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The whereabouts of the downed fighter was unknown for months, although Pentagon officials said unofficially that it was possibly in either Russia or China. But at the next Moscow air show in 2001, two Aviation Week & Space Technology reporters interviewed advanced projects officials from Russia’s top surface-to-air missile (SAM) organizations—now merged as the Almaz-Antey Air Defense Co.
These officials, in a stunning admission, said they not only had the aircraft, but were using data from tests conducted with the remains to design improved SAMs (AW&ST Oct. 8, 2001, p. 80). Given the first-generation, faceted stealth design of the F-117 and the lack of electrical continuity obtainable from the badly damaged aircraft, it’s still an open question as to how much useful information could actually be obtained.
Originally posted by FredT
As the last F-117 stand down and are placed in recoverable storage at Nellis, one airframe remains unaccounted for.