three or four sites to accurately detect and track airborne emitters by multilateration. Tamara's serial numbers were KRTP-86 and KRTP-91 and it...

 and Kolchuga
Kolchuga passive sensor
The Kolchuga passive sensor is an ESM system developed in Ukraine. Its detection range is limited by line-of-sight but may be up to for very high altitude, very powerful emitters...

, which are often described as counter-stealth radars, are not designed to detect stray electromagnetic fields of this type. Such systems are designed to detect intentional, higher power emissions such as radar and communication signals. Stealth aircraft are deliberately operated to avoid or reduce such emissions.

Current Radar Warning Receiver
Radar warning receiver
Radar warning receiver systems detect the radio emissions of radar systems. Their primary purpose is to issue a warning when a radar signal that might be a threat is detected. The warning can then be used, manually or automatically, to evade the detected threat...

s look for the regular pings of energy from mechanically swept radars while fifth generation jet fighters use Low Probability of Intercept Radars with no regular repeat pattern.

Vulnerable modes of flight

Stealth aircraft are still vulnerable to detection during, and immediately after using their weaponry. Since stealth payload (reduced RCS bombs and cruise missile
Cruise missile
A cruise missile is a guided missile that carries an explosive payload and is propelled, usually by a jet engine, towards a land-based or sea-based target. Cruise missiles are designed to deliver a large warhead over long distances with high accuracy...

s) are not yet generally available, and ordnance mount points create a significant radar return, stealth aircraft carry all armament internally. As soon as weapons bay doors are opened, the plane's RCS will be multiplied and even older generation radar systems will be able to locate the stealth aircraft. While the aircraft will reacquire its stealth as soon as the bay doors are closed, a fast response defensive weapons system has a short opportunity to engage the aircraft.

This vulnerability is addressed by operating in a manner that reduces the risk and consequences of temporary acquisition. The B-2's operational altitude imposes a flight time for defensive weapons that makes it virtually impossible to engage the aircraft during its weapons deployment. All stealthy aircraft carry weapons in internal weapons bays. New stealth aircraft designs such as the F-22 and F-35 can open their bays, release munitions and return to stealthy flight in less than a second.

Some weapons require that the weapon's guidance system acquire the target while the weapon is still attached to the aircraft. This forces relatively extended operations with the bay doors open.

Also, such aircraft as the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter can also carry additional weapons and fuel on hardpoints below their wings. When operating in this mode the planes will not be nearly as stealthy, as the hardpoints and the weapons mounted on those hardpoints will show up on radar systems. This option therefore represents a trade off between stealth or range and payload. External stores allow those aircraft to attack more targets further away, but will not allow for stealth during that mission as compared to a shorter range mission flying on just internal fuel and using only the more limited space of the internal weapon bays for armaments.

Reduced payload

Fully stealth aircraft carry all fuel and armament internally, which limits the payload. By way of comparison, the F-117 carries only two laser or GPS guided bombs, while a non-stealth attack aircraft can carry several times more. This requires the deployment of additional aircraft to engage targets that would normally require a single non-stealth attack aircraft. 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".

Cost of operations

Stealth aircraft are typically more expensive to develop and manufacture. An example is the B-2 Spirit that is many times more expensive to manufacture and support than conventional bomber aircraft. The B-2 program cost the U.S. Air Force almost $45 billion.

Reflected waves

Passive (multistatic) radar
Passive radar
Passive radar systems encompass a class of radar systems that detect and track objects by processing reflections from non-cooperative sources of illumination in the environment, such as commercial broadcast and communications signals...

, bistatic radar
Bistatic radar
Bistatic radar is the name given to a radar system which comprises a transmitter and receiver which are separated by a distance that is comparable to the expected target distance. Conversely, a radar in which the transmitter and receiver are collocated is called a monostatic radar...

 and especially multistatic radar
Multistatic radar
A multistatic radar system contains multiple spatially diverse monostatic radar or bistatic radar components with a shared area of coverage. An important distinction systems based on these individual radar geometries is the added requirement for some level of data fusion to take place between...

 systems are believed to detect some stealth aircraft better than conventional monostatic radar
Monostatic radar
Monostatic radar is the term given to a radar in which the transmitter and receiver are collocated. This is the conventional configuration for a radar, but the term is used to distinguish it from a bistatic radar or multistatic radar....

s, since first-generation stealth technology (such as the F117) reflects energy away from the transmitter's line of sight
Line-of-sight propagation
Line-of-sight propagation refers to electro-magnetic radiation or acoustic wave propagation. Electromagnetic transmission includes light emissions traveling in a straight line...

