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Misconceptions about the Global Hawk UAV and VLO concepts

LeGenD

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DISCLAIMER: This contribution is inspired from responses in the following thread: https://defence.pk/pdf/threads/brea...in-western-tehran.675278/page-7#post-12525572

I did not want to derail THAT thread and felt that this theme WARRANT a thread of its own actually.

Due to huge amount of content, this contribution is SPLIT into FOUR parts.

STATEMENT OF NEUTRALITY: This contribution is my personal work for which I consulted multiple sources in relation to the theme, and connected relevant dots. The sources consulted are Western to large extent because American hardware is in focus but a published study of Pakistani authors proved invaluable.

This contribution is not intentioned to cheapen Iranian accomplishments and/or defensive applications by extension. To their credit, they have developed remarkable defensive applications over the course of years, and Iran appears to field one of the most comprehensive defense arrangements in the world. Overcoming these defenses will not be a walk-in-the-park for any potential adversary.

Contents of this contribution are transnational (neutral) - not influenced by nationalistic considerations.

Iranian sources in focus:-
  1. BLOG - https://patarames.blogspot.com/2020/07/3rd-khordad-mythical-missile.html
  2. PDF ARTICLE - https://defence.pk/pdf/threads/iran...-leap-in-irans-air-defence-capability.670272/
---

This contribution is constructed in good faith and a painstaking effort (some of the images were sourced with considerable difficulty to make them visible in the contribution to the benefit of potential readers).

Primary objective = Scrutinize and debunk findings of the blog.

Secondary objective = Using the formidable Russian S-400 defense system as an ANALOGUE to explain why Iranian Bavar-373 defense system is vulnerable to VLO class fighter aircraft.

HUMOR: There is a touch of humor in this contribution to lighten the mood for potential readers.

BOSS: Member LeGenD - The One and Only

SUBORDINATE: Member TheImmortal (a friend) - reduced to a mere mortal by the end of the response. :sarcastic:

JUDGEMENT:
The 'rules of engagement' are obviously rigged in my favor - being the BOSS. At the conclusion of this contribution, I get to decide whether to FIRE my SUBORDINATE or not.

POTENTIAL ARGUMENTS:
If a member disagree with a particular point, understandable. However, bring something original to the theme to talk about, and not parrot DEBUNKED INFORMATION again and again in relation. This becomes counterproductive otherwise.

HUMOR is allowed.

TROLLING and INSULTS are absolutely discouraged whatsoever, and will be dealt with.

STEALTH: This theme does not suggest absolute invisibility and/or invincibility but it has spawned some of the most formidable offensive platforms in existence - these platforms are conceived and designed to deliver results in "highly contested spaces."

Understand this: STEALTH is not propaganda. There is varying degree of application however (not all low observable machines are created equal).

Remember this: Surface defenses are never sufficient at stopping/defeating aerial platforms on their own; a well-armed, high-tech and prepared Air Force will find a way to overcome any type of surface defenses in a particular region in a major exchange irrespective of how dense and managed the region's surface defenses appear to be on paper and otherwise. This is a lesson which have HISTORICAL precedent and context.

Significant investments in Air Force are NECESSARY to have a real shot at scoring victory in a high-stakes conventional battlefield - in the present and also in the years to come. Asymmetric warfare considerations will never be sufficient to nullify this dimension of warfare.

LEGEND

BAMS-D = Broad Area Maritime Surveillance-Demonstrator
DEAD = Destruction of Enemy Air Defenses
EW = Electronic Warfare
ECM = Electronic countermeasure(s)
EO/IR = Electro-optical/Infrared (Thermal considerations)
ELO = Extremely low observable
HALE = High Altitude Long Endurance
IRIAF = Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force
LO = Low observable
RCS = Radar cross-section (a measure of visibility to radar systems)
SEAD = Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses
USAF = United States Air Force
USN = United States Navy
VLO = Very low observable

Surface defense systems in focus:

3rd Khordad = Iranian defense system
Bavar-373 = Iranian defense system
S-400 = Russian defense system
S-300PMU2 = Russian defense system

----- ----- -----

THE ARGUMENT

First of all it carries one of the most sophisticated EW/ECW suites available today in tow. So it is not “defenseless”.

It’s painstakingly obvious you didn’t even read the the article I sent you because you are merely parroting stealth 101 propaganda.

RQ-180 is considered VLO? RQ-170 the previous generation was easily detected via EO, you can’t escape EO.

Global Hawk is not a standard RQ-4 first of all. It is a 200m+ dollar aircraft. I have shown you evidence it has a very low RCS (not F-35 or F-22 but more on that later).

Now let’s debunk your whole argument about why F-35 is super duper shall we?

On the night that Global Hawk was brought down 3rd Khordad algo signatures Radar and EO sights picked it up.

However, the issue with stealth aircraft is illuminating the target and providing accurate targeting data to the seeker. That is why Early warning and OTH radars can pick up F-22 and F-35, the issue being they can’t provide accurate enough coordinates to a seeker.

At the end of the day, a missile is bound by the laws of physics the more effort it has to expend to find the aircraft the more penalty hits its KE. SAMs do not have unlimited energy nor do they have unlimited fuel thus each missile is afforded X amount of penalty before the likelihood of intercepting becomes unlikely.

So what ended up happening was if 3rd Khordad illuminated the target it would lead to defense mechanisms to be initiated and would likely cost the missile too much KE to down the aircraft on top of the fact that 3rd Khordad would likely not be able to provide precise enough coordinates. Thus a data link with an Iranian radar operating in a band that Global Hawk is more exposed in was fed data from the 3rd Khordad which in turn found the general vincinity that the Global Hawk was in and passively fed that data back to 3rd Khordad which was then able to get a general lock on the area to fire the missile.

However, this was not enough to hit the target. The missile was fired using data from the other Iranian radar and the updated data from EO system of the 3rd Khordad to provide small mid course corrections.

So the missile flies up in the upper atmosphere and top attack pattern and then turns on its radar and does a scan downward of the most likely area that the global Hawk should be. It detects the global Hawk radar signature as it is being hit from radar waves from ABOVE it. The missile that aligns it self for the kill.

The Iranians said the global Hawk NEVER activated its defense EW/ECW suite though they expected it to. Which means the Global Hawk never knew it was about to be hit.

Now why is this whole process important? Because the same process used to kill a low RCS object with a system that is not truly designed to take down low RCS can be used by more capable systems like the Bavar-373 to down F-35 and F-22. The process is the SAME in finding the target and being able to target ACCURATELY enough so that the missile does not waste to much energy in trying to lock on.

The issue with this stealth progpanda you quote is they assume they are not going up against a true radar defense network with high data link capabilities.

It wasn’t Global Hawk vs 3rd Khordad

It was Global Hawk vs SAM Seeker -3rd Khordad EO system - 3rd Khordad Radar - Fajr (?) Early warning radar.

Again I’m doing a simplified explanation via memory if you read the article it does a much more accurate and deep job about the targeting.

The data is still valid and what is important is the process: same process that downed Global Hawk by raising its RCS is able to down a F-35 by raising its RCS to the point of a high probability targeting rate.

