F-117 Shot down in 1999

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posted on Nov, 27 2005 @ 07:52 PM
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Hi everyone,

I just read in an article that an F-117, the pride and joy of the American Air Force, was shot down in 1999 in former Yugoslavian territory.

I honestly I'm shocked; this might be old news for some of you, but I never thought it was possible to shoot down such a plane, specially when the ones to do so where the Serbs.

Does anyone know how an F-117 can be shot down? What kind of equipment was used, and how did it manage to detect the aircraft?

Here's a link to the story, I'm googoling for more info.

www.usatoday.com...

Here's an interesting excerpt from the story:



Military analysts debated how the planes would fare in a war against a militarily sophisticated opponent if an obsolescent air defense such as Serbia's could manage to track and destroy them.


[edit on 27-11-2005 by RK_Pr0t0c0l]




posted on Nov, 27 2005 @ 08:23 PM
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There was a Serbian sympathizer in the NATO HQ who tipped off the Serbs as to the route of the F117s. US planners were so cocky that they put the F117s on repetitive routings, generally a bad thing.

There are conflicting reports of the hardware the Serbs used. An SA-6 is most likely although some reasonably credible sources cite an AA-2 Atoll fired from a Mig 21, which although sounds far fetched isn’t altogether impossible. If you can get the Mig 21 close enough, it stands a good chance. Normally with stealth aircraft you can’t get close enough because you can’t see them (on radar), but the Serbs knew it’s route.

Stealth jet aircraft are vulnerable to IR detection just like any other jet –although measures are taken to REDUCE the IR signature, it cannot be made to zero. They all kick out lots of hot air and IR missiles are harder to detect approaching because they are passive –and the F117 uses passive defensive aids (for obvious reasons) so it relies on ‘seeing’ the missile approaching. Not easy in real world conditions.



posted on Nov, 27 2005 @ 08:25 PM
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It is reported that the 117 was tracked with an older Russian radar and shot down. From what i can gather from the US side, it was shot down because the missions had become laxed and they were flying the same paths over and over. The 117 is designed to fly through the "holes" of known radar to maintain its stealth. I have been very interested in this story. If you accept the official US story, then you can chalk it up to bad mission planning and overconfidence. If you accept the enemies story then there could be an expensive and embarrasing mistake. i hope the "lucky shot" story is true.



posted on Nov, 27 2005 @ 08:27 PM
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Originally posted by planeman
There was a Serbian sympathizer in the NATO HQ who tipped off the Serbs as to the route of the F117s. US planners were so cocky that they put the F117s on repetitive routings, generally a bad thing.


I had heard this also but have been unable to verify.



posted on Nov, 27 2005 @ 08:33 PM
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This has been discussed numerous time here on ATS. The most comprehensive analysis of this was done by AWST.

There are a number of factors that played into this:

1) The same route was used multiple times.
2) EA-6B support was pulled to cover a B-2 that was in bound.
3) The Aircraft may have been backlighted against cloud cover and spotted visualy. Stealth works only to a point and if you get close enough to the radar source you will be seen.
4) The plane may have "lost" its stealth. The F-117 depends on its shape and according to Ben Rich even a screw that is not tight enough or bird droppings can change its radar signature.
5) Not as confirmed: There may have been a mechanical failure that required the pilot to eject. Once the canopy was gone it would be easily picked up and perhaps they downed a plane already on the way down.

Ghost put forth in a previous thread that the Chinese embassy was bombed to target the F-117 remains. makes sence IMHO



posted on Nov, 27 2005 @ 08:33 PM
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The planes were on the same routes, night after night at the same time. It was a lesson that SHOULD have been learned after Vietnam, but apparently wasn't. An SA-3 was used, which is an optically tracked guided missile. There were also quite a few bullet holes in the wreckage after it was seen on the ground. It's not "impossible" to shoot down stealth planes, just very difficult. There are aspects of the mission where they aren't going to be stealthy. For instance if an F-117 wants to talk on the radio, he has to extend the radio antenna, which is going to make it less stealthy. They're most vulnerable when they are about to drop a bomb. Once the bomb bay is open, the doors give them the RCS of a barn. There is also a report that there was a fire. Once the skin catches fire, it's NOT going out, period.