, effectively increasing the radar cross section
Radar cross section
Radar cross section is a measure of how detectable an object is with a radar. A larger RCS indicates that an object is more easily detected.An object reflects a limited amount of radar energy...

 (RCS) in other directions, which the passive radars monitor. Such a system typically uses either low frequency broadcast TV and FM radio signals (at which frequencies controlling the aircraft's signature is more difficult). Later stealth approaches do not rely on controlling the specular reflections of radar energy and so the geometrical benefits are unlikely to be significant.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign is a large public research-intensive university in the state of Illinois, United States. It is the flagship campus of the University of Illinois system...

 with support of DARPA, have shown that it is possible to build a synthetic aperture radar
Synthetic aperture radar
Synthetic-aperture radar is a form of radar whose defining characteristic is its use of relative motion between an antenna and its target region to provide distinctive long-term coherent-signal variations that are exploited to obtain finer spatial resolution than is possible with conventional...

 image of an aircraft target using passive multistatic radar, possibly detailed enough to enable automatic target recognition
Automatic Target Recognition
Automatic target recognition , is the ability for an algorithm or device to recognize targets or objects based on data obtained from sensors....

 (ATR).

In December 2007, SAAB
Saab
Saab AB is a Swedish aerospace and defence company, founded in 1937. From 1947 to 1990 it was the parent company of automobile manufacturer Saab Automobile, and between 1968 and 1995 the company was in a merger with commercial vehicle manufacturer Scania, known as Saab-Scania.-History:"Svenska...

 researchers also revealed details for a system called Associative Aperture Synthesis Radar (AASR) that would employ a large array of inexpensive and redundant transmitters and a few intelligent receivers to exploit forward scatter to detect low observable targets. The system was originally designed to detect stealthy cruise missiles and should be just as effective against aircraft. The large array of inexpensive transmitters also provides a degree of protection against anti-radar (or anti-radiation) missiles or attacks.

Infrared (heat)

Some analysts claim Infra-red search and track
Infra-red search and track
An infra-red search and track system is a method for detecting and tracking objects which give off infra-red radiation such as jet aircraft and helicopters. IRST is a generalized case of Forward Looking Infra-Red , i.e. from Forward-Looking to allround situational awareness...

 systems (IRSTs) can be deployed against stealth aircraft, because any aircraft surface heats up due to air friction and with a two channel IRST is a CO2 (4.3 µm absorption maxima) detection possible, through difference comparing between the low and high channel. These analysts also point to the resurgence in such systems in several Russian designs in the 1980s, such as those fitted to the MiG-29
Mikoyan MiG-29
The Mikoyan MiG-29 is a fourth-generation jet fighter aircraft designed in the Soviet Union for an air superiority role. Developed in the 1970s by the Mikoyan design bureau, it entered service with the Soviet Air Force in 1983, and remains in use by the Russian Air Force as well as in many other...

 and Su-27
Sukhoi Su-27
The Sukhoi Su-27 is a twin-engine supermanoeuverable fighter aircraft designed by Sukhoi. It was intended as a direct competitor for the large United States fourth generation fighters, with range, heavy armament, sophisticated avionics and high manoeuvrability...

. The latest version of the MiG-29, the MiG-35
Mikoyan MiG-35
The Mikoyan MiG-35 is a further development of the MiG-29M/M2 and MiG-29K/KUB technology. It is classified as a 4++ generation jet fighter by Mikoyan. The first prototype was a modification of the aircraft that previously served as MiG-29M2 model demonstrator. 10 prototypes have been built so far...

, is equipped with a new Optical Locator System that includes even more advanced IRST capabilities.

In air combat, the optronic suite allows:
  • Detection of non-afterburning targets at 45 kilometres (28 mi) range and more;
  • Identification of those targets at 8 to 10 km (5 to 6.2 mi) range; and
  • Estimates of aerial target range at up to 15 kilometres (9.3 mi).


For ground targets, the suite allows:
  • A tank-effective detection range up to 15 kilometres (9.3 mi), and aircraft carrier detection at 60 to 80 km (37.3 to 49.7 mi);
  • Identification of the tank type on the 8 to 10 km (5 to 6.2 mi) range, and of an aircraft carrier at 40 to 60 km (24.9 to 37.3 mi); and
  • Estimates of ground target range of up to 20 kilometres (12.4 mi).