So again you can sit and talk about LO, true LO, true VLO, super duper ELO. But you can’t escape physics and the process of detection.

Iran was able to detect and down nearly 75KM away which is unheard of for a low RCS object facing a system like 3rd Khordad which was not designed for such a hit.
The blog [Iranian sources in focus # 1] discloses the fact that the UAV [in question] is made up of 'composites' but its analysis is contingent upon largely unexplained RCS simulation parameters for the UAV [in question] which in turn serve as the basis for erroneous assumptions. If you are not an engineer and/or understand RCS simulations in personal capacity, you will be easily fooled/misled by the blog.

Even though I am not an engineer myself but my academic credentials help me in understanding technical themes. I expect from YOU to read this contribution carefully and learn something from the content provided below.

UAV [in question] = a Global Hawk variant (more on this theme in SECTION 2 below)

HINT: "The air vehicle has not been specifically designed to offer a reduced signature and actual signature has not been determined." - Federal of American Scientists (FAS)

The aforementioned HINT is validated in SECTION 3 below.

RCS simulation challenges

The blog has sourced RCS simulation results of the model of the Global Hawk from the following 'application notes' of the Computer Simulation Technology (CST) Microwave studio software:


I have checked that document and my take of it is to regard it with utmost CAUTION because it does not make it clear if a particular type of RAM application was considered for the simulation of the Global Hawk (or not) although this aspect is mentioned in the document. If it was, then what type of RAM application was considered for the simulation? There are different types of RAM applications (see Section 5 below for details). If a particular type of RAM application is applied to the Global Hawk then it should be authentic - not assumed.

I am sharing a published study based on the aforementioned software: https://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S2175-91462014000200177

The conclusion part of the study:

"It is impossible to make much progress attempting to retrofit stealth onto a conventional aircraft because if the shape is wrong, no amount of material absorber treatments will reduce the RCS. Consideration must be given to any part of an aircraft to which a radar wave can reach to, in order to develop a low observable aircraft. On the other hand, the first critical factor to consider in the design process is the shape of the aircraft. This element has been designed into the aircraft from the beginning." - Andrade et al (2014)

- is absolutely relevant to my contribution. More on this in the Section 5 below.

EMPHASIS: RCS simulations of any complex object are not a JOKE - a great deal of academic and engineering investment is needed to get them right; to make sure that YOU are not doing it wrong and not drawing misleading conclusions from YOUR mistakes by extension.

BELOW is an example of an RCS simulation done RIGHT:



Example 1 – Monostatic RCS of global hawk
  • Frequency of interest: 5 GHz
  • Maximal dimension of the aircraft: 36 m (600 λ)
  • Output results: monostatic RCS calculated in 1801 directions, in vertical plane
  • One symmetry plane is used
  • Number of unknowns: 546,000
  • Simulation time (cluster with 8 nodes): 8 hours
SOURCE: https://wipl-d.com/products/gpu-cluster-solver/

OBSERVATIONS:
  1. The above is a thorough simulation lasting 8 hours and monostatic RCS of the model is calculated in 1801 directions which is substantial.
  2. Monostatic radar configuration considered for the simulation. The model is clearly visible to a radar system of certain parameters (C-band frequency considered).
  3. The RCS figures of the same model will spike in the face of bi-static radar configuration.
  4. The RCS figures of the same model will also vary across frequency bands and other parameters.
  5. The model will be clearly visible to a radar system operating in the X-band frequency range when passing through its scanning zone.
INTERJECTION: The Global Hawk is certainly constructed with 'composites' but these do not ensure true LO output for the UAV because its shaping is not to the task - this reality will be validated in SECTION 3 below. Andrade et al (2014) also stressed upon this part.

Q: What is monostatic radar configuration?

[1]

Q: What is bi-static radar system?

[2]

[1][2] = https://www.rfwireless-world.com/Terminology/Monostatic-radar-vs-Bistatic-radar.html

For comparison - BELOW is an example of an RCS simulation of another type of American UAV by a Chinese author:


Credited to Zhao (2016).

OBSERVATIONS:

1) The X-47B has the necessary shaping and construction which significantly reduce its RCS levels even when exposed to a "multi-radar setup." The study of Zhao (2016) is about this theme.

2) The Global Hawk standard does not compare to THAT; its RCS levels are very high when subject to a "monostatic radar setup", let alone to a "multi-radar setup."

3) Findings of Zhao (2016) are consistent with conslusion drawn in Andrade et al (2014). My post expand on both RAM applications and Shaping considerations in the Section 3 below.

-----

RCS simulation(s) of different things on software applications provide meaningful approximations but there are aspects to this theme which are only possible in HARD experiments - a luxury which the manufacturer(s) tend to have.


Credited to Pywell and Midgley-Davies (2017).

THAT is where MAGIC happens and solid results are obtained.

HARD experiments are extremely expensive and challenging endeavors.

In the absence of actual hardware and its modeling aspects, highly accurate simulation(s) of a (poorly understood) foreign product is not possible. Many of the design aspects are to be substituted with 'assumptions' and certain design aspects are not possible to factor-in without input from the product's manufacturer (classified information). These limitations were/are highlighted in academic discourses.

What if the 'assumptions' fed into the software are flawed and/or modeling parameters are incomplete? What if the very grasp of LO sciences of the individuals involved is weak?

I recall a Russian software-based simulation effort for the RCS of F-22A Raptor and its results suggest a uniform RCS in the (0.5 and 0.1 sq. m) range for this aircraft. Really?

What were the 'assumptions' involved? How accurate was the modeling aspect? Russians can tell much about their own product SU-57 (I would insist that Sukhoi is better qualified in this respect) but not about an American VLO class fighter aircraft because Russians have not managed to produce anything at par yet; multiple factors come together to ensure VLO output for a fighter aircraft as discussed at length in Section 3 below.

1. CONSTRUCTION BASICS of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV):

It is important to understand that the use 'composites' in developing military-purpose UAV is 'common practice' in the Western hemisphere - an open-secret if you will. Following statements are self-explanatory:

"Although it might be an oversimplification, in the UAV industry, weight is a disease and composites are the cure. It is noteworthy that all of the almost 200 UAV models considered in this market outlook include some composite parts. Glass and quartz fiber composites are regularly employed in sensor radomes, nose cones and small fairings. There are a number of cases where glass fiber composites were used in earlier medium-size airframes, but the demand for payload capacity, extended performance, and spiral development of unmanned systems have helped make carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP) the primary materials used in construction of UAV airframes. And as the UAV market has grown, so has the need for advanced composites."

SOURCE: https://www.compositesworld.com/articles/the-outlook-for-unmanned-aircraft

+

"The use of composite materials for optical enclosures results in very stiff but light sensor housings that are capable of maintaining tight tolerances over a range of temperatures and operating conditions. Optical elements themselves must also be designed for low weight. This becomes more important in larger sensors with multiple glass elements; even in medium to large UA such as MQ-9 Predator and Global Hawk, EO/IR sensor characteristics can limit the ability to carry multiple payloads simultaneously." - FAS report (UAS Roadmap 2005 - 2030)

Q: Why use composites to develop a UAV?

