It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

The Lockheed F-117A "Nighthawk" Stealth Fighter

page: 1
0

log in

join
share:

posted on Jun, 21 2004 @ 12:54 PM
link   
LOCKHEED F-117 STEALTH FIGHTER The F-117A Nighthawk is the world's first operational aircraft designed to exploit low-observable stealth technology. The unique design of the single-seat F-117A provides exceptional combat capabilities. About the size of an F-15 Eagle, the twin-engine aircraft is powered by two General Electric F404 turbofan engines and has quadruple redundant fly-by-wire flight controls. Air refuelable, it supports worldwide commitments and adds to the deterrent strength of the U.S. military forces. The F-117A can employ a variety of weapons and is equipped with sophisticated navigation and attack systems integrated into a state-of-the-art digital avionics suite that increases mission effectiveness and reduces pilot workload. Detailed planning for missions into highly defended target areas is accomplished by an automated mission planning system developed, specifically, to take advantage of the unique capabilities of the F-117A. The first stealth fighters were flown by Lockheed C-5 Galaxy cargo plane to Groom Dry Lake, where they took to the air for the first time in June 1981. Security was of a very extreme nature. Unauthorized ground personnel were required to remain indoors when a stealth jet emerged from its hangar. Test flights were made mostly at night, their schedule arranged to avoid overflights by Soviet reconnaissance satellites. The Nellis Range is also home to the Air Force's "Red Flag" air combat exercises, which involve aircraft and pilots of American and several foreign military aviation services. Those other aircraft were kept away from the Groom area by an airborne screen of security aircraft. Despite the F-117A's 33 percent increase in physical size over the prototype, the stealth fighter's RCS measured between .01 and .001 square meters - about that of a small bird. For instance, compared to a McDonnell Douglas F-4G Phantom typically used for "Wild Weasel" anti-radar missions, which has a head-on RCS of 6 meters, the F-117 was able to get 90 percent closer to ground-based search radars, and 98 percent closer to airborne radars, before being detected. The first F-117A was delivered in 1982. The F-117A production decision was made in 1978 with a contract awarded to Lockheed Advanced Development Projects, the "Skunk Works," in Burbank, California. The first flight was in 1981, only 31 months after the full-scale development decision. Air Combat Command's only F-117A unit, the 4450th Tactical Group, (now the 49th Fighter Wing, Holloman Air Force Base, N.M.), achieved operational capability in October 1983. Having outgrown the Groom Lake facilities, the stealth unit operates out of the remote Tonopah Test Range airfield in the northwest corner of the Nellis Range. Although overlooked by public land, the Tonopah facility is 40 desert miles from the nearest town. Streamlined management by Aeronautical Systems Center, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, combined breakthrough stealth technology with concurrent development and production to rapidly field the aircraft. The F-117A program has demonstrated that a stealth aircraft can be designed for reliability and maintainability. The aircraft maintenance statistics are comparable to other tactical fighters of similar complexity. Logistically supported by Sacramento Air Logistics Center, McClellan AFB, California, the F-117A is kept at the forefront of technology through a planned weapon system improvement program located at USAF Plant 42 at Palmdale, California. Description Manufacturer: Lockheed Aeronautical Systems Co. Designation: F-117a Nighthawk Type: Fighter/Bomber Unit Cost: $45 million Specifications Length: 65' 11" 20.3 M Height: 12' 5" 3.8 M Wingspan: 43' 4" 13.3M Weight: 52000 lbs 23625 Kg Propulsion No. of Engines: 2 Powerplant: General Electric F404 engines It has also been noted that the F-117A contains experimental propulsion technology possibly being Electro-gravitic systems. Performance Range: Unlimited with refuelling Max Speed: High Subsonic Armanents Internal weapons carriage Source information was used with permission from the Department of the Air Force




posted on Jun, 23 2004 @ 07:09 PM
link   
this airplane really was bad it was a good stealth but its multirole capabilities are bad!



posted on Jun, 25 2004 @ 08:44 AM
link   

Originally posted by WestPoint23
this airplane really was bad it was a good stealth but its multirole capabilities are bad!


First, the F-117 was never intended to be a multirole aircraft! The Origional concept was for a simple, single seat, clear weather stike aircraft to support covert operations such as Delta Force op's. I agree that the plane was a really bad idea, but that is almost totally the Pentagon's fault. Tactically, the plane has very little true military value, because it's systems are limited:

-no Radar only IR targeting: this means the plane is only effective in clear weather(this is why they had to cancel/postpone some missions in the 1991 gulf war!).

-small weapons bays: the F-117 is too small to carry some of the larger weapons like the GBU-37/BLU-113 "Bunker Buster"

- Very short Range: the F-117 requires extensive tanker support and forward baseing for almost every mission.

-High mainaince: the F-117 costs a lot to maintain

I personnally do not think the minor tactical gains the F-117 provides us were worth the Money the Air Force spent on it. They should have waited a few more years before they tryed to make Stealth technology operational on a combat aircraft. The screw up was the fault of the Defense Dapartment and the US Air Force. The Critical lesson of the F-117 is this: Science and Technology need time to mature before they are ready for general use, when you push something beyond what the technology is ready for, you often get poor results. If you do, you get the F-117: A 2 billion dollar program that produced a DUD!

Tim
ATS Director of Counter-Ignorance



posted on Jun, 25 2004 @ 11:08 AM
link   
also who was the genius in the pentagon who gave it the designation F which mean fighter the F-117 was no where near a fighter.



posted on Jun, 25 2004 @ 11:15 AM
link   

Originally posted by WestPoint23
also who was the genius in the pentagon who gave it the designation F which mean fighter the F-117 was no where near a fighter.


That was done so that the best fighter jockeys wouldn't complain about flying a bomber - guess the AF doesn't think their guys are too bright


Really, I think that the DoD and AF wanted this aircraft deployed to prove the tech worked in real combat. Also, at this point they were working on the B-2 project so it was a natural progression.



new topics

top topics
 
0

log in

join