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A book published fifteen years before by an obscure Russian physicist named Pyotr Ufimtsev turned out to be very important in making stealth a reality. The book entitled "Method of Edge Waves In The Physical Theory of Diffraction" made calculating the precise way electromagnetic waves scatter or reflect off three-dimensional surfaces far easier. From this Overholser created EHCO 1, a software program that could perform these laborious calculations quickly
In the nineteenth century, Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell developed a series of mathematical formulas to predict how electromagnetic radiation would scatter when reflected from a specific geometric shape. His equations were later refined by the German scientist, Arnold Johannes Sommerfield. But for a long time, even after aircraft designers attempted to reduce radar signatures for aircraft like the U-2 and A-12 OXCART in the late 1950s, the biggest obstacle to success was the lack of theoretical models of how radar reflected off a surface. In the 1960s, Russian scientist Pyotr Ufimtsev began developing equations for predicting the reflection of electromagnetic waves from simple two-dimensional shapes. His work was regularly collected and translated into English and provided to U.S. scientists. By the early 1970s, a few U.S. scientists, mathematicians, and aircraft designers began to realize that it was possible to use these theories to design aircraft with substantially reduced radar signatures. Lockheed Aircraft, working under a contract to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, soon began development of the F-117 stealth fighter.
Taking nothing away from the amazing stuff the US has achieved, I think the level of know how that exists in other countries is SERIOUSLY underestimated by some American members of this site.
Originally posted by kilcoo316
If B-2 mission loss rates are say 1%, and the 100 times cheaper UCAV 10%, the UCAV is still the more cost effective option.
EDIT: Before someone goes mad and says B-2 loss rates are nothing like 1%, I'm using it as a basis for comparison, the UCAV can have a much cheaper and "rougher" construction and still do the job.
[edit on 20-12-2005 by kilcoo316]