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SEMINAR REPORT STEALTH IN FIGHTER AIRCRAFTS

1. INTRODUCTION
Stealth means ‘low observable’. The very basic idea of Stealth
Technology in the military is to ‘blend’ in with the background. The
quest for a stealthy plane actually began more than 50 years ago
during World War II when RADAR was first used as an early warning
system against fleets of bombers. As a result of that quest, the
Stealth Technology evolved. Stealth Technology is used in the
construction of mobile military systems such as aircrafts and ships
to significantly reduce their detection by enemy, primarily by an
enemy RADAR. The way most airplane identification works is by
constantly bombarding airspace with a RADAR signal. When a plane
flies into the path of the RADAR, a signal bounces back to a sensor
that determines the size and location of the plane. Other methods
focus on measuring acoustic (sound) disturbances, visual contact,
and infrared (heat) signatures. Stealth technologies work by
reducing or eliminating these telltale signals. Panels on planes are
angled so that radar is scattered and no signal returns. Planes are
also covered in a layer of absorbent materials that reduce any other
signature the plane might leave. Shape also has a lot to do with the
`invisibility' of stealth planes. Extreme aerodynamics keeps air
turbulence to a minimum and cut down on flying noise. Special low-
noise engines are contained inside the body of the plane. Hot fumes
are then capable of being mixed with cool air before leaving the
plane. This fools heat sensors on the ground. This also keeps heat
seeking missiles from getting any sort of a lock on their targets.
Stealth properties give it the unique ability to penetrate an enemy’s
most sophisticated defenses and threaten its most valued and
heavily defended targets. At a cost of $2 billion each, stealth
bombers are not yet available worldwide, but military forces around
the world will soon begin to attempt to mimic some of the key
features of stealth planes, making the skies much more dangerous.

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SEMINAR REPORT STEALTH IN FIGHTER AIRCRAFTS

2. HISTORY OF STEALTH AIRCRAFT


With the increasing use of early warning detection devices
such as radar by militaries around the world in the 1930’s the
United States began to research and develop aircraft that would be
undetectable to radar detection systems. The first documented
stealth prototype was built out of two layers of plywood glued
together with a core of glue and sawdust. This prototype’s surface
was coated with charcoal to absorb radar signals from being
reflected back to the source, which is how radar detection systems
detect items in the air.

Jack Northrop built a flying wing in the 1940’s. His plane was
the first wave of stealth aircraft that actually flew. The aircraft
proved to be highly unstable and hard to fly due to design flaws.
The United States initially orders 170 of these aircraft from Northrop
but cancelled the order after finding that the plane had stability
Flaws. Then in 1964, SR-71 the first Stealth airplane launched. It is
well known as ‘black bird’. It is a jet black bomber with slanted
surfaces. This aircraft was built to fly high and fast to be able to
bypass radar by its altitude and speed. The Blackbird was
developed primarily for the Cold War between the United States and
the U.S.S.R. SR-71 Aircraft is shown in figure 2.2.1.

Fig 2.1. SR-71 BLACK BIRD

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SEMINAR REPORT STEALTH IN FIGHTER AIRCRAFTS

Then in 1982, the first F-117A (Fig 2.2.2) was delivered. It is


world’s first operational aircraft designed to exploit low observable
Stealth Technology.

Fig 2.2. F-117A NIGHT HAWK

Then world’s most advanced Stealth fighter, B-2 delivered by


1988. A B-2 Spirit multi-role bomber is shown in figure 2.2.3

Fig 2.3. B-2 SPIRIT MULTI-ROLE BOMBER

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SEMINAR REPORT STEALTH IN FIGHTER AIRCRAFTS

3. HOW DOES STEALTH TECHNOLOGY WORK?

The idea is for the radar antenna to send out a burst of radio
energy, which is then reflected back by any object it happens to
encounter. The radar antenna measures the time it takes for the
reflection to arrive, and with that information can tell how far away
the object is.

The metal body of an airplane is very good at reflecting radar


signals, and this makes it easy to find and track airplanes with radar
equipment.

The goal of stealth technology is to make an airplane


invisible to radar. There are two different ways to create invisibility:

Ø The airplane can be shaped so that any radar signals it


reflects are reflected away from the radar equipment.
Ø The airplane can be covered in materials that absorb radar
signals.