Longer Wavelength Radar

VHF radar systems have wavelengths comparable to aircraft feature sizes and should exhibit scattering in the resonance region rather than the optical region, allowing most stealth aircraft to be detected. This has prompted Nizhniy Novgorod Research Institute of Radio Engineering (NNIIRT) to develop VHF AESAs such as the NEBO SVU, which is capable of performing target acquisition for SAM batteries. Despite the advantages offered by VHF radar, their longer wavelengths result in poor resolution compared to comparably sized X-band radar array. As a result, these systems must be very large before they can have the necessary resolution for an engagement radar.

The Dutch company Thales Nederland
Thales Nederland
Thales Nederland B.V. is a subsidiary of Thales Group involved primarily in naval defence systems...

, formerly known as Holland Signaal, have developed a naval phased-array radar called SMART-L
SMART-L
SMART-L is a naval long-range search radar from Thales Nederland, formerly Hollandse Signaalapparaten ....

, which also is operated at L-Band and is claimed to offer counter stealth benefits.

OTH radar (over-the-horizon radar)

Over-the-horizon radar
Over-the-horizon radar
Over-the-horizon radar, or OTH , is a design concept for radar systems to allow them to detect targets at very long ranges, typically up to thousands of kilometers...

 is a design concept that increases radar's effective range over conventional radar. It is claimed that the Australian JORN Jindalee Operational Radar Network
Jindalee Operational Radar Network
The Jindalee Operational Radar Network is an over-the-horizon radar network that can monitor air and sea movements across 37,000 km2. It has an official range of 3,000 km. It is used in the defence of Australia and can also monitor maritime operations, wave heights and wind directions...

 can overcome certain stealth characteristics. It is claimed that the HF frequency used and the method of bouncing radar from ionosphere overcomes the stealth characteristics of the F-117A. In other words, stealth aircraft are optimized for defeating much higher-frequency radar from front-on rather than low-frequency radars from above.

Operational usage of stealth aircraft

Stealth aircraft have been used in several conflicts: the United States invasion of Panama
United States invasion of Panama
The United States Invasion of Panama, code-named Operation Just Cause, was the invasion of Panama by the United States in December 1989. It occurred during the administration of U.S. President George H. W...

, the Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

, the Kosovo Conflict, the War in Afghanistan
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front launched Operation Enduring Freedom...

 the War in Iraq and the 2011 military intervention in Libya
2011 military intervention in Libya
On 19 March 2011, a multi-state coalition began a military intervention in Libya to implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, which was taken in response to events during the 2011 Libyan civil war...

. To date, the United States of America is the only country to have used stealth aircraft in combat.

The first use of stealth aircraft was in the United States invasion of Panama
United States invasion of Panama
The United States Invasion of Panama, code-named Operation Just Cause, was the invasion of Panama by the United States in December 1989. It occurred during the administration of U.S. President George H. W...

, where F-117 Nighthawk
F-117 Nighthawk
The Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk was a single-seat, twin-engine stealth ground-attack aircraft formerly operated by the United States Air Force . The F-117A's first flight was in 1981, and it achieved initial operating capability status in October 1983...

 stealth attack aircraft were used to drop bombs on enemy airfields and positions while evading enemy radars.

The successful first deployment of stealth aircraft to a combat zone marks a milestone in military aviation.

In 1990 the F-117 Nighthawk
F-117 Nighthawk
The Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk was a single-seat, twin-engine stealth ground-attack aircraft formerly operated by the United States Air Force . The F-117A's first flight was in 1981, and it achieved initial operating capability status in October 1983...

 was used again in the Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

, where F-117s flew approximately 1,300 sorties and scored direct hits on 1,600 high-value targets in Iraq while accumulating over 6,905 flight hours. Only 2.5% of the American aircraft in Iraq were F-117s, yet they struck more than 40% of the strategic targets, dropping over 2,000 tons of precision-guided munitions and striking their targets with over an 80% success rate.

In the 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia
1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia
The NATO bombing of Yugoslavia was NATO's military operation against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War. The strikes lasted from March 24, 1999 to June 10, 1999...

 two stealth aircraft were used by the United States, the veteran F-117 Nighthawk
F-117 Nighthawk
The Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk was a single-seat, twin-engine stealth ground-attack aircraft formerly operated by the United States Air Force . The F-117A's first flight was in 1981, and it achieved initial operating capability status in October 1983...

, and the newly introduced B-2 Spirit strategic stealth bomber.

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
Zoltán Dani
Zoltán Dani is a former colonel of the Yugoslav Army and former commander of the 3rd battery of the 250th Missile Brigade, which shot down an F-117 Nighthawk near the village of Buđanovci on 27 March 1999, during the Kosovo War. The hit was achieved with a SA-3 Goa SAM system...