1. Enabling increased flight time(s)
2. Increased resistance to degradation (corrosion)
3. Weight reduction
4. Reduction of RCS (RAM application)

FUN FACT: Composites have commerical uses and applications as well.

EMPHASIS: A number of American military-purpose UAV are developed with such materials. These include RQ class (Global Hawk; Warrior/Mariner; Fire Scout), BQM class (Skeeter; Chukar), MQ class (Predator; Reaper), Shadow class (200; 400), and X-47 class.

A close-up shot of the RQ-4N BAMS-D variant used by USN: https://www.airliners.net/photo/USA-Navy/Northrop-Grumman-RQ-4A-Global-Hawk/2771514/L

Word of caution: images in the aforementioned LINK are copyrighted, and should not be copied and/or used without explicit permission of the source.


Credited to United States Department of Defense DVIDS imagery database.

NOTE: Only 4 of these variants were developed; one was shot down by Iran in 2019 (total count reduced to 3).

WINGS; TAIL; ENGINE COVER; AFT FUSELAGE = Carbon fiber composite (Graphite composite)*
MAIN FUSELAGE = Aluminum (standard)
MAIN BODY = Carbon fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP)

"The distinctive V-tail, engine cover, aft fuselage and wings are constructed primarily of graphite composite materials. The center fuselage is constructed of conventional aluminum, while various fairings and radomes feature fiberglass composite construction." - NASA

*Explanation in the following link: http://www.performancecomposites.com/images/stories/graphitedesignguide.pdf

"The wings and tail of the Global Hawk are made of graphite composite material.The V-configuration of the tail provides a reduced radar and infrared signature. The wings have structural hard points for external stores. The aluminum fuselage contains pressurized payload and avionics compartments." - DECLASSIFIED (2010)**

**Link: https://www.lboro.ac.uk/media/wwwlboroacuk/content/systems-net/downloads/pdfs/GLOBAL HAWK SYSTEMS ENGINEERING CASE STUDY.pdf

If you wish to dig deeper into these constructs:

"UAVs are no longer simple and inexpensive. Use of lightweight advanced composites is essential in increasing UAV flight time. Lear Astronics Corp Development Sciences Centre's composite capabilities for the design and fabrication of UAVs include high molecular weight polyethylene, S-glass (magnesia-alumina-silicate glass with high tensile strength), high electrical resistivity glass (E-glass), aramid, quartz, bismaleimide and graphite fibres reinforcing epoxy, polyester, vinyl ester, phenolic, and polyimide resins. Composite processing methods include compression moulding, resin transfer moulding (RTM), prepreg lay-up, wet lay-up and convolute winding with oven or autoclave curing." - John K. Borchardt (2004)***

***Link:
https://www.materialstoday.com/comp...unmanned-aerial-vehicles-spur-composites-use/

2. Which GLOBAL HAWK variant was shot down by Iran?

The Global Hawk represent a UAV series - one should not paint all variants with the same brush and call it a day.

The Global Hawk variant which the Iranian 3rd Khordad defense system shot down over the Persian Gulf in 2019 was RQ-4N BAMS-D - its 'sensor systems' are highlighted below:


Sourced from forcesmilitary.blogspot.com.


Credited to Flight International.


Iranian sources tend to confuse RQ-4N BAMS-D variant with MQ-4C Triton variant - these two are entirely different variants with the latter being state-of-the-art in the inventory of USN lately.

Understand this:

"The U.S. Navy Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Demonstrator (BAMS-D) aircraft is a Navy version of the U.S. Air Force block 10 RQ-4A Global Hawk high-altitude, long-endurance, unmanned, unarmed aircraft used to conduct intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions. It has a wingspan about the same size as a Boeing 737 airliner.


The BAMS-D is the precursor to the Navy’s MQ-4C “Triton” that is designed to support a wide variety of missions, including maritime ISR patrol, signals intelligence collection, search and rescue, and communications relay.

The Navy BAMS-D aircraft was operating in international airspace, never flying closer than about 34 kilometers from the Iranian coast. After its downing, three BAMS-D aircraft remain in the Navy’s inventory." -
Lt. General (Retired) Deptula

+

"Although the test aircraft are referred to as BAMS demo drones, they are sensibly different from the actual MQ-4C BAMS Triton that, in spite of the same basic airframe, has a completely different radar and surveillance equipment." - The Aviationist

+

"So, it looks like DoD officials are likely confused and what was probably lost was a BAMS-D. These airframes were recycled from early Block 10 RQ-4A Global Hawks that the USAF no longer wanted and used for experimental testing and proof of concept work during development for what would become the MQ-4C Triton."
- Tyler Rogoway (The Drive)

Nomenclatures:

RQ4A Global Hawk (Block 10) = USAF
RQ4N BAMS-D (Block 10; experimental) = USN

Why distinguish?

"This wasn’t one of the Navy’s new MQ-4C Tritons. RQ-4As are ex-USAF Block 10 Global Hawks from the early 2000s, whereas MQ-4Cs were designed from the start to provide naval reconnaissance. Tritons carry a full-motion video camera, a sense-and-avoid radar and other improvements, in addition to an SAR and EO sensor." - James Poss, Maj Gen (Retired)

The new MQ-4C Triton has somewhat superior "survivability arrangements."

EVEN THEN:

The Global Hawk UAV series is not designed to penetrate "contested spaces." They do not feature 'sensor systems' suited for "penetration missions."

"Keep in mind, BAMS-D, like the Global Hawk and the MQ-4C to a degree, has a zero penetration mission. It doesn't fly into contested airspace. It is literally a sitting duck. The only reason it would do so would be if it was off the leash or there was a major navigational malfunction. It is far more likely Iran just shot it out of international airspace as the Pentagon states." - Tyler Rogoway (The Drive)

They contain 'sensor systems' to extract rich information from a location of interest nevertheless:

"NAVCENT (U.S. Naval Forces, Central Command) tasked one of their ex-USAF Block 10 RQ-4A Global Hawks to watch Iranian naval and Revolutionary Guard naval forces in the Persian Gulf. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard had been placing limpet mines on multinational tankers, so COMNAVCENT (Commander, NAVCENT) understandably wanted to know where the Guard’s vessels were at all times. NAVCENT picked the Global Hawk because it does an amazing job of tracking naval vessels from high altitude at extremely long range." - James Poss, Maj Gen (Retired)

They are very powerful and expensive ISR platforms no doubt.

Now:

"The Navy RQ-4A was absolutely flying in international airspace. The U.S. would never risk an international incident by intentionally flying such a large, easily observed aircraft in Iranian airspace, and even Block 10 Global Hawk sensors could accomplish the mission beyond borders. It is also extremely unlikely that a Global Hawk inadvertently penetrated Iranian airspace. Unlike the USAF MQ-9, which requires a pilot to command the air vehicle, the RQ-4 is semi-autonomous. RQ-4 pilots tell the vehicle where to fly via GPS waypoints and the RQ-4 figures out how to configure its control surfaces to get there. Even if the Iranians jammed the Global Hawk control link, the air vehicle would find its own way home. Iranian airspace would have been a no-go zone in the Global Hawk software." -
James Poss, Maj Gen (Retired)

Guess what? Iranian armed forces realized that this particular UAV cannot be made to land over Iranian airspace (far more resilient to cyber-warfare than the norm), so why not try something different this time and hope to salvage leftovers (wreckage)?

THAT seems to be the desired outcome.

Iran's attack on one of the RQ4N BAMS-D units caught Americans by surprise however - they were not expecting this move because it was operating over 'international space' at the time.
 

LeGenD

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3. The GLOBAL HAWK is Stealth - You joking right?

Following collection of statements:

"Keep in mind, BAMS-D, like the Global Hawk and the MQ-4C to a degree, has a zero penetration mission. It doesn't fly into contested airspace. It is literally a sitting duck. The only reason it would do so would be if it was off the leash or there was a major navigational malfunction. It is far more likely Iran just shot it out of international airspace as the Pentagon states." - Tyler Rogoway (The Drive)

+

"Global Hawk/Triton unmanned aircraft are subsonic, non-stealthy platforms that were not designed to operate in areas covered by advanced SAM or air-to-air aircraft threats." - Lt. General (Retired) Deptula

+

"Wednesday’s downing of a U.S. drone by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard exposes a weakness in U.S. operations. The United States has some of the world’s most sophisticated drones for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. But they were designed for past wars, for use against insurgent forces such as ISIS or the Taliban that cannot track and destroy high-flying aircraft. Iran and other potential adversaries, by contrast, have radar and missiles that can turn some of the U.S. military’s most important drones into expensive, conspicuous targets."

SOURCE: https://www.defenseone.com/technolo...nickel-and-dimed-its-way-losing-drone/157901/

- converge on the same contention: Global Hawk series is NOT a true LO class design, not even close.

I will expand on the aforementioned contention with some technical/academic knowledge because YOU are not taking statements from American military officials and contacts seriously.

3.1. Different RAM applications - LO output vary accordingly

"The impedance value of the metallic aircraft is near tozero. Therefore, when the signals strike the metallic surface, a major part of it is reflected. In addition to the requirement to have a close impedance value to air, a RAM material mustbe able to absorb the energy of the electromagnetic radia-tions rapidly as it pass through it. In order to achieve this goal, the surface of an aircraft must be covered with thecoating having ferritic, magnetic or dielectric materials. The energy absorbed by the RAMs depends upon the thickness of the coating,[27] angle of incident wave[28] and the specific materials properties.[29] A RAM may be a mesh of nonme-tallic materials or a thin layer in which particles of carbon orferrite are embedded. Broadband radar is composed of sev-eral layers of the different materials to yield the dielectric gradient. Lossy dielectrics are relatively thick, but light, whereas lossy magnetics are thin but heavy.[25]" - Husnain et al (2019)

There are different types of RAM applications:
  • Impedance matching RAMs
  • Pyramdial RAMs
  • Tapered loading RAMs
  • Matching layer RAMs
  • Rsonant RAMs
  • Salisbury screen
  • Dallenbach layer absorbers (DLA)
  • Jaumann RAM
  • Carbon black reinforced polymercomposites
  • Multilayer carbon blackreinforced RAMs
  • Carbon fiber reinforced polymercomposites (CFRP)
  • Continuous fiber composites
  • Short fiber composites
  • Carbon nanotube-based polymercomposites
  • Dispersion of CNT particles
  • Interfacial properties
  • Magnetically decorated or filled CNTs
  • Graphene-based RAMs

Credited to Husnain et al (2019).

You see where this is heading? Are you ready to dig deeper into this theme?

"It is also important to note that CFRPCs are quasi-reflective at a highconcentration (60%-70% vol.) of carbon fibers. Therefore, CFRPCs are considered as the good candidates for electro-magnetic interference shielding but not for the microwave absorbance.[103,104]" - Husnain et al (2019)

WAIT WHAT? Not suited for microwave absorbance?

Microwaves are electromagnetic waves with relatively long wavelengths and low frequencies. They are used for microwave ovens, cell phones, and radar.

REMINDERS:

"The air vehicle has not been specifically designed to offer a reduced signature
and actual signature has not been determined."
- Federal of American Scientists (FAS)

+

"It is impossible to make much progress attempting to retrofit stealth onto a conventional aircraft because if the shape is wrong, no amount of material absorber treatments will reduce the RCS. Consideration must be given to any part of an aircraft to which a radar wave can reach to, in order to develop a low observable aircraft. On the other hand, the first critical factor to consider in the design process is the shape of the aircraft. This element has been designed into the aircraft from the beginning." - Andrade et al (2014)

BUSTED....

The blog - its drawing wrong assumptions in relation.

EMPHASIS: The Carbon fiber-based RAM application used in American UAV is an inferior solution in comparison to the Carbon black-based RAM application used in American 5th generation figher aircraft such as the F-22A Raptor and F-35 Lightning II variants as well as other types of VLO aircraft in American inventory.

VLO class aircraft receive a combination of RAM applications to achieve "significant LO output." This kind of experiment has let to creation of a revolutionary RAM application which is now being applied to F-22A and F-35 variants in-fact. This reality is hinted in a few sources.

The (next-generation) ELO class aircraft? MYSTERY galore.

3.2. Shaping considerations

It is established that there are different types of RAM applications to reduce RCS of the aircraft. However, LO output of these applications significantly vary.

There is another more important consideration in the domain of LO sciences, and that is the shaping of the aircraft:


Sourced from slideshare.


Sourced from slideshare.

EMPHASIS:
"The round shape means that no matter where the radar signal hits the plane, some of the signal gets reflected back."

STOP and re-check frontal shaping of the Global Hawk series; wheels on the bus go round and round...

In fact, the entire body of an aircraft can be made to deflect radar waves in different directions:


Sourced from: https://aviation.stackexchange.com/...he-design-of-the-planform-alignment-of-stealt

Smaller structuring aspects such as:


Credited to f-22raptor.com.

- are also important considerations.


Sourced from Aircraft 101.


Sourced from Aircraft 101.

The 'engines' part should also be addressed:


Sourced from Aircraft 101.

Significance of shaping considerations:

Stealth technology reduces RCS by shaping an aircraft to “scatter” radar waves away from the emitter and using radar-absorbent material (RAM) to reduce reflections by turning the energy into heat. Traditionally, shaping accounts for 90% of stealth’s RCS reduction and materials 10%. - The Aviation Special Report (State of Stealth)
 

LeGenD

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3.3. Shaping + appropriate RAM application = True LO design

The aforementioned considerations help reduce uniform rcs of the aircraft across (all) bands although 'resonance effect' is noticed across low-frequency bands (HF - UHF). This issue can be addressed through Hybrid RAM application:

"There are ways to combine techniques. Layered magnetic materials can reduce RCS by 10 dB from 2-20 GHz with 0.3 in. of depth. Hybrid RAMs can be created with a front layer of graded dielectric and a back layer of magnetic material to attenuate radar reflections from VHF to Ku-band." - The Aviation Special Report (State of Stealth)

For reference:


Credited to Air Power Australia.

For comparison:


From a Japanese source - to be retraced.


NOTE: PAK-FA = Su-57 (uniform rcs range also highlighted in one of the aircraft's patents).

The uniform rcs range of F-35 variants, might noticeably improve subject to a revolutionary RAM application which was hinted in the earlier post:

"The fiber mat would replace many RAM appliques by being cured into the composite skin, making it durable. Burbage further specified the mat featured a “non-directional weave”— which would ensure EM properties do not vary with angle. Baked into the skin, this layer could vary in thickness as necessary. Lockheed declined to provide further details, citing classification. Without further evidence, fiber mat would imply use of fibers, rather than particles, which would make for stronger surfaces and the word “conductive” points to carbon-based RAM." - The Aviation Special Report (State of Stealth)

EMPHASIS: The chart highlighting different Russian and Chinese VHF-band Acquisition radars - those are some of the largest and most advanced supposedly anti-stealth radar systems in the inventory of both countries lately (featuring new type(s) of antennas coupled with improvements to computers and signal processing capabilities). Look at the detection possibility with each beyond 0.001 m^2 mark - below 40 NM. The chart is highlighting the DETECTION possibility aspect only - NOT exactly the TRACKING in real-time aspect. It is important to understand this difference.

"So why not build every radar for lower bands? Because they are less accurate at lower frequencies. Every antenna generates a beam pattern with a central cone called a main lobe within which most of its energy is emitted and reflected energy detected. The main lobe’s width depends on the ratio of the antenna’s aperture size to its wavelength. Longer wavelengths require bigger apertures, increasing cost and decreasing mobility, and even large antennas struggle to generate fire-control-level accuracy."
- The Aviation Special Report (State of Stealth)

Even Russia's formidable 55Zh6UME radar system does not have sufficient accuracy to enable successful engagement of a VLO class target from AFAR:

"One approach is to use VHF command terminal guidance. The idea is to link the 55Zh6UME search radar to the S-300/400 weapon system and use its data to direct the missiles all the way to their targets. According to data released by NNiiRT, however, the 55Zh6UME is not accurate enough for this. The manufacturer claims a root mean square error of 0.25 deg. in azimuth and elevation against a 1 m2 RCS target. This means
for targets only 20 mi. away it could be off by more than 460 ft., and proportionally more for more distant targets. This is inadequate to guide a missile." - The Aviation Special Report (State of Stealth)

THAT is when dealing with a target having a uniform rcs of 1 m^2 rcs - not even close to being VLO class target.

For reference:


Source to be retraced.


Source: https://slideplayer.com/slide/5688854/

3.4. What about the "multi-radar setup" operating at different frequency ranges?

Let us consider the sophisticated Russian S-400 system as the analogue system featuring "multi-radar setup."


Source: https://www.armyrecognition.com/rus...rowler_missile_russia_air_defense_system.html

You notice three radar systems working in tandem for the system:

91N6E = S-band
92N6E = I/J-band (dual) - this one produce fire solution
96L6E = C-band

In spite of all those radar systems working in tandem:


Credited to Air Force Magazine.

The above graphic is from an American military source; INTENTIONAL LEAK

SOURCE: https://www.airforcemag.com/PDF/Mag...ages/2019/May 2019/F-15.F-35_Vertical.v30.pdf

When the net-return of microwaves to radar systems across (all) bands is likely to be extremely poor from the F-35A due to its (shaping + appropriate RAM application) characteristics...

The aforementioned considerations (shaping + appropriate RAM application) help reduce uniform rcs of the aircraft across (all) bands, making it possible for the resultant VLO class fighter aircraft to operate very close to even some of the most sophisticated defense systems in existence. But this is not the desired objective.

EMPHASIS: Desired objective is to KILL a defense system before it can do something.

3.5. Transform a true LO class aircraft into a potent SEAD platform

Any VLO class fighter aircraft cannot be completely masked or concealed (100%) through LO applications - very complex machine as a whole. Therefore, SOLUTION is to equip it with comprehensive electronic warfare capabilities suited for 'penetration missions' to seal the deal - the equation is now complete.


Source: https://www.rfcafe.com/references/electrical/ew-radar-handbook/radar-cross-section.htm

LEARNING FROM HISTORY - The curious case of F-117A Nighthawk

"Electronic warfare paired with low observability is really a magic potion for survivability over the modern battlefield. Whatever weaknesses a stealthy aircraft has in its shaping and coatings can potentially be offset, to a certain degree, by the ability to wreak havoc on enemy radar and communications systems via electronic attacks. In the past, aircraft like the F-117 Nighthawk had zero electronic warfare capabilities as the technology to make such a system's emissions undetectable and not self-defeating was very limited. Instead, those aircraft relied on jamming support from other aircraft, such as EF-111 Ravens and EA-6B Prowlers, operating at standoff ranges. In practice, it was very seldom that an F-117 would venture deep into denied territory without robust jamming support. In fact, the one time it did, during Operation Allied Force two decades ago, it was shot down." - Tyler Rogoway (The Drive)

EMPHASIS: Both F-22A and F-35 are equipped with comprehensive electronic warfare systems suited to 'penetration missions' which enable them to subject several radar systems on the surface to jamming/spoofing attacks from considerable distance(s):


Credited to Lemons and Carrington (2018).

THAT IS THE REAL DEAL... The Global Hawk series is considerably lacking in this domain.

"The F-35, on the other hand, is designed with its own highly-integrated, highly-advanced AN/ASQ-239 electronic warfare system. It takes advantages of its active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and the antennas that are buried along the edges of its wings and control surfaces and beneath its skin. This capability allows the F-35 to 'self-escort' to the target area and back, taking on enemy emitters electronically that it may have trouble staying far enough away from to evade detection entirely. This same electronic warfare suite and the jet's high degree of sensor fusion offers F-35 pilots the ability make rapid decisions regarding their survivability on the fly. They can decide to destroy threatening emitters that may pop-up in their way, and new weapons are being developed to do this quickly and over relatively long ranges, or to avoid the threat entirely if possible, or to try to blind and confuse it via electronic attacks, allowing the F-35 to sneak by unscathed." - Tyler Rogoway (The Drive)

Recommended read: https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zo...oys-that-unreel-from-inside-its-stealthy-skin

Imagine radar system(s) having a hard time figuring out movements of a VLO class fighter aircraft, they will become virtually redundant in the face of jamming/spoofing attacks from afar on top.

NOTE: TRACKING is two-way street; Jamming/Spoofing is one-way street - easier task.

3.6. IR/Thermal reduction measures - Covering the tracks

Numerous IR/Thermal reduction measures are considered due to proliferation of EO/IR applications around the world - although this is not a new development. These measures include Curved Diverterless Inlets and "buried" engine(s).


Sourced from Aircraft 101.


Sourced from Aircraft 101.


Sourced from Aircraft 101.


Sourced from Aircraft 101.

"Since the engine exhaust system is the primary contributor to aft sector infrared signature, engine and nozzle design needed to incorporate effective methods to reduce infrared emissions. This was accomplished using reduced radar cross-section-compatible techniques, including hiding, shaping, and temperature control." - DECLASSIFIED INFORMATION

There are a number of internal measures in relation:


Credited to Lockheed Martin.

The EO/IR detection possibilities can be further degraded with appropriate TACTICS:


Sourced from Aircraft 101.

THAT is a C-130 aircraft - an aircraft which has virtually ZERO thermal suppression capabilities and easily spotted by radar systems as well as EO/IR equipment. But weather patterns can significantly degrade detection possibilities with EO/IR equipment.

EMPHASIS: True VLO class aircraft such as F-22A and F-35 variants are already very difficult to spot and track using EO/IR equipment from a distance, employment tactics can ensure effective concealment in this domain.
 

LeGenD

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3.7. True LO design + EW + LPI sensor systems = True VLO output

VLO output is enabled by a complex mesh of numerous considerations pertaining to LO sciences and defensive applications:


Credited to Lockheed Martin.


Sourced from a relevant topic in Quora.

Every electronic component in both F-22A and F-35 variants is electronically fused:


Credited to Lockheed Martin.

Since F-22A is a largely unmarketed and concealed fighter aircraft in terms of capabilities, I will use information attributed to F-35 variants to expand on my point.

DISTINCT:


Credited to Lockheed Martin.

- state-of-the-art sensor systems are installed to enable the host fighter aircraft to detect a wider range of threatening targets from different perspectives and techniques:


Credited to Lockheed Martin.

HOWEVER:

The sensor architecture of the F-35 enable it to minimize its emissions and footprint during the course of operations. The AESA radar is LPI (Low Probability of Intercept) by design but this does not make it foolproof to detection possibilities - a sophisticated sensor system will pick on such emissions no matter what. In the case of F-35, the AESA radar system will actively scan for threats to the maximum extent for like 3 seconds, illuminating them on the HUD for the pilot, and then the 'active search' aspect will stop immediately. The lack of 'active search' can certainly lead to more elusive targets disappearing from the HUD but F-35 will remain aware of such threats with its long-range passive detection capabilities in the mix (sensor fusion aspects). This is the point of sensor fusion in the first place - to enable different types of sensor systems to work together and produce a single unified picture of potential threats in the surroundings for the pilot to evaluate and make informed decisions accordingly (5th generation sensor architecture that is). This characteristic also enable the host aircraft to minimize its emissions and reduce its footprint by extension because it will not have to actively search for potential threats on a continuous basis, only on need basis. The AESA radar system of F-35 does not work in isolation.

FUSED:


Credited to Lockheed Martin.


Source: https://theaviationist.com/2012/01/19/sneak-preview-f35/

THAT enables unprecedented levels of situational awareness in the battlefield. Sensor fusion capabilities of the F-35 variants have literally surprised every pilot who have worked with this aircraft among others; there are personal testimonials in relation.

Q: So what is the desired outcome?

This:


Credited to Lockheed Martin.

Following statement:

The F-35 has an integrated stealth design, meaning it not only minimizes "signatures" in the microwave segment of the spectrum used by radar, but also the infrared and visible-light segments exploited by electro-optical sensors. Emissions from on-board communications equipment are also managed to leave enemies with few options for finding the fighter. So while a long-wavelength search radar might occasionally detect a distant F-35, there will usually be no way of tracking or targeting it.


This is the main reason why F-35s are achieving kill ratios of 20-to-1 in simulated combat against adversary aircraft. As one pilot of an adversary fighter put it, "We just can't see them like they can see us. It can feel like you are out there with a blindfold on trying to find someone in a huge space." This state of being nearly defenseless harkens back to pre-radar days, when a very worried Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin warned the British Parliament that "the bomber will always get through."


SOURCE:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/lorent...-fighter-story-you-havent-heard/#2a96b28768cc

- is very telling.

INTERJECTION: The aforementioned information might help people understand the incident which occurred near Iranian borders in 2013 (F-22A vs. IRIAF F-4s).

4. The Bottom Line

Argument:

"Global Hawk is not a standard RQ-4 first of all. It is a 200m+ dollar aircraft. I have shown you evidence it has a very low RCS (not F-35 or F-22 but more on that later)."

- is utterly meaningless.

The Global Hawk UAV series neither have the type of RAM application and nor shaping aspects to make it suited for "penetration missions." It does not have comprehensive electronic warfare capabilities for the needful either. Any decent radar system would be able to obtain a lock on this type of drone - should not be a problem. A network of radar systems would do even better and enable 'engagement' from a long distance - Iranian 3rd Khordad proved as much. Multiple independent sources come to the same conclusion - Why do you think this is the case? Do you know better than those who have designed the aircraft?

REMINDER:

"It is impossible to make much progress attempting to retrofit stealth onto a conventional aircraft because if the shape is wrong, no amount of material absorber treatments will reduce the RCS. Consideration must be given to any part of an aircraft to which a radar wave can reach to, in order to develop a low observable aircraft. On the other hand, the first critical factor to consider in the design process is the shape of the aircraft. This element has been designed into the aircraft from the beginning." - Andrade et al (2014)

ANALOGY: Yemeni Houthi rebels are credited for shooting down MQ-9 Reaper drones over Yemeni airspace:

"This 66-foot-wingspan, $30.2 million, “hunter-killer” drone was shot down by Houthi rebels over Yemen just two weeks before the Global Hawk was brought down. Unlike the Global Hawk, the Reaper’s “MQ” designation means that it carries weapons, which can include Hellfire missiles, Paveway II laser-guided bombs and other guided bombs. Reapers are the primary UAVs used in offensive strikes by the U.S. Air Force, according to military.com. The Pentagon claimed another Reaper was shot down by Houthi forces in August 2019."

SOURCE: https://www.c4isrnet.com/unmanned/2019/08/23/5-times-in-history-enemies-shot-down-a-us-drone/

The MQ-9 Reaper has more to it in terms of war-fighting capabilities than the Global Hawk series.

In fact, IRGC failed to shoot down one MQ-9 Reaper UAV operating over the Persian Gulf with a man-portable SAM system prior to the Global Hawk shot down incident.

So Yemeni defenses are impenetrable now? You may need to have a word with Saudi and Emirati pilots.

PLEASE revisit SECTIONS (2 - 3) above.

--- --- ---

ARGUMENT:

"The Iranians said the global Hawk NEVER activated its defense EW/ECW suite though they expected it to. Which means the Global Hawk never knew it was about to be hit."

Blog statement is following:

"It appears that, if at all, only the missile approach warning system detected the inbound Taer-2 and this was to late to deploy the towed jammer, since the Iranian operators claim that there was no ECM as they had expected."

EMPHASIS: The AN/ALR-89(V) is merely a Threat Warning Receiver (TWR). This system cannot do anything to radar system(s) on the surface (cannot subject one to jamming/spoofing attacks from AFAR); this system can try to fool the seeker of an incoming SAM by releasing a decoy if the gap has narrowed enough.

Blog statement does not rule out the possibility of the UAV [in question] becoming aware of a SAM approaching it. Since this UAV did not release a decoy to counter a SAM released by the 3rd Khordad defense system, it might not be equipped with one at the time. The UAV [in question] is terribly lacking in the ECM department and also in the speed department. Remember this: Americans were not expecting an attack on it.

TOP CRUISING SPEED of the Global Hawk
series = 350 knots per hour (648 KM per hour). This is not necessarily the level of speed maintained throughout the course of the flight however, particularly when performing an 'ISR missions' in a location of interest.

Do you recall how a subsonic cruise missile evades radar detection and reduce engagement possibilities against it?


Source: https://mariumaashraf.wordpress.com/category/uncategorized/


Source: https://americanhistory.si.edu/subs/weapons/armament/missiles/flightprofile.html

NOTE: Subsonic cruise missiles adopt terrain-hugging flight path even though these have a much lower uniform rcs than scores of fighter aircraft:


Source: http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/electronics/q0168.shtml

Terrain-hugging flight path coupled with impressive onboard ECM capabilities usually works. A subsconic cruise missile can also be programmed to avoid getting close to the position(s) of defense systems in a contested space. All of these measures virtually guarantee 'penetration mission' at subsonic speed levels.

Other autonomous vehicles such as ballistic missiles MOVE at much higher altitudes for the needful because they have sheer speed to reduce engagement possibilities against them: https://www.researchgate.net/profil...lide-missile-ballistic-missile-and-cruise.jpg

But neither a cruise missile and nor a ballistic missile is jam-packed with powerful 'sensor systems' suited for "penetration missions." This is the forte of VLO class fighter aircraft who move at supersonic speeds.

Look at this matter from any angle and perspective - only one thing is clear: the Global Hawk series has a zero penetration mission.

PERIOD

--- --- ---

BlOG STATEMENT:

"Lower band radars in VHF-band nearly completely neutralize the benefits of RAM and RAS and to a lesser extend also help against LO shaping techniques."

REMINDER:

"There are ways to combine techniques. Layered magnetic materials can reduce RCS by 10 dB from 2-20 GHz with 0.3 in. of depth. Hybrid RAMs can be created with a front layer of graded dielectric and a back layer of magnetic material to attenuate radar reflections from VHF to Ku-band." - The Aviation Special Report (State of Stealth)

RAM applications are numerous with a great deal of history and research involved.

PLEASE revisit SECTION 3 above.

Also keep in mind that I am not telling much in this regard. ;)

--- --- ---

ARGUMENT:

"So what ended up happening was if 3rd Khordad illuminated the target it would lead to defense mechanisms to be initiated and would likely cost the missile too much KE to down the aircraft on top of the fact that 3rd Khordad would likely not be able to provide precise enough coordinates. Thus a data link with an Iranian radar operating in a band that Global Hawk is more exposed in was fed data from the 3rd Khordad which in turn found the general vincinity that the Global Hawk was in and passively fed that data back to 3rd Khordad which was then able to get a general lock on the area to fire the missile.

However, this was not enough to hit the target. The missile was fired using data from the other Iranian radar and the updated data from EO system of the 3rd Khordad to provide small mid course corrections.

So the missile flies up in the upper atmosphere and top attack pattern and then turns on its radar and does a scan downward of the most likely area that the global Hawk should be. It detects the global Hawk radar signature as it is being hit from radar waves from ABOVE it. The missile that aligns it self for the kill."


FYI:

"The shoot-down also wasn’t a statement of Iranian military or technical superiority. Operating at high altitude hasn’t helped U.S. recce aircraft against long-range surface to air missiles (SAMs) since the Soviets shot down Gary Powers in the ’60s. Shooting down a Block 10 Global Hawk flying unescorted in peacetime would have been easy for several types of Iranian SAMs. In wartime, that RQ-4A would have had a “package” of escort aircraft to ensure it survived enemy air defenses. USAF AWACS and RC-135’s would have scanned Iranian sites to detect its fighters or SAM radars. USAF F-15’s and F-22’s would have intercepted any Iranian aircraft brave enough to get airborne. USN EF-18G’s Prowlers would have jammed Iranian radars, and USAF F-16CJ Wild Weasels would have launched radar homing missiles at Iranian SAM radars as they attempted to track the Global Hawk." - James Poss, Maj Gen (Retired)

EMPHASIS: The blog which you cited is doing exactly this: "Making a mountain out of a molehill."

No; 3rd Khordad is NOT the "mythical missile."

If an advanced low-frequency radar system receive a feint return from a VLO class fighter aircraft operating nearby, it can be programmed to remember exact location of this echo and alert other assets linked to it in the process. The control network will now have to work with 'predictive models' to guide a potential response to it. This is assuming that the target is slow and can be caught in time. This is also assuming that the target is virtually defenseless and have not noticed the radar system on the surface and blown it apart first.

THAT is not the case with true OFFENSIVE PLATFORMS whatsoever:

"In other words, it could be used to direct other air defense sensors, such as search and fire control radars, toward an area of the sky that said object appears to be in. This is a worthy capability, as it is possible that some of those sensors will be able to get a better track on the aircraft, especially by varying tactics with the knowledge that they are looking for a low-observable target. But considering that stealth aircraft are optimized to evade detection specifically from the types of radar bands used by these radars, especially from certain aspects, just directing their beams to an area of sky may be a fruitless endeavor. This is especially true if said stealthy target is at a significant distance from those sensors and at a favorable aspect in relation to them. And even if tracking is realized, it would likely be intermittent and not long continuous enough to guide weapons onto the target.

Also, once those sensors are cued by the passive radar system, the aircraft being hunted for will know full well that this is occurring and will employ route changes and advanced electronic warfare capabilities to confuse, spoof, or blind those radar systems. These active sensors give away their location by emitting, so the aircraft or other platforms it is networked to, could also elect to destroy some or all of those threatening sensors if they pose a dire threat to its mission or if the aircraft's mission itself is to do so. So, once the passive radar does its job and cues other higher-fidelity active sensors onto the target area, those sensors are now at risk of being obliterated."
- Tyler Rogoway (The Drive)

Recommended read: https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/30100/no-passive-radar-isnt-stealth-ending-magic-people

There is always the option to outright destroy any radar system that might complicate a 'penetration mission' and this happened in Syria in 2019:


Source: https://southfront.org/f-35-destroyed-chinese-made-radar-in-syria-rumors-swirl/

THAT was an intentional attack from an Israeli F-35i ADIR to send a message to (all) elements in Syria that even YOUR cutting-edge defensive assets are largely redundant in the face of what they (Israeli) can bring to bear against them now. This was a complex military operation in which multiple targets of interest were taken out in the space of some minutes.

Details in the following link: https://www.timesofisrael.com/satellite-images-show-damage-at-damascus-airport-after-israeli-raids/

But some sources (Russian in particular) would want you believe that they are not pressing the trigger. :rolleyes:

So Israeli forces can come and KILL any asset inside Syria but the regime and its allies will not press the trigger? Bunch of liars - all of them. In reality (behind-the-scenes), Syrian officials are are frustrated with utter failure of the S-300PMU-2 system at their disposal. The system is really good but the calculus have entirely shifted to Israeli favor - no longer a fair fight.