[edit on 11/27/2005 by Zaphod58]



posted on Nov, 27 2005 @ 08:35 PM
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Well, according to the man responsible for the downing, they used home-made technology to shoot it down, although I kind of doubt it



"We used a little innovation to update our 1960s-vintage SAMs to detect the Nighthawk," Dani said. He declined to discuss specifics, saying the exact nature of the modification to the warhead's guidance system remains a military secret.


I also found this very thrilling and interesting account on the rescue of the pilot:

www.findarticles.com... 77888#continue

[edit on 27-11-2005 by RK_Pr0t0c0l]



posted on Nov, 27 2005 @ 09:46 PM
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This gets such a big deal made about it, and all these other inventions that make stealth "obsolete" but let's look at the record since the F-117 came along.

F-117:
Panama - Operation Just Cause (USAF, 1989)
Iraq - Operation Desert Storm (USAF, 1991)
Kosovo - Operation Allied Force (USAF, 1999)
Iraq - Operation Iraqi Freedom (USAF, 2003-present)
www.aerospaceweb.org...

Panama-Four F-117s involved in one mission.
Desert Storm I:
Number of F-117A nighthawks Available 36 then 42 after Day 9 of the War 1/26/91
Number of Sorties 1,271
Days of Campaign 43
Total Combat Flight Hours 6,900+
Average Mission Length 5.4 hours
Total Bombs Released 2,040
Kosovo:
Can't find any hard figures, other than one lost due to an SA-3 hit.
Iraq:
12 deployed F-117s flew more than 100 combat sorties in support of the global war on terrorism.

B-2
Kosovo:
During testing it achieved a 95% reliability rate and average accuracy of 9.6m, compared with a requirement of 13m. The 652 JDAMs dropped from B-2 bombers during the spring air offensive over former Yugoslavia achieved a 96% reliability rate and comparable accuracy. In fact, it was the extraordinary precision of JDAMs delivered in 49 B-2 sorties during all types of weather that more than any other factor convinced experts a new era of warfare might be dawning.
www.danshistory.com...
Iraq/Afghanistan:
But that’s what happened when six B-2 bombers – each with two sets of aircrews to fly the pilot and co-pilot positions, took off from Whiteman during the first three days of Operation Enduring Freedom, embarking on missions that would take them about 44 hours – the longest combat sorties in the history of aviation — to hit targets in Afghanistan. After successfully completing the missions, all six aircraft landed at Diego Garcia, a small British island in the Indian Ocean where B-1s and B-52s are currently deployed. On the ground less than an hour for an engine-running crew change, the jets were then airborne again for a 30-hour flight home
www.spear.navy.mil...

And after all these missions, and combat hours, exactly ONE stealth has been shot down. Despite flying over some of the most heavily defended airspace in the world (Baghdad), and flying hundreds or even thousands of hours of combat, only the one stealth was lost, and that was due to dumb planning, and luck.



posted on Nov, 27 2005 @ 10:03 PM
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Exellent post zaphod. Way to put it in persective. The nay-sayers want the US stealth technology to fail (along with other US miltary endeavors) but you have derailed them with the FACTS. The proof is truly in the pudding!



posted on Nov, 27 2005 @ 11:19 PM
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I also spoke with several friends and relatives who were/are in the armed forces and they all said that the nighthawk was hit initially by a SAM and then finished off with triple A.

A modified radar of some sort was used.


It is also believed 2-3 B2s were shot down, as reported by many people.

The F-117 was used by Russia to make the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system, which is fully capable of shooting down all stealth aircraft.



posted on Nov, 27 2005 @ 11:29 PM
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Originally posted by Manincloak
It is also believed 2-3 B2s were shot down, as reported by many people.