4. AIRCRAFT DETECTION METHODS

The most common methods used today to detect an aircraft


are,

4.1 RADAR

Currently the way to detect and even identify an aircraft is the


use of RADAR (radio detection and ranging). This system invented
during World War II, simply works by constantly sending bursts of
radio waves of certain frequencies and measures the echoes of each

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SEMINAR REPORT STEALTH IN FIGHTER AIRCRAFTS

burst. Parts of the energy of radio waves are being reflected by


objects. Depending on the material the object is made of, this echo
is stronger or weaker, but there is an echo. By measuring the
reflected energy as a function of position and time, computers can
calculate what it is that reflects the energy, where it is in 3D space
and also in what direction it moves. To get a proper overview of an
area with RADAR, the transmitting and receiving antenna should
rotate in angles of 360 degrees. RADAR works on the principle of
echo and Doppler shift. Echo is the repetition of a note after the
original note is dead. Doppler shift is the phenomenon of apparent
change in the frequency of the radio wave whenever there is a
relative motion between the source and the object.

4.1.1SOURCES OF RADAR REFLECTION

a) Gaps and breaks in surface


b) Unshielded cockpit
c) External weapons
d) Exposed engines
e) Large, right-angled tail surfaces
f) Right-angle wing design

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SEMINAR REPORT STEALTH IN FIGHTER AIRCRAFTS

4.1.2 Radar Cross Section (RCS):

The Radar Cross Section of a target is the area intercepting


that amount of power which, when scattered equally in all
directions, produce an echo at radar equal to that from the target.

RCS of various objects:

Object No: Name of the Object RCS in Sq. metres

1 An Adult man 1

2 Conventional aircraft 6

3 F-117 0.1

4 A bird in flight 0.01

5 B-2 bomber 0.01

6 F/A-22 Raptor 0.001

7 The Bird of Prey 8 small

Contributions to RCS for a conventional aircraft

RCS depends on aircraft shape, aspect angle or orientation


with respect to radar line of sight (LOS), ratio of radar wavelength
to target size, polarization of transmit and receive antennae,
surface quality of target, and constitution of the target.

The RCS of an aircraft is determined by the magnitudes of two


distinctly different contributions:

1. its size and shape, both overall and in detail


2. the electromagnetic properties of airframe materials

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SEMINAR REPORT STEALTH IN FIGHTER AIRCRAFTS

aircraft shaping is useful over a wide range of radar frequencies but


over a limited range of aspect angles. Typically, for fighter aircraft,
a forward cone of angles is of greatest interest and hence, large
returns can be shifted aircraft can be shaped to ensure that most
radar waves will be scattered and not reflected back to the
transmitter. Leading and trailing edges of wings, control surfaces,
inlet lips, door gaps, etc. can be aligned to ensure that the energy
that is concentrated into a few spikes. This will give the opposing
radar one good return when the alignment is ideal, but a much
weaker return on subsequent sweeps.

Major contributor to RCS for a conventional aircraft

Ø Engine compressor faces (forward) and turbines (aft) due to


Doppler signature.
Ø Air inlets for engines.
Ø External stores, including missiles seeker heads.
Ø Wing leading edge, especially if unswept.
Ø Corner reflections at intersections of horizontal and vertical
tails.
Ø Wing from directly below/above.
Ø Cockpit, including cavity effect due to a large number of
corner reflectors.
Ø Engine nozzle if viewed from rear.
Ø Flat, slab-sided fuselage when viewed from side.

4.2 HEAT DETECTION

Another way of detecting if an aircraft is flying somewhere is


by measuring the heat it radiates. Normally this heat is produced by
the plane engines. There are two significant sources of infrared
radiation from air-breathing propulsion systems: hot parts and jet
wakes. By modern heat image sensors (Infrared sensors) the

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SEMINAR REPORT STEALTH IN FIGHTER AIRCRAFTS

difference can be seen between a flying object itself and the


surrounding cold air. This is the same for the jet engine exhaust
gases.

4.3 TURBULENCE DETECTION

Shape also has a lot to do with the ‘invisibility’ of stealth


planes. Extreme aerodynamics keeps air turbulence to a minimum.
Sophisticated Laser controlled turbulence sensors, which can
measure paths of disturbed air, generated by an aircraft, which just
passed.