.
The new B-2 Spirit was highly successful, destroying 33% of selected Serbian bombing targets
Bullseye (target)
The bullseye, or bull's-eye, is the centre of a target , and by extension the name given to any shot that hits the bullseye...

 in the first eight weeks of U.S. involvement in the War. During this war, B-2s flew non-stop to Kosovo from their home base in Missouri and back.

In the 2003 invasion of Iraq
2003 invasion of Iraq
The 2003 invasion of Iraq , was the start of the conflict known as the Iraq War, or Operation Iraqi Freedom, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland invaded Iraq and toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein in 21 days of major combat operations...

, F-117 Nighthawk
F-117 Nighthawk
The Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk was a single-seat, twin-engine stealth ground-attack aircraft formerly operated by the United States Air Force . The F-117A's first flight was in 1981, and it achieved initial operating capability status in October 1983...

s and B-2 Spirits were again used, and this was the last time the F-117 would see combat.

F-117s dropped satellite-guided strike munitions on selected targets, with high success. B-2 Spirits conducted 49 sorties in the invasion, releasing more than 1.5 million pounds of munitions.

During the May 2011 operation to kill Osama bin Laden, one of the helicopters used to clandestinely insert US troops into Pakistan crashed in the bin Laden compound. From the wreckage it was revealed that this helicopter had stealth characteristics, making this the first publically-known operational use of a stealth helicopter
Stealth helicopter
Stealth helicopters are helicopters that incorporate stealth technology to avoid detection. In recent years, designs for blades have emerged that can significantly reduce the noise, which is a major issue for clandestine use of helicopters...

.

The most recent use of stealth aircraft was in the 2011 military intervention in Libya
2011 military intervention in Libya
On 19 March 2011, a multi-state coalition began a military intervention in Libya to implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973, which was taken in response to events during the 2011 Libyan civil war...

, where B-2 Spirits dropped 40 bombs on a Libyan airfield with concentrated air defenses in support of the UN no-fly zone.
In the future, it is likely that stealth aircraft will continue to play a valuable role in air combat. In future conflicts the United States is likely to use the F-22 Raptor, B-2 Spirit, and the F-35 Lightning II
F-35 Lightning II
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, fifth generation multirole fighters under development to perform ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defense missions with stealth capability...

 to perform a variety of operations.

In Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, the Sukhoi PAK FA
Sukhoi PAK FA
The Sukhoi PAK FA is a twin-engine jet fighter being developed by Sukhoi OKB for the Russian Air Force. The Sukhoi T-50 is the prototype for PAK FA. The PAK FA is one of only a handful of stealth jet programs globally...

 stealth multi-role fighter is scheduled to be introduced from 2015, to perform a wide variety of missions. In India, the Sukhoi/HAL FGFA
Sukhoi/HAL FGFA
The Sukhoi/HAL Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft is a fifth-generation fighter being developed by Russia and India. It is a derivative project from the PAK FA being developed for the Indian Air Force .Two separate prototypes will be developed, one by Russia and a separate one by India...

, the Indian version of the PAK FA is scheduled to be introduced from 2017 in higher numbers, also to perform a wide variety of missions.

In the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

, the Chengdu J-20
Chengdu J-20
The Chengdu J-20 is a purported fifth-generation, stealth, twin-engine fighter aircraft prototype developed by Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group for the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force . In late 2010, the J-20 underwent high speed taxiing tests. The J-20 made its first flight on 11...

 stealth multi-role fighter is planned to be introduced around 2018. A prototype was flown in early 2011.

Stealth aircraft lost

The only time that a stealth aircraft has been shot down was on 27 March 1999, during Operation Allied Force
Operation Allied Force
The NATO bombing of Yugoslavia was NATO's military operation against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia during the Kosovo War. The strikes lasted from March 24, 1999 to June 10, 1999...

. An American F-117 Nighthawk
F-117 Nighthawk
The Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk was a single-seat, twin-engine stealth ground-attack aircraft formerly operated by the United States Air Force . The F-117A's first flight was in 1981, and it achieved initial operating capability status in October 1983...

 fell to a Serbian Air Defense crew who were operating their radars on unusually long wavelengths to launch a Isayev S-125 'Neva-M' missile at it which brought it down. The pilot ejected and was rescued and the aircraft itself remained relatively intact due to striking the ground at a slow speed in an inverted position.