Other than the two collaborating/cooperating source mentioned in this article, how about back up your belief and assertion quoted above with some viable and credible sources from "those many people"?






seekerof



posted on Nov, 27 2005 @ 11:30 PM
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The B-2s that were "shot down" have all been seen and verified since they were supposedly shot down. There's no way they could have kept that a secret if they had lost even ONE B-2. Not to mention all the combat missions that they have flown since then, with zero losses. As far as the S-400, there is supposed to be at least one in the US that they are doing testing with, to learn what it can and can't do.



posted on Nov, 27 2005 @ 11:31 PM
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Originally posted by Manincloak
The F-117 was used by Russia to make the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system, which is fully capable of shooting down all stealth aircraft.

Addressing what is in bold above:
You factually know this or basically making an unbacked and unsubstantiated assertion?





seekerof



posted on Nov, 27 2005 @ 11:33 PM
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Originally posted by Seekerof

Originally posted by Manincloak
It is also believed 2-3 B2s were shot down, as reported by many people.


Other than the two collaborating/cooperating source mentioned in this article, how about back up your belief and assertion quoted above with some viable and credible sources from "those many people"?
seekerof


Nice story. The author should write books.

[edit on 11/28/2005 by Zaphod58]



posted on Nov, 27 2005 @ 11:58 PM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
This gets such a big deal made about it, and all these other inventions that make stealth "obsolete" but let's look at the record since the F-117 came along.

F-117:
Panama - Operation Just Cause (USAF, 1989)
Iraq - Operation Desert Storm (USAF, 1991)
Kosovo - Operation Allied Force (USAF, 1999)
Iraq - Operation Iraqi Freedom (USAF, 2003-present)
www.aerospaceweb.org...

Panama-Four F-117s involved in one mission.
Desert Storm I:
Number of F-117A nighthawks Available 36 then 42 after Day 9 of the War 1/26/91
Number of Sorties 1,271
Days of Campaign 43
Total Combat Flight Hours 6,900+
Average Mission Length 5.4 hours
Total Bombs Released 2,040
Kosovo:
Can't find any hard figures, other than one lost due to an SA-3 hit.
Iraq:
12 deployed F-117s flew more than 100 combat sorties in support of the global war on terrorism.

B-2
Kosovo:
During testing it achieved a 95% reliability rate and average accuracy of 9.6m, compared with a requirement of 13m. The 652 JDAMs dropped from B-2 bombers during the spring air offensive over former Yugoslavia achieved a 96% reliability rate and comparable accuracy. In fact, it was the extraordinary precision of JDAMs delivered in 49 B-2 sorties during all types of weather that more than any other factor convinced experts a new era of warfare might be dawning.
www.danshistory.com...
Iraq/Afghanistan:
But that’s what happened when six B-2 bombers – each with two sets of aircrews to fly the pilot and co-pilot positions, took off from Whiteman during the first three days of Operation Enduring Freedom, embarking on missions that would take them about 44 hours – the longest combat sorties in the history of aviation — to hit targets in Afghanistan. After successfully completing the missions, all six aircraft landed at Diego Garcia, a small British island in the Indian Ocean where B-1s and B-52s are currently deployed. On the ground less than an hour for an engine-running crew change, the jets were then airborne again for a 30-hour flight home
www.spear.navy.mil...

And after all these missions, and combat hours, exactly ONE stealth has been shot down. Despite flying over some of the most heavily defended airspace in the world (Baghdad), and flying hundreds or even thousands of hours of combat, only the one stealth was lost, and that was due to dumb planning, and luck.


I know those statistics. But don't you see a trend here? All the countries the US has bombed with F117s are developing nations with low-tech gear.

I actually find it worrysome that a country like Serbia could achieve such a feat. I mean, if Serbia can do it; then the Russians, the Chinese, and probably even the North Koreans can do it and even better.


Originally posted by Manincloak
I also spoke with several friends and relatives who were/are in the armed forces and they all said that the nighthawk was hit initially by a SAM and then finished off with triple A.

A modified radar of some sort was used.


It is also believed 2-3 B2s were shot down, as reported by many people.

The F-117 was used by Russia to make the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system, which is fully capable of shooting down all stealth aircraft.


Ok, you just clarified the Russia part.