4.4 VISUAL DETECTION

The exhaust of aircraft i.e., the white line in the sky caused by
high- flying planes makes it easier to detect the aircraft even with
the naked eye. Also the color of the aircraft is an important factor.

4.5 ACOUSTIC DETECTION

A very obvious source of detection is the noise, generated by


jet engines. Several systems have been designed in the meantime
to reduce the sound of jet engine exhausts to a minimum, making
them harder to detect by just measuring sound waves.

5. REQUIREMENTS TO BE STEALTHY
To make a stealthy aircraft, designers had to consider six key
in gradients:
1. They need to reduce the imprint on the radar screen.
2. Turn down the heat of its infrared picture.
3. They need to reduce muffling noise.
4. They need to reduce the turbulence.
5. Making the plane less visible.

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SEMINAR REPORT STEALTH IN FIGHTER AIRCRAFTS

6. Stifle radio emissions.

5.1 RADAR ECHO REDUCTION


5.1.1 Scattering
The airplane can be shaped so that any RADAR signals it
reflects are deflected away from the RADAR equipment. Most
conventional aircraft (fig2.3.1) have a rounded shape. This shape
makes them aerodynamic, but it also creates a very efficient radar
reflector. The round shape means that no matter where the radar
signal hits the plane, some of the signal gets reflected back:

Fig 5.1.1.1.Conventional Aircraft-Very efficient radar reflector

A stealth aircraft (fig.2.3.2), on the other hand, is made up of


completely flat surfaces and very sharp edges. When a radar signal
hits a stealth plane, the signal reflects away at an angle, like this:

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SEMINAR REPORT STEALTH IN FIGHTER AIRCRAFTS

Fig.5.1.1.2.Stealth Aircraft-Radar signal reflect away at an angle

In addition, surfaces on a stealth aircraft can be treated so


they absorb radar energy as well. The overall result is that a stealth
aircraft like an F-117A can have the radar signature of a small bird
rather than an airplane. The only exception is when the plane banks
-- there will often be a moment when one of the panels of the plane
will perfectly reflect a burst of radar energy back to the antenna.

5.1.2 Reduction by RAM:


A second way of stopping RADAR reflections is by coating the
plane with material that soaks up Radar energy. Radar absorbing
coatings can be applied to the surface of the body, which effectively
drain the energy of the radar signal. For example, Radar Absorbent
Material (RAM), coatings designed to suck in and dissipate the
electromagnetic energy of radar wave instead of reflecting it back to
the source.

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SEMINAR REPORT STEALTH IN FIGHTER AIRCRAFTS

Radar Absorbent Material (RAM)


As its name implies, RAM is intended to reduce the scattered
signal by absorbing some part of the incident radiation. Microwave
energy is converted into heat energy with hardly any noticeable
temperature rise because the energies involved are extremely
small. Various kinds of materials can be made to absorb microwave
energy by impregnating them with conducting materials such as
carbon and iron.

In the main, there are two currently used kinds of absorbers ,


called di-electric RAM and magnetic RAM. Addition of carbon
products in an insulating material introduces electric resistance and
changes the electrical properties. Hence carbon-based absorbers
are called dielectric RAM. The most familiar examples are pyramidal
absorbers found in anechoic chambers. Dielectric RAM is usually too
bulky and fragile and not attractive where space is limited and
severe mechanical vibrations exist. Magnetic RAM uses iron
products such as carbonyl iron and iron oxides called ferrites. Iron
effectively dissipates radar waves and has been used in aircraft
paint. It is quite effective against the high frequency radars used in
modern fighters. Unlike dielectric RAM, magnetic RAM is compact,
thin and of adequate strength to withstand loads and an abrasive
environment. Nevertheless, its thickness does rob volume from
volume limited aircraft. Some important RAM’s used today are,

(a)Salisbury Screen:
Its construction consists of a conductive carbon coated “lossy”
fabric, separated from a conductive ground plane by a low dielectric
foam core.