A B-2 crashed on 23 February 2008 shortly after takeoff from Andersen Air Force Base
Andersen Air Force Base
Andersen Air Force Base is a United States Air Force base located approximately northeast of Yigo in the United States territory of Guam....

 in Guam
Guam
Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government. Guam is listed as one of 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United...

. The findings of the investigation stated that the B-2 crashed after "heavy, lashing rains" caused water to enter skin-flush air-data sensors, which feed angle of attack
Angle of attack
Angle of attack is a term used in fluid dynamics to describe the angle between a reference line on a lifting body and the vector representing the relative motion between the lifting body and the fluid through which it is moving...

 and yaw data to the computerized flight-control system. The water distorted pre-flight readings in three of the plane's 24 sensors, causing the flight-control system to send an erroneous correction to the B-2 on takeoff. The B-2 quickly stalled
Stall (flight)
In fluid dynamics, a stall is a reduction in the lift coefficient generated by a foil as angle of attack increases. This occurs when the critical angle of attack of the foil is exceeded...

, became unrecoverable, and crashed. The sensors in question measure numerous environmental factors, including air pressure and density, for data to calculate airspeed, altitude and attitude. Because of the faulty readings, the flight computers determined inaccurate airspeed readings and incorrectly indicated a downward angle for the aircraft, which contributed to an early rotation and an un-commanded 30-degree pitch up and left yaw, resulting in the stall.

Dedicated reduced cross section designs

In service
  • B-2 Spirit – Northrop Grumman
    Northrop Grumman
    Northrop Grumman Corporation is an American global aerospace and defense technology company formed by the 1994 purchase of Grumman by Northrop. The company was the fourth-largest defense contractor in the world as of 2010, and the largest builder of naval vessels. Northrop Grumman employs over...

  • F-22 Raptor – Lockheed Martin
    Lockheed Martin
    Lockheed Martin is an American global aerospace, defense, security, and advanced technology company with worldwide interests. It was formed by the merger of Lockheed Corporation with Martin Marietta in March 1995. It is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, in the Washington Metropolitan Area....

     / Boeing
    Boeing
    The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...



Formerly in service
  • F-117 Nighthawk
    F-117 Nighthawk
    The Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk was a single-seat, twin-engine stealth ground-attack aircraft formerly operated by the United States Air Force . The F-117A's first flight was in 1981, and it achieved initial operating capability status in October 1983...

     – Lockheed Martin
    Lockheed Martin
    Lockheed Martin is an American global aerospace, defense, security, and advanced technology company with worldwide interests. It was formed by the merger of Lockheed Corporation with Martin Marietta in March 1995. It is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, in the Washington Metropolitan Area....



Under development
  • F-35 Lightning II
    F-35 Lightning II
    The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, fifth generation multirole fighters under development to perform ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defense missions with stealth capability...

     – Lockheed Martin
    Lockheed Martin
    Lockheed Martin is an American global aerospace, defense, security, and advanced technology company with worldwide interests. It was formed by the merger of Lockheed Corporation with Martin Marietta in March 1995. It is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, in the Washington Metropolitan Area....

     / BAE Systems
    BAE Systems
    BAE Systems plc is a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company headquartered in London, United Kingdom, that has global interests, particularly in North America through its subsidiary BAE Systems Inc. BAE is among the world's largest military contractors; in 2009 it was the...

     / Northrop Grumman
    Northrop Grumman
    Northrop Grumman Corporation is an American global aerospace and defense technology company formed by the 1994 purchase of Grumman by Northrop. The company was the fourth-largest defense contractor in the world as of 2010, and the largest builder of naval vessels. Northrop Grumman employs over...

  • PAK FA – Sukhoi
    Sukhoi
    Sukhoi Company is a major Russian aircraft manufacturer, headquartered in Begovoy District, Northern Administrative Okrug, Moscow, famous for its fighters...

  • FGFA – Sukhoi
    Sukhoi
    Sukhoi Company is a major Russian aircraft manufacturer, headquartered in Begovoy District, Northern Administrative Okrug, Moscow, famous for its fighters...

     / HAL
    Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
    Hindustan Aeronautics Limited based in Bangalore, India, is one of Asia's largest aerospace companies. Under the management of the Indian Ministry of Defence, this state-owned company is mainly involved in aerospace industry, which includes manufacturing and assembling aircraft, navigation and...

  • Chengdu J-20
    Chengdu J-20
    The Chengdu J-20 is a purported fifth-generation, stealth, twin-engine fighter aircraft prototype developed by Chengdu Aircraft Industry Group for the Chinese People's Liberation Army Air Force . In late 2010, the J-20 underwent high speed taxiing tests. The J-20 made its first flight on 11...