An F-35A taking out muliple targets in a single sortie in one of the trials with pin-point accuracy:


Mobility does not help.


Credited to Lockheed Martin.

--- --- ---

ARGUMENT:

"Now why is this whole process important? Because the same process used to kill a low RCS object with a system that is not truly designed to take down low RCS can be used by more capable systems like the Bavar-373 to down F-35 and F-22. The process is the SAME in finding the target and being able to target ACCURATELY enough so that the missile does not waste to much energy in trying to lock on."


:disagree:

THAT is what I term as 'one-dimensional view' of things.

YOU do not understand the difference between a UAV suited for ISR missions and a fighter aircraft suited for penetration missions - do YOU?

The Global Hawk series = slow moving (subsonic); lacking in the EW department (cannot jam/spoof radar system(s) on the surface among other considerations); lacking in offensive aspects (zero capability); lacking in maneuverability - zero penetration mission in short.

Both F-22A and F-35 variants move much faster than the HALE type UAVs (supersonic), maneuver much better than the HALE type UAVs, jam-packed with 'sensor systems' suited for penetration missions (EW + LPI considerations + Sensor Fusion), and are manned platforms (well-trained pilots making decisions):


Source: https://theaviationist.com/2012/01/19/sneak-preview-f35/

The information which I shared in SECTION 3 above, collectively lead to the following output:


Credited to Lockheed Martin.

- the VLO output in the nutshell.

REMINDER:


Credited to Air Force Magazine.

EMPHASIS: Bavar-373 defense system will be subjected to SEAD and KILLED before it can do something significant.

Even if a SAM is somehow released, F-35 variants can detect and track movements of all types of 'missiles' in real-time from AFAR:


- and obtain weapons-grade lock on each due to its remarkable sensor fusion capabilities.

In case you did not knew; the latest AIM-120D (A2A) missile can be used to engage and kill another missile - it has a robust multi-sensor seeker system of its own. And 'command guidance' coming from the source (i.e. F-35 variant) will get the job done.

THAT is a rear capability in a fighter aircraft - exceedingly difficult to replicate.

Details in the following post: https://defence.pk/pdf/threads/rafale-a-bmw-driven-by-a-rickshawala.675164/page-2#post-12520435

PLEASE revisit SECTION 3 above.

--- --- ---

ARGUMENT:

"The data is still valid and what is important is the process: same process that downed Global Hawk by raising its RCS is able to down a F-35 by raising its RCS to the point of a high probability targeting rate.

So again you can sit and talk about LO, true LO, true VLO, super duper ELO. But you can’t escape physics and the process of detection."


:disagree:

The blog is misleading; its case is built upon largely unexplained RCS simulation results of the Global Hawk and contingent upon imposing effectiveness of RAM application(s) on the object to make it VLO class in theory but this is faulty premise.

1) The Global Hawk does not have true LO design (or shaping) to begin with (see SECTION 3 above). The RCS simulation output which I shared is more thorough and correctly done - its findings are in-line with numerous statements across the board.

2) The Global Hawk is made up of 'composites' - sure, but same is true for so many other UAV designed by Western companies including MQ-9 Predator which was shot down in Yemen (TWICE). As Andrade et al (2014) asserted: "It is impossible to make much progress attempting to retrofit stealth onto a conventional aircraft because if the shape is wrong, no amount of material absorber treatments will reduce the RCS."

3) True RCS output of the Global Hawk can only be disclosed by its manufacturer.

There is much more to 'physics' than what is being taught in the textbooks, mate. There are a few American military-purpose aircraft whose 'physics' remains unclear to this day although one of the patents became known recently; thanks to one source for providing some dirty details (The Drive).

This particular aircraft:



- was spotted over Iraq in 2012. You can bet your house on the fact that it flew over Iran for desired ends. There is no point in sending something that mysterious over Iraq.

THAT aircraft is capable of exo- atmospheric flights as well - not kidding.

Average joe have little idea of the fact that how many times Iranian airspace was breached and valuable INTEL collected through VLO class and/or spaceborne platforms - this much is apparent from numerous tidbits on the web (all that is left is to connect the relevant dots). When relevant news surface at times - some people just dismiss these intentional leaks outright - this is counterproductive. Heck, this might be true in the case of my country as well, but few would admit this much openly and would want to talk about it. I would take a leap and assert that this happens to Russia and China as well.

---- ---- ----

ARGUMENT:

"The issue with this stealth progpanda you quote is they assume they are not going up against a true radar defense network with high data link capabilities."

:disagree:


If (ALL OF THE ABOVE) is PROPAGANDA then GOD HELP YOU - sincere prayers.

Why do you think Americans poured billions of dollars into developing VLO class offensive platforms such as B-2 Spirit, F-22A, F-35 variants, and also latest ELO class B-21 Raider?

They do not understand warfare or something?

Even the world's FIRST true (LO class) design F-117A have a sortie-to-loss ratio of (2100+ : 1) counting several conflicts since 1991. These are officially retired but still put to good use for numerous ends. Many countries have failed to develop something on this level, let alone VLO class aircraft - only China is close.

Do you see Americans marketing Global Hawk series for 'penetration missions' in their disclosures? I do not recall any.

----- ----- -----
----- ----- -----

ACADEMIC STUDIES CITED FOR THIS POST

1) de Andrade, L. A., dos Santos, L. S. C., & Gama, A. M. (2014). Analysis of radar cross section reduction of fighter aircraft by means of computer simulation. Journal of Aerospace Technology and Management, 6(2), 177-182.

2) Ahmad, H., Tariq, A., Shehzad, A., Faheem, M. S., Shafiq, M., Rashid, I. A., ... & Afzal, A. (2019). Stealth technology: Methods and composite materials—A review. Polymer Composites, 40(12), 4457-4472.

3) Lemons, G. T., & Carrington, K. (2018). F-35 Mission Systems Design, Development & Verification. In 2018 Aviation Technology, Integration, and Operations Conference (p. 3519).

4) Pywell, M., & Midgley-Davies, M. (2017). Aircraft-sized anechoic chambers for electronic warfare, radar and other electromagnetic engineering evaluation. The Aeronautical Journal, 121(1244), 1393-1443.

5) Zhao, Z., Niu, Y., Ma, Z., & Ji, X. (2016, June). A fast stealth trajectory planning algorithm for stealth UAV to fly in multi-radar network. In 2016 IEEE International Conference on Real-time Computing and Robotics (RCAR) (pp. 549-554). IEEE.

5. The decision

Refer back to the HUMOR declaration at the start of the contribution; I need to make a decision about my SUBORDINATE - member TheImmortal - in this contribution. I gave him a chance to understand my 'instructions' in relation to his assignment (refer to our discussion in the other thread - above) but he failed to pick on them and offered an argument in return based on a blog (refer to the quoted part - above) - he disappointed me in short.

Therefore - and clearly not with a heavy heart:



You're fired.
 

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