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SEMINAR REPORT STEALTH IN FIGHTER AIRCRAFTS

(b)Foam Materials:
Different foam materials are,
a) single layer foam
b) multi layer foam-made of 3 single layers
c) reticulated foam
d) weather proof foam

(c)Magnetic Absorbers:
The magnetic absorbers are elastomeric moulded sheets
loaded with magnetic filler. The use of the magnetic filler provides
the best performance at the minimum thickness.
Different magnetic absorbers are,
a) tuned frequency magnetic absorbers
b) surface wave absorbers
c) multiband absorbers

(d)Core Material:
Core material is a broadband microwave absorbing
honeycomb core. Normally uses either aramid or fiberglass
honeycomb core and applies a lossy coating to it.

(e)PIFRAM (Poly Crystalline Iron Fibre RAM):


It is the only electromagnetic Radar Absorbing Material that
may be retrofitted to existing material because of its low weight and
very low thickness.

5.2 ECHO CANCELLATION


Metal component such as the engine, which produces
significant radar reflections, can be shielded using a metal and
plastic sandwich whose layers are spaced in such a way as to create
a standing wave, canceling out any radar reflections.

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SEMINAR REPORT STEALTH IN FIGHTER AIRCRAFTS

5.3 HEAT RADIATION REDUCTION


Infrared radiation (heat) should be minimized by a
combination of temperature reduction and masking. The main body
of the airplane has its own radiation, heavily dependent on speed
and altitude, and the jet plume can be a most significant factor,
particularly in after burning operation. The engines are buried deep
in the fuselage These have got shallow ‘platypus’ exhausts, which
cool and deflect the exhaust gases upward to minimize heat
emissions.

5.4 TURBULENCE DETECTION REDUCTION


By optimizing the aerodynamics of the stealth plane, the eye
visible turbulence trail in the air, can be kept to a minimum. This
way it becomes harder for the very special laser equipment to
detect the trail and trace it back all the way to the plane which
created it.

5.5 VISUAL DETECTION REDUCTION


5.5.1 Hiding smoke contrails (jet wake)
Reducing smoke in the exhaust is accomplished by improving
the efficiency of the combustion chambers. Tests have been done
using exotic chemicals to be inserted in to the engine outlet gases
to modify infrared signature as well as to force water molecules in
the exhaust plume to break up in to much finer particles, thus
reduce or even eliminate contrails. One of the chemicals used for
this was chloro-fluoro-sulphonic acid.

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SEMINAR REPORT STEALTH IN FIGHTER AIRCRAFTS

5.5.2 Low Visibility


An aircraft at low to medium altitudes tends to be a black dot
against the background of the sky. To avoid this, the plane is given
a special medium gray color. The gray, when combined with light
scattering at low to medium altitudes ensures about as low
observability as can be possible or a reduction to 30% in visibility.

5.5.3 Low Level Flight


Another technique used by aircraft to avoid radar is to fly at
very low levels where there is a great deal of ‘ground clutter’…radar
reflections given off by buildings and other objects. Low level
aircraft can go undetected by most radar systems.

6. THE COST OF SIGNATURE CONTROL

The requirement for aircraft to be stealthy results in


unconventional configurations, the producability, performance
controllability and maintainability of which contain a large number
of unknowns. However, the overriding requirement for any future
aircraft if affordability. This affects the availability of aircraft as well
as reliability, maintainability, survivability.

The probability of a kill:

PK = PD * PA/D * PH/A * PH/K

where PD = probability of detection

PA/D = probability of acquisition given detection

PH/A = probability of a hit given acquisition

PH/K = probability of kill given a hit

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SEMINAR REPORT STEALTH IN FIGHTER AIRCRAFTS

History shows that it is easy to turn a good idea into an


unaffordable one. The F-22 is a solution to the problem but
probably it is unaffordable by all except the US. Some of the
adverse effects of the RCS reduction are

Ø increased cost
Ø additional maintenance
Ø added weight and volume

leading to performance penalties.

In addition the stealth brings with it ‘special access’ security


which is costly in terms of both time and money and if applied
without careful thought, can become an impediment. The A-12
security was so tight that the US navy and DoD did not subject the
program to normal reviews and were late in learning of weight,
schedule and cost problems.