     – Chengdu Aircraft Corporation
  • AMCA – ADA
    Aeronautical Development Agency
    The Aeronautical Development Agency of India's Ministry of Defence was established in Bangalore in 1984 to oversee the development of the nation's Light Combat Aircraft programme.- Airframe :...

     / HAL
    Hindustan Aeronautics Limited
    Hindustan Aeronautics Limited based in Bangalore, India, is one of Asia's largest aerospace companies. Under the management of the Indian Ministry of Defence, this state-owned company is mainly involved in aerospace industry, which includes manufacturing and assembling aircraft, navigation and...



Conceptual
  • Next-Generation Bomber – Lockheed Martin
    Lockheed Martin
    Lockheed Martin is an American global aerospace, defense, security, and advanced technology company with worldwide interests. It was formed by the merger of Lockheed Corporation with Martin Marietta in March 1995. It is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, in the Washington Metropolitan Area....

     / Boeing
    Boeing
    The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

  • PAK DA
    PAK DA
    -External links:**...

     – Tupolev
    Tupolev
    Tupolev is a Russian aerospace and defence company, headquartered in Basmanny District, Central Administrative Okrug, Moscow. Known officially as Public Stock Company Tupolev, it is the successor of the Tupolev OKB or Tupolev Design Bureau headed by the Soviet aerospace engineer A.N. Tupolev...

  • 2037 Bomber
    2037 Bomber
    The 2037 Bomber is the unofficial name given to a heavy strategic bomber planned by the United States Air Force. It is projected to enter service in 2037 as a stealthy, supersonic, long-range, heavy-payload, possibly unmanned aircraft to potentially replace the B-52 Stratofortress, which entered...



Cancelled
  • A-12 Avenger II
    A-12 Avenger II
    The McDonnell Douglas/General Dynamics A-12 Avenger II was a proposed American ground-attack aircraft from McDonnell Douglas and General Dynamics. It was to be an all-weather, carrier-based stealth bomber replacement for the Grumman A-6 Intruder in the United States Navy and Marine Corps...

     – McDonnell-Douglas / General Dynamics
    General Dynamics
    General Dynamics Corporation is a U.S. defense conglomerate formed by mergers and divestitures, and as of 2008 it is the fifth largest defense contractor in the world. Its headquarters are in West Falls Church , unincorporated Fairfax County, Virginia, in the Falls Church area.The company has...

  • Boeing X-32
    Boeing X-32
    The Boeing X-32 was a multi-purpose jet fighter in the Joint Strike Fighter contest. It lost to the Lockheed Martin X-35 demonstrator which was further developed into the F-35 Lightning II.-Background:...

     – Boeing prototype
  • YF-23 Black Widow II
    YF-23 Black Widow II
    The Northrop YF-23 or Northrop–McDonnell Douglas YF-23 was an American single-seat, twin-engine fighter aircraft designed for the United States Air Force . The design was a finalist in the USAF's Advanced Tactical Fighter competition, battling the Lockheed YF-22 for a production contract...

     – Northrop / McDonnell Douglas prototype
  • MBB Lampyridae
    MBB Lampyridae
    The MBB Lampyridae, or Firefly, was a low-observable medium missile fighter developed in 1980 by the German aerospace company Messerschmitt-Bölkow-Blohm .-Development:...

     – West German stealth fighter prototype
  • RAH-66 Comanche
    RAH-66 Comanche
    The Boeing-Sikorsky RAH-66 Comanche was an advanced five-blade armed reconnaissance and attack helicopter designed for the United States Army. The RAH-66 program was canceled in 2004, before mass production began, after nearly $7 billion was spent on the program.During the early 1980s, the U.S...

     – Boeing Sikorsky

Technology demonstrators
  • BAE Replica
    BAE Replica
    Replica was a design study for a military aircraft with stealth capabilities, developed by BAE Systems. It was associated with the Royal Air Force's now cancelled Future Offensive Air System. The programme is known to have run from 1994 to 1999, and a full size model was built and subjected to a...

     – BAE Systems
  • Boeing Bird of Prey – Boeing
  • Have Blue – Lockheed
    Lockheed Corporation
    The Lockheed Corporation was an American aerospace company. Lockheed was founded in 1912 and later merged with Martin Marietta to form Lockheed Martin in 1995.-Origins:...

  • Mitsubishi ATD-X
    Mitsubishi ATD-X
    -External links:* Technical Research and Development Institute Ministry of Defense* Mitsubishi* ASCII.jp* Mitsubishi ATD-X Shinshin...

     – Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
    Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
    , or MHI, is a Japanese company. It is one of the core companies of Mitsubishi Group.-History:In 1870 Yataro Iwasaki, the founder of Mitsubishi took a lease of Government-owned Nagasaki Shipyard. He named it Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works, and started the shipbuilding business on a full scale...

  • Northrop Tacit Blue
    Northrop Tacit Blue
    |-See also:...

     – Northrop
    Northrop Corporation
    Northrop Corporation was a leading United States aircraft manufacturer from its formation in 1939 until its merger with Grumman to form Northrop Grumman in 1994. The company is known for its development of the flying wing design, although only a few of these have entered service.-History:Jack...


Accidental or secondary function reduced cross section designs

  • Avro Vulcan
    Avro Vulcan
    The Avro Vulcan, sometimes referred to as the Hawker Siddeley Vulcan, was a jet-powered delta wing strategic bomber, operated by the Royal Air Force from 1956 until 1984. Aircraft manufacturer A V Roe & Co designed the Vulcan in response to Specification B.35/46. Of the three V bombers produced,...

     – British strategic bomber with delta wing and buried engines that gave an unplanned low radar cross-section
  • B-1B Lancer – RCS to about 10 m2
  • Dassault Rafale
    Dassault Rafale
    The Dassault Rafale is a French twin-engine delta-wing multi-role jet fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation. Introduced in 2000, the Rafale is being produced both for land-based use with the French Air Force and for carrier-based operations with the French Navy...

     – RCS to about 0.75 m2
  • Eurofighter Typhoon
    Eurofighter Typhoon
    The Eurofighter Typhoon is a twin-engine, canard-delta wing, multirole combat aircraft, designed and built by a consortium of three companies: EADS, Alenia Aeronautica and BAE Systems; working through a holding company, Eurofighter GmbH, which was formed in 1986...

     – RCS to about 0.25-0.75 m2
  • F-16C/D and E/F Fighting Falcon – from Block 30 has got reduced RCS to about 1.2m2
  • F/A-18E/F Super Hornet
    F/A-18E/F Super Hornet
    The Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is a twin-engine carrier-based multirole fighter aircraft. The F/A-18E single-seat variant and F/A-18F tandem-seat variant are larger and more advanced derivatives of the F/A-18C and D Hornet. The Super Hornet has an internal 20 mm gun and can carry air-to-air...

     – The F/A-18E/F's radar cross section was reduced greatly from some aspects, mainly the front and rear. RCS to about 20dB lower as a F18 C/D
  • Horten Ho 229
    Horten Ho 229
    The Horten H.IX, RLM designation Ho 229 was a late–World War II prototype fighter/bomber designed by Reimar and Walter Horten and built by Gothaer Waggonfabrik...

     – Flying wing turbojet fighter only 10% detected on radar, prototype test in 1944. Project cancelled in 1945 due to the worsening war situation.
  • Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird – Skunkworks Blackbirds were first production RCS aircraft; 1962 with CIA A-12, then later with SR-71, YF-12 and M-21 Blackbird series of aircraft
  • MiG 1.44
    Mikoyan Project 1.44
    The Mikoyan Project 1.44/1.42 was a technology demonstrator developed by Mikoyan. It was the Soviet Union's answer to the Advanced Tactical Fighter of the US, incorporating numerous fifth-generation fighter aspects such as advanced avionics, stealth, supermaneuoverability and supercruise...

     – Russian 5th generation fighter prototype
  • Mikoyan MiG-29K
    Mikoyan MiG-29K
    The Mikoyan MiG-29K is an all-weather carrier-based multirole fighter aircraft developed by the Mikoyan design bureau. The MiG-29K was developed in the late 1980s from MiG-29M....

     – Due to special coatings Mig-29K radar reflecting surface is 4-5 times smaller than of basic MiG-29. RCS to about 0.60-0.75 m2
  • Sukhoi Su-47
    Sukhoi Su-47
    The Sukhoi Su-47 Berkut , also designated S-32 and S-37 during initial development, was an experimental supersonic jet fighter developed by Sukhoi Aviation Corporation...

     – Russian technology demonstrator
  • Messerschmitt Me 163
    Messerschmitt Me 163
    The Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet, designed by Alexander Lippisch, was a German rocket-powered fighter aircraft. It is the only rocket-powered fighter aircraft ever to have been operational. Its design was revolutionary, and the Me 163 was capable of performance unrivaled at the time. Messerschmitt...