Originally posted by Seekerof

Originally posted by Manincloak
The F-117 was used by Russia to make the S-400 anti-aircraft missile system, which is fully capable of shooting down all stealth aircraft.

Addressing what is in bold above:
You factually know this or basically making an unbacked and unsubstantiated assertion?





seekerof


Well, according to wikipedia, it actually can shoot down stealth bombers. Here's the link:

en.wikipedia.org...

[edit on 28-11-2005 by RK_Pr0t0c0l]



posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 12:08 AM
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After three nights of flying the SAME ROUTE, and the SAME TIME *I* could shoot down a stealth fighter.

Not to mention that yes, they were developing countries, but with a lot of Soviet air defense equipment.

[edit on 11/28/2005 by Zaphod58]



posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 12:17 AM
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Originally posted by Seekerof
You factually know this or basically making an unbacked and unsubstantiated assertion?


Uhhhh.....yeh?

That's one of the major enchancements in the S-400 system.

Get your hands on it's owner's manual.....or failing that any online article about it.



posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 12:17 AM
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Ok, except it has yet to be PROVEN that the S-400 can hit ANY stealth airplane. It's barely even been deployed ANYWHERE yet, and the only tests against a stealth were by the one at Nellis that the USAF has. Of course they're going to say that it can hit any stealth airplane. They're trying to market it, and sell it to other countries, what do you THINK they're gonna say? Besides which there have been several modifications to the F-117 since then to make it more stealthy.

Here's something a little more interesting about the shootdown.

About 20 miles outside of Belgrade, the F-117's luck ran out. An undetected surface-to-air missile battery was lurking in the darkness below. It had not appeared on intelligence maps of the area, and the F-117 pilot was not aware of it. When the F-117 became briefly visible on radar as it opened its bomb bay doors, Serb radar operators on the ground, aware that an F-117 would be entering their area, had a momentary opportunity to shoot. It is possible that they didn't even have a radar lock on the stealth airplane but were close enough to guide the missile optically. Badly damaged by the blast of the warhead, the F-117 could not be controlled, and the pilot ejected. He was soon rescued.
www.afa.org...

When the doors open, the RCS is bigger than an F-15 on radar.

Here's the upgrade information.

On October 16, 1996 it was published:

"The U.S. Air Force officials said it's F-117A Nighthawks are headed for an upgrade program intended to cut support cost and increase availability and possibly improve stealth characteristics. Known as the Single Configuration Fleet effort, the program is scheduled to begin in 2000 and service all F-117s by the end of 2004.
The F-117s now have more than one major radar absorbing material (RAM) and "a labor intensive access panel technology." The new program would address these issues with a single, optimized RAM coating, new leading edge technologies and advanced access panel technologies. An Air Force official said this effort is not part of a plan for the F-117 mid-life upgrade that Lockheed Martin Skunk Works, Palmdale, Calif., has been asked to develop."
www.f-117a.com...

I'm not saying stealth is the all powerful, magic bullet for combat, but if I had a nickel for everytime someone has come out and said "This has been developed, stealth is obsolete." or "Stealth sucks, and only works under these conditions." I'd be a rich man.

[edit on 11/28/2005 by Zaphod58]



posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 05:26 AM
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There seems to be a lot of understandable misconceptions about stealth technology. And those stats of stealth operations, whilst positive, don’t count for much if you try to transpose them into a China/India/Russia/European scenario.

The most blindingly obvious point is about Serb Radars seeing it. First and foremost, stealth is designed to reduce radar signature. Trying to see it using radars is basically tackling it on its strongest asset. Worth trying but hardly top of the list. Attack weaknesses not strength.



posted on Nov, 28 2005 @ 06:05 AM
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Originally posted by Seekerof

Other than the two collaborating/cooperating source mentioned in this article, how about back up your belief and assertion quoted above with some viable and credible sources from "those many people"?

seekerof


lol

After the long persuasion of the USA, four more “B-2A” came from the “Waiman base” on the 1st April, 1999.

he even spell the base that the B-2s coming from wrong.





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