7. PERFORMANCE PENALTIES

Because the advantages of "stealth" technology outweigh the


disadvantages, the latter are considered necessary evils when a
"stealth" aircraft is built. The aerodynamic problems posed by
stealthy aircraft, especially if they are inherently unstable, are :

1. stability and control due to reduction/removal of control


surfaces and the limited area of control surfaces all ensuing
from stealthy considerations. The need for tailless designs
places a great deal of emphasis on the flight control
system(FCS) and may require thrust vector control to
downsize the vertical tails. Currently the F-22s two
dimensional exhaust nozzle, used for signature reasons, is

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SEMINAR REPORT STEALTH IN FIGHTER AIRCRAFTS

around 20% heavier and more expensive than an equivalent


3D one.
2. the effect of controllability of novel considerations.
3. the effect on aircraft and engine performance of inlet duct
positioning and shaping, due to the stealth requirements. The
loss of available installed thrust due to air inlet and nozzle
shaping for IR and RCS controlled can be a major penalty. The
insistence of 100% LOS blockage to the engine fails to reduce
RCS, with the engine face offset 0.7-1.2 diameters from that
of the inlet throat, will via a long S-duct, mean losses in
stagnation pressure recovery that increase markedly with
throat Mach number.
4. the effect of novel configurations on drag, buffet and ride
quality
5. the problems of weapon release and weapon bay aerodynamic
loading caused by internal carriage of stores.

6. Increased empty weights result from the addition of external


radar-absorbent coatings, from engines that are buried inside
the structure to reduce the amount of heat they generate,
and from exotic and sophisticated engine exhaust nozzles that
also help reduce heat generation. Finally, a full complement of
heavy and space-consuming electronic countermeasures
equipment, which is part of the aircraft's defenses, adds to its
weight. All of these add weight that otherwise would not be an
encumbrance; and weight equates to penalties in speed,
range, and altitude performance.

7. Because range is reduced by many of "stealth's" physical


constraints, "stealth" aircraft sometimes need to be bigger
than designers would like in order to carry sufficient fuel.
"Stealth" aircraft cannot be equipped with external fuel tanks

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because doing so would increase their radar reflectivity. All


external protrusions, such as the edges of the landing gear
doors, must be perfectly matched to prevent radar energy
from being reflected. Because of this, the detail work entailed
in the design and construction of a "stealth" aircraft is much
more exacting than in conventional aircraft. Even the smallest
oversight in panel matching can make a "stealth" aircraft
vulnerable to radar. Such exacting requirements increase
engineering, manufacturing, and maintenance costs of the
"stealth" aircraft so that they are several times as expensive
as conventional aircraft.

All of these modifications, however, hurt the plane's


performance, adding weight, affecting aerodynamics, and
altering the structure of the aircraft. The advantages of
stealth technology must always be weighed against its
disadvantages.

8. LIMITATIONS

There are limits to the utility of stealth techniques. Since the


radar cross-section of an aircraft depends on the angle from which
it is viewed, an aircraft will typically have a much smaller RCS when
viewed from the front or rear than when viewed from the side or
from above. In general stealth aircraft are designed to minimize
their frontal RCS. But it is not possible to contour the surface of an
aircraft to reduce the RCS equally in all directions, and reductions in
the frontal RCS may lead to a larger RCS from above. Thus while a
stealth aircraft may be difficult to track when it is flying toward a
ground-based radar or another aircraft at the same altitude, a high-
altitude airborne radar or a space-based radar may have an easier
time tracking it.

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SEMINAR REPORT STEALTH IN FIGHTER AIRCRAFTS

Another limitation of stealth aircraft is their vulnerability to


detection by bi-static radars. The contouring of a stealth aircraft is
designed to avoid reflecting a radar signal directly back in the
direction of the radar transmitter. But the transmitter and receiver
of a bi-static radar are in separate locations -- indeed, a single
transmitter may be used by radar receivers scattered over a wide
area. This greatly increases the odds that at least one of these
receivers will pickup a reflected signal. The prospects for detection
of stealth aircraft by bi-static radar are further improved if the radar
transmitter is space-based, and thus viewing the aircraft from
above, the direction of its largest radar cross section.

Several analysts claim stealth aircraft such as the ATF will be


vulnerable to detection by infrared search and track systems
(IRST). The natural heating of an aircraft's surface makes it visible
to this type of system. The faster and aircraft flies, the warmer it
gets, and thus, the easier to detect through infrared means. One
expert asserts "if an aircraft deviates from its surroundings by only
one degree centigrade, you will be able to detect it at militarily
useful ranges." Stealth aircraft are even more vulnerable to multiple
sensors used in tandem.

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SEMINAR REPORT STEALTH IN FIGHTER AIRCRAFTS

9. STEALTH FEATURES OF SOME AIRCRAFT

9.1 SR-71 BLACKBIRD

Fig 9.1.1 SR-71 BLACKBIRD

Thirty years after its first flight, the SR-71(Fig 2.4.1.1)


Blackbird is still unmatched in height and speed. The Blackbird can
fly at an altitude of 100,000 or more and can go as fast as Mach 3.5
or 2,500 MPH.

The SR-71 is the fastest known aircraft. It was the only


aircraft that could fly its entire mission at supersonic speeds. The
only aircraft that even approaches the Blackbird's speed is the Mig
25, and it can only sustain Mach 3 for a few minutes.

The Blackbird operates at the extreme edge of Earth's


atmosphere and pilots are required to wear space suits like
astronauts in the event of an emergency. The Blackbird's paint is
highly sophisticated: it is formulated to radiate excess heat as well
as to disrupt incoming radar energy. It changes to blue at operating

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temperatures and altitudes. The Blackbird's tires are filled with


nitrogen and impregnated with powdered aluminum to enable them
to withstand heat. The Blackbird's airframe is 90% titanium to
withstand the friction generated at Mach 3. The friction can cause
the Blackbird's skin to heat up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

The component parts of the Blackbird fit very loosely to allow


for expansion at high temperatures. At rest on the ground fuel leaks
out constantly, since the large tanks in the fuselage and wings only
seal at operating temperatures. There is little danger of fire,
however, since the fuel is very stable with an extremely high flash
point.

It took a lot of effort to keep the Blackbird in the air, an


estimate has put the cost of flying the Blackbird at more the
$200,000 per hour. The plan was taken by Lockheed Aircraft
Company's genius Kelly Johnson.
An aircraft at Mach 3 would have to sustain a high temperature. The
Blackbird would reach 326 degrees on the cockpit windshield and
426 degrees on the wing areas, which is hot enough to melt lead.

The electric switches and wires were gold-plated to increase


conductivity at high temperatures. Tires were filled with nitrogen
instead of air to prevent them from exploding as heat builds up in
flight. The Blackbird was painted black to lower the temperature, as
black is a good radiator. Radar absorbing materials were applied to
the leading edges of the wings and the fuselage sloped outwards.
By doing this, they were creating the first stealth aircraft, nearly
invisible to radar.

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SEMINAR REPORT STEALTH IN FIGHTER AIRCRAFTS

9.2 F-117 A NIGHTHAWK STEALTH FIGHTER ATTACK AIRCRAFT

Fig.9.2.1 F-117 A NIGHTHAWK STEALTH FIGHTER

The F-117A Nighthawk Stealth Fighter (2.4.2.1) attack aircraft


was developed by Lockheed Martin after work on stealth
technology, and the predecessor test demonstrator aircraft, Have
Blue, was carried out in secret from 1975. Development of the F-
117A began in 1978 and it was first flown in 1981, but it was not
until 1988 that its existence was publicly announced. The Nighthawk
is the world's first operational stealth aircraft. Of the 59 Nighthawks
procured by the US Air Force, 52 are still in service.

DESIGN:

The surfaces and edge profiles are optimized to reflect hostile


radar into narrow beam signals, directed away from the enemy
radar detector. All the doors and opening panels on the aircraft
have saw-toothed forward and trailing edges to reflect radar. The
aircraft is mainly constructed of aluminum, with titanium for areas
of the engine and exhaust systems. The outer surface of the aircraft

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SEMINAR REPORT STEALTH IN FIGHTER AIRCRAFTS

is coated with a radar-absorbent material (RAM). The radar cross-


section of the F-117 has been estimated at between 10-100cm2.

The entire stealth fleet will be stripped of the sheet-coated,


radar-absorbing materials on the wings, rudders and fuselage. The
first F-117 to undergo modification was delivered to Holloman Air
Force Base, New Mexico, in April 2000.The Air Force expects to
have the whole fleet resurfaced in five years.

The F-117A has four elevons on the inboard and outboard


trailing edge of the wing. The V-shaped drag parachute is used.

ENGINES:

The F-117A is powered by two low-bypass F404-GE-F1D2


turbofan engines from General Electric. The rectangular air intakes
on both sides of the fuselage are covered by gratings, which are
coated with radar-absorbent material.

The wide and flat structure of the engine exhaust area


reduces the infrared and radar delectability of the aft section of the
engine. The two large tail fins slant slightly outwards to provide an
obstruction to the infrared and radar returns from the engine
exhaust area.

General Characteristics:
Primary Function: Fighter/attack
Contractor: Lockheed Aeronautical Systems Co.
Power Plant: Two General Electric F404 non-afterburning engines
Speed: High subsonic
Range: Unlimited with air refueling
Crew: One
Date Deployed: 1982

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9.3 B-2 SPIRIT STEALTH BOMBER

Fig 9.3.1. B-2 SPIRIT STEALTH BOMBER

The B-2(2.4.3.1.) provides the penetrating flexibility and


effectiveness inherent in manned bombers. Its low-observable, or
"stealth," characteristics give it the unique ability to penetrate an
enemy's most sophisticated defenses and threaten its most valued,
and heavily defended, targets. The B-2 Spirit is a multi-role bomber
capable of delivering both conventional and nuclear munitions.
The saga of the B-2 began in the late 1970s when the United States
commenced a top secret program to construct a fleet of radar-
evading bombers dubbed "Stealth." Development of the B-2
program began in 1981. Initially, the Pentagon sought to acquire
132 planes. The first B-2 was publicly displayed on Nov. 22, 1988.

DESIGN

The revolutionary blending of low-observable technologies


with high aerodynamic efficiency and large payload gives the B-2
important advantages over existing bombers. Its low-observability

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provides it greater freedom of action at high altitudes, thus


increasing its range and a better field of view for the aircraft's
sensors. Its unrefueled range is approximately 6,000 nautical miles
(9,600 kilometers).

The B-2's low observability is derived from a combination of


reduced infrared, acoustic, electromagnetic, visual and radar
signatures. These signatures make it difficult for the sophisticated
defensive systems to detect, track and engage the B-2. Many
aspects of the low-observability process remain classified; however,
the B-2's composite materials, special coatings and flying-wing
design all contribute to its "stealthiness."

The B-2's flat, narrow shape and black coloration help it fade
into the night. Even in the daytime, when the B-2 stands out
against blue sky, it can be hard to figure out which way the plane is
going. The B-2 emits minimal exhaust, so it doesn't leave a visible
trail behind it.

As with most planes, the B-2's noisiest component is its


engine system. But unlike a passenger jet or B-52, the B-2's
engines are buried inside the plane. This helps muffle the noise. The
efficient aerodynamic design helps keep the B-2 quiet as well,
because the engines can operate at lower power settings.

The engine system also works to minimize the plane's infrared


(heat) signature. Infrared sensors, including those on heat-seeking
missiles, typically pick up on hot engine exhaust. In the B-2, all of
the exhaust passes through cooling vents before flowing out of the
rear ports. Putting the exhaust ports on the top of the plane further
reduces the infrared signature, since enemy sensors would most
likely scan below the plane.

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The B-2 has two major defenses against radar detection. The
first element is the plane's radar-absorbent surface. The radio
waves used in radar are electromagnetic energy, just like light
waves. In the same way that certain materials absorb light very
well (black paint, for example), some materials are particularly good
at absorbing radio waves.

The B-2's body is mainly composed of composite material --


combinations of various lightweight substances. The composite
material used in the B-2 bomber is specifically designed to absorb
radio energy with optimum efficiency. Parts of the B-2, such as the
leading edge, are also covered in advanced radio-absorbent paint
and tape. These materials are very expensive, and the Air Force has
to reapply them regularly. After every flight, repair crews have to
spend many hours examining the B-2 to make sure it's fit for
stealth missions.

Highly reflective metal components, such as the plane's


engines, are all housed inside the composite body. Air flows into the
intake ports, though an S-shaped duct and down to the engines.
The bombs are also mounted inside the plane, and the landing gear
fully retracts after take-off.

The second element in radar invisibility is the plane's shape.


Radio waves bounce off planes in the same way light bounces off a
mirror. A flat, vertical mirror will bounce your image straight back
to you -- you'll see yourself. But if you tilt the mirror 45 degrees, it
will reflect your image straight upward. You won't see yourself;
you'll see an image of the ceiling. A curved mirror also deflects light
at an angle. If you were to aim a laser pointer at a curved mirror,
the laser beam would never bounce straight back to the pointer, no
matter how you positioned it.

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SEMINAR REPORT STEALTH IN FIGHTER AIRCRAFTS

The stealth bomber's peculiar shape deflects radio beams in


both ways. The large flat areas on the top and bottom of the plane
are just like tilted mirrors. These flat areas will deflect most radio
beams away from the station, presuming the station isn't directly
beneath the plane.

The plane itself also works like a curved mirror, particularly in


the front section. The entire plane has no sharp, angled edges --
every surface is curved in order to deflect radio waves. The curves
are designed to bounce almost all radio waves away at an angle.

The B-2 is designed to contain its own radio signals, the


electromagnetic energy generated by onboard electronics. The
plane does emit radio energy when using its radar scanner or
communicating with ground forces and other aircraft, but the radar
signal is small and highly focused, making it less susceptible to
detection.

ENGINE

The aircraft is powered by four General Electric F118-GE-100


turbofan engines internally mounted in the body of the wings. The
engines have an exhaust temperature control system to minimize
thermal signature.

General Characteristics
Primary function: Multi-role heavy bomber
Prime Contractor: Northrop Grumman Corp.
Power Plant: Four General Electric F-118-GE-100 engines
Speed: High subsonic
Range: Intercontinental, unrefueled
Crew: Two pilots
Date Deployed: December 1993

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9.4 THE BIRD OF PREY

Fig 9.4.1. THE BIRD OF PREY

With stabilizers smoothly blended into the wing and an inlet


entirely masked from the front, the Bird Of Prey (Fig 2.4.5.1) is
clearly aimed at very low RCS levels.

It is a single seat, single engine design and with a reported


maximum altitude of 6100 metres (20,000 feet). Its top speed is a
relatively sedate 480 km/h (300 mph).

The unconventional configuration of the Bird of Prey suggests


it has been designed to be highly agile and stealthy. But even
though the aircraft itself has been revealed to the public, the stealth
systems designed to suppress acoustic, infra-red, radar and even
visual signatures are likely to be as highly classified as ever.

Sources suggest they may include active camouflage systems


to reduce visibility by using panels or coatings that change color or
luminosity. This could allow safe combat missions in daylight, rather
than being restricted to night flying. Many features of the Bird of
Prey support the hypothesis that it was designed for unprecedented
RCS levels: possibly an RCS of -70dBsm, or rather smaller than a
mosquito.

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The shape of the aircraft, too, is – accidentally or intentionally


– laid out to avoid shadows. This suggests strongly that the Bird of
Prey is a demonstrator for visual stealth technology.

A key aspect of the project was that the aircraft would be


inexpensive to build. Phantom Works engineers say they used
disposable tooling and 3-D virtual reality for its design and
assembly.

It has not been confirmed whether the Bird of Prey was


ultimately intended to be manned or unmanned. The project
formally started in 1992.

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10. CONCLUSION
Imagine you can electronically change the color of a given
surface in such a way it can match the terrain below it. Looking
from above, the surface appears to match the terrain. Fly over
forest, and the surface takes on a green like hue. A cloudy day adds
clouds to match what sensors see underneath and the aircraft
becomes a chameleon and disappears. This may sound like science
fiction, but then think of the LCD display of notebooks and it may
not seem so far fetched all of a sudden. This is not a new idea; in
fact several military fiction writers have already come up with the
idea, in one particular instance having the aircraft continually
modifying top and bottom like a magician’s mirror box making the
aircraft totally invisible. More technologies are currently under
development and will be closely monitored. But likewise the F-117,
we may not hear about that until the first smart bomb coming out
of nowhere has made a successful hit!

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11. REFERENCES

RAY WHITFORD, Designing For Stealth In Fighter


Aircraft, CRANFIELD UNIVERSITY

www.fas.org
www.airforce-technology.org
www.janes.com
www.discovery.com

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