    B – rocket-powered fighter aircraft.
  • PZL-230 Skorpion
    PZL-230 Skorpion
    -See also:* Atlas Carver* Embraer MFT-LF* FMA SAIA 90* IAR 95* Novi Avion-References:...

  • Novi Avion
    Novi Avion
    |-See also:-References:* Newspaper article on Novi Avion* Aerosvet Magazine* Jane's All the World's Aircraft...

     – Yugoslav prototype, designed to have a features to lower it's RADAR cross section
  • Chengdu J-10
    Chengdu J-10
    The Chengdu J-10 is a multirole fighter aircraft designed and produced by the People's Republic of China's Chengdu Aircraft Industry Corporation for the People's Liberation Army Air Force...

  • HAL Tejas
    HAL Tejas
    The HAL Tejas is a lightweight multirole fighter developed by India. It is a tailless, compound delta-wing design powered by a single engine. It came from the Light Combat Aircraft programme, which began in the 1980s to replace India's ageing MiG-21 fighters...

      - Tejas mark-II version has stealth feature & better aerodynamics

Unmanned RCS designs

  • Boeing X-45
    Boeing X-45
    The Boeing X-45 unmanned combat air vehicle is a concept demonstrator for a next generation of completely autonomous military aircraft, developed by Boeing's Phantom Works. Manufactured by Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, the X-45 was a part of DARPA's J-UCAS project.-Development:Boeing developed...

     – Boeing, based on the manned Boeing Bird of Prey demonstrator ( technology demonstrator)
  • BAE Taranis
    BAE Taranis
    The BAE Systems Taranis is a British demonstrator program for Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle technology. A semi-autonomous unmanned warplane, it is designed to fly intercontinental missions, and will carry a variety of weapons, enabling it to attack both aerial and ground targets...

     – BAE Systems
    BAE Systems
    BAE Systems plc is a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company headquartered in London, United Kingdom, that has global interests, particularly in North America through its subsidiary BAE Systems Inc. BAE is among the world's largest military contractors; in 2009 it was the...

     ( UCAV Technology Demonstrator)
  • Dassault nEUROn
    Dassault Neuron
    The Dassault nEUROn is an experimental Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle being developed with international cooperation, led by the French company Dassault Aviation.-Description:...

     – technology demonstrator
  • EADS Barracuda
    EADS Barracuda
    |- See also :- External links :* *...

     – EADS
    EADS
    The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company N.V. is a global pan-European aerospace and defence corporation and a leading defence and military contractor worldwide...

     of Germany (technology demonstrator)
  • Rheinmetall KZO – Rheinmetall
    Rheinmetall
    Rheinmetall AG is a German automotive and defence company with factories in Düsseldorf, Kassel and Unterlüß. The company has a long tradition of making guns and artillery pieces...

     (tactical UAV)
  • RQ-3 Dark Star
    RQ-3 Dark Star
    -See also:- Footnotes :ReferencesSources* Specifications and second and third paragraphs: Display information on exhibit at Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington, US.- External links :* *...

     – Lockheed
    Lockheed Martin
    Lockheed Martin is an American global aerospace, defense, security, and advanced technology company with worldwide interests. It was formed by the merger of Lockheed Corporation with Martin Marietta in March 1995. It is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, in the Washington Metropolitan Area....

     / Skunk Works (cancelled)
  • Armstechno NITI
    Armstechno NITI
    - References :*...

     – Armstechno, Bulgaria
    Bulgaria
    Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

     (tactical UAV)
  • Lockheed Martin RQ-170 Sentinel – Lockheed Martin
    Lockheed Martin
    Lockheed Martin is an American global aerospace, defense, security, and advanced technology company with worldwide interests. It was formed by the merger of Lockheed Corporation with Martin Marietta in March 1995. It is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, in the Washington Metropolitan Area....

  • MiG Skat
    MiG Skat
    Designed by the Russian firm Mikoyan, the Skat is one of two concept strike UCAV currently being developed for the Russian Defense Ministry....

     – Mikoyan
    Mikoyan
    Russian Aircraft Corporation MiG , or RSK MiG, is a Russian joint stock company. Formerly Mikoyan-and-Gurevich Design Bureau , then simply Mikoyan, it is a military aircraft design bureau, primarily designing fighter aircraft...

    , Russia
    Russia
    Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

  • Northrop Grumman X-47B
    Northrop Grumman X-47B
    |-See also:-External links:* and * * * * - TFOT magazine**...

     – USA (technology demonstrator)
  • DRDO AURA
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK