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Is it possible for Backscatter radar to detect stealth aircraft?

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posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 01:16 AM
I have very little knowledge of radar systems. I have read about the various things that this type of radar can detect and was wondering if it is possible to detect stealth aircraft with an over the horizon radar such as the AN/FPS-118.

It is my understanding that radars of this type were capable of detecting conventional aircraft over 1000 miles away. It is also my understanding that these radars are or have been used to detect sea ice, wind direction and even being able to differentiate between certain types of vegitation at great distance.

If a stealth aircraft was designed to reflect the radar in different directions like the f-117 would that not show up as a "hole" in the sky? A space where there is no detectable wind speed and no solid object. It would still be a "hole" of dead air moving forward at 300mph. Is it possible to detect this "hole"?

Is it possible to detect air temperatures with this type of radar? If so, then would it be possible to see the warmer exhaust of a stealth aircraft against the surrounding cooler air without being able to detect the aircraft itself?

posted on Sep, 17 2007 @ 01:37 AM
An OTHR would PROBABLY be able to detect stealth aircraft, however, there are several drawbacks to the system. They have a range of around 1600 nautical miles, but they have trouble detecting objects that are below a certain range. They are also susceptible to atmospheric interference, as they bounce the signal off the ionosphere.

posted on Sep, 19 2007 @ 02:43 PM
Does anyone remember a few years ago Australia claimed to be able to track F-117's using Doppler weather radar and watching for the airflow around the aircraft.

Also around the same time Russia claimed to have a way to track them by using two separate radars and tracking the signals.

I can't remember the specifics but I'll try to look it up. Anyone else have any info on this?

posted on Sep, 19 2007 @ 03:26 PM
Long wave radar has been able to track - or rather not track stealth , it tracks the moving null return hole

posted on Sep, 19 2007 @ 06:17 PM
The B-2 was designed to counter long range Soviet early warning radar sites. By designed I mean it's VLO characteristics were specially made to counter this type of threat. Take everything you hear publicly with a grain of salt when it comes to a topic with no clear answers.

posted on Sep, 19 2007 @ 06:40 PM
It's all very well being able ot detect stealth aircraft (many systems have existed for some time that can). The problem lies in turning the detection into some sort of reliable targeting information.

Knowing that a Stealth aircraft is somewhere within a few hundred meter "hole" in the sky is all well and good, but it won't help your missiles any.

There are tech's coming down the pipeline which may change this though.

posted on Sep, 19 2007 @ 07:22 PM
Detecting 'Stealth' or stealthy planes, ask yourself:

What traces does the craft leave?

What energy is detectable?


It would normally give off an energy signature, that is, a combination of signs - heat, radar return, sound, air pressure waves.

The radar return is small, and they have technology on board to redirect so it looks like the craft is elsewhere.

Heat return is harder to mask, but harder to find unless you already have some idea of the time and flight path, I'd guess.

Sound is less a problem when the craft can go supersonic - detection is too late.

Traces or signs that it leaves are blocking the stars during night flight, creating a shadow on the ground during the day, making changes in the air patterns.

A lot of the strides in detection and stealth, especially tactics, come from submarine warfare.

Things once too small to detect are now becoming detectable. Put it all together, plus the various types of radar, increasing the radar sites, make it harder.

There are countermeasures to the countermeasures, though.

2 cents.

posted on Sep, 19 2007 @ 08:59 PM

Originally posted by stumason
Knowing that a Stealth aircraft is somewhere within a few hundred meter "hole" in the sky is all well and good, but it won't help your missiles any.

Would the "hole" be that big? At that size, the "hole" is as big as a WW2 aircraft carrier. It would seem to me that the larger the "hole" the easier it would be to track on radar.

For argument sake, if the "hole" was smaller, say around 20 to 50 meters I could see using some kind of stealth cruise missile to meet the "hole" and detonate just ahead of it's projected flight path. Provided that the detection range was great enough.

posted on Sep, 20 2007 @ 01:54 AM
the return on long wave radar whilst more than enough to track a stealth aircraft *at this time* is nigh on impossible to direct a missile with it but if you know somethings coming , course and speed , then all the stealth in the world won`t stop 30mm at 500 yards.

posted on Oct, 25 2007 @ 11:09 PM
Thanks for the input. It would seem as though something on the order of a stealth bomber would be able to be tracked and thus targeted. Does anyone have a current list of countres that are operating this type of radar and are there any improvements that make detection out to ranges beyond 2000 miles possible?

[edit on 25-10-2007 by assassini]

posted on Oct, 26 2007 @ 03:14 PM
reply to post by assassini

The problem isn't detecting them at 2000 miles. It's detecting them at 50 miles, and guiding a missile to them, for an intercept.

posted on Oct, 26 2007 @ 04:04 PM
You know the aircraft is there, stealth merely reduces the signature size of the radar return. When RADAR is active, it detects alot, and I mean alot of stuff out there so the computer automatically disregards "static" and only looks for what it's programmed to look for. Stealth places the object into the "static" field of view of the RADAR and thus is disregarded at a certain distance, obviously the closer it gets the larger the return and eventually the computer will go "Hey, there's an aircraft out there!"

But will it sense it in time to calculate it's trajectory and send a missile precisely to it? The RADAR knows it's there, the computer just doesn't think it's important enough to stick it out. Stealth is merely the ability to avoid detection, it is impossible for anything to be "purely invisible". I'm sure there are a lot of systems out there that can detect 1st-2nd generation stealth.

But as RADAR improves, so does the stealth that is used to hide from it.

Shattered OUT...

posted on Oct, 27 2007 @ 08:02 AM
Im aware that the US, Russia, and Australia have operational OTHR's, with the Australian JORN possibly the most advanced. It uses multi static as well as surface wave techniques which allow it to have not only high resolution, but also anti stealth capabillity. However I am fairly certain that a number of other countries are working on the technology as well including France and Canada. Britain was also involved in developing OTHR with the US in the late 60's early 70's.


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