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The Air Force Wants a "Cloaking Device" for its Tankers

Discussion in 'The Americas' started by layman, Apr 7, 2017.

  1. layman

    layman Aurignacian STAR MEMBER

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    The Air Force Wants a "Cloaking Device" for its Tankers

    [​IMG]
    The head of the U.S. Air Force's tanker fleet wants a "cloaking device" capable of hiding his giant aerial refueling planes from enemy eyes. The service is worried that such planes would become easy targets in a war scenario involving large, capable air forces such as Russia or China.

    Almost all major air forces rely on aerial refueling tankers to extend keep their planes flying, to extend their patrol times or help them cross vast distances. Without tankers, the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter would have a combat radius (the distance a combat aircraft can travel one way, expecting combat, fully loaded with weapons) of less than 600 miles.


    The reliance on tankers makes them an air force's Achilles' heel, and prime targets in wartime. Large, slow, and easy to spot, such planes typically circle behind the air battle, positioning themselves behind a wall of friendly planes. Some air forces including China and Russia train to hunt such planes down. Russia even created an extremely fast, long range air-to-air missile, the Novator K-100, capable of downing tankers, E-3 AWACS airborne early warning and control planes, and other support aircraft at ranges of up to 248 miles.

    The Air Force has a new tanker, the KC-46 Pegasus, rolling off assembly lines and set to enter service in 2018. Based on the 767 airliner, the KC-46 has zero stealth capability. The only alternative is to add it electronically, and that's where the idea of a "cloaking device" comes in.

    General Carlton Everhart, head of the Air Mobility Command, told Bloomberg News that the solution may involve "technology to alter the plane's radar image, or waveform, so it appears to be 'either in a different location in the air' or 'reduced or disappears altogether: Now you see me, now you don't.'" That would be far more affordable than scrapping the KC-46 project -- which has already seen billions invested in it -- and starting over with a stealthier design.

    What would such a device look like? Defense contractor Raytheon, which is working on the Next Generation Jammer for the EA-18G Growler electronic attack plane, speculates such a device could be a radar jammer "that can interpret radar signals and adapt quickly to keep aircraft hidden".

    Raytheon says one key requirement would be a "cognitive electronic warfare" system that can learn enemy radar signals and quickly adapt to them, deceiving the enemy as to where the tanker is coming from. The speed with which enemy signals would need to be analyzed and responded to means that artificial intelligence would likely operate the jammers and not a human being. Another key requirement: the ability to generate lots amounts of electricity to power the jammers.

    Whatever the solution, if Air Mobility Command develops such a system for its tankers the entire Air Force will benefit. Eventually all Air Force planes could carry a system, even fifth generation fighters such as the F-22 and F-35, to give them an extra measure of protection. In the meantime, the service's tankers need all the help they can get.

    Source: Bloomberg

    But will the Romulan Star Empire share the technology? lol

    Should try stingray
     
  2. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    As it is made by SPECTRA.

    From what I understood the first approaches involved facets, after from the B2 we tried forms where the radius of curvature is never constant.

    For the Rafale, this principle has been used in a "lax" way (it is one of the differences between the Rafale A and the operational Rafales) that is to say that almost everywhere we have this variation of the radius of curvature, but when the fitting between two zones where it is applied is difficult, we don't do it and we have a "spike".

    So the returns are concentrated on "spikes" that we can treat with RAM or SPECTRA. All of these "SPIKES" is a model of the plane where we must take into account the rigidity and evolutions of the plane.

    For a Tanker it seems difficult to me to limit the model to a few spikes.
     
  3. randomradio

    randomradio Colonel Technical Analyst

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    @BMD @vstol jockey

    Now, the Americans are talking about making their own Spectra.
     
  4. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    For american it's possible but for French it's impossible :laugh:
     
  5. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    This means that F-35 does not have active cancellation. If US had this tech, they wud have easily applied it to every aircraft including these HVAs like tankers.
     
  6. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    More likely there is no such thing that works effectively.
     
  7. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    American systems don't work at all.
     
  8. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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  9. Picdelamirand-oil

    Picdelamirand-oil Lt. Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    Americans start now to duplicate a 40 years old french system :rofl::rofl::rofl:
     
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  10. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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  11. BMD

    BMD Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    If you read carefully, they're talking about making it appear somewhere else too. This is general DRFM stuff, create a false reply and then try mangle the legitimate pulse train to increase the probability that the Rx will accept it as genuine. Although doing it for a huge plane will be quite the task.

    Also, I doubt the one way range of an F-35A will only be 600nm given the fuel fraction. In general Bloomberg is not a great source for military technology descriptions.
     
  12. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    I read about NGJ for F-18Growlers. It seems that US has completely lost the race to French and Europeans in this game. F-18SH Growlers can't even detect signals below 1GHz. Forget about jamming them.
     
  13. BMD

    BMD Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    If France had this technology they would have too. Let's face it, if such perfect technology existed France would have applied it to all aircraft. What we're actually talking about is standard DRFM stuff, mangle the original pulse train and create a larger amplitude false duplicate.
     
  14. BMD

    BMD Colonel ELITE MEMBER

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    Don't kid yourself. US technology has never been behind French technology in any field for a good 60 years or more. Why do you believe NGJ doesn't do low band? As I said before, you don't need low band jammer to jam low bad, you just off-set and modulate a higher frequency jamming signal.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. vstol jockey

    vstol jockey Colonel MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    Pls do not try and educate me on this. SPECTRA and S-400 are big hoax. SPECTRA jams systems which are overhyped and non existent same as S-400 which shoots down targets at 400kms range but the problem is that it can't detect any of them. Capability is their but it can't be put to use. ROFL I can **** 20girls in one nyt but I suffer from erectile disfunction. This is what Russia and France wants us to believe.
     
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