5 Insane Stealth Weapons of United States
Stealth, or the idea of reducing the ability of the enemy to detect a weapon, has been around since the first caveman sewed a pocket into his clothing and hid a rock in it. Thousands of years later, with the ability to detect objects on the ground, in the air, and at sea using electromagnetic radiation, hiding weapons in plain sight has become much harder. The idea of making an aircraft invisible to radar waves was not pursued as the properties of radar with regards to object shape were not fully understood.
In 1981 the American gets success in developing a fighter aircraft that remains completely invisible on radars and called it as F-117 Nighthawk. So here we will discuss the five insane stealth weapons of the United States.
The F-117 Nighthawk is a single-seat, twin-engine, first-ever stealth aircraft. The Nighthawk’s maiden flight took place in 1981 at Groom Lake, Nevada, and the aircraft achieved initial operating capability status in 1983. The F-117 Nighthawk is used widely during the Gulf war.
The aircraft achieved initial operational capability in 1983 but was kept under the strictest of secrecy for many years. It wasn’t until 1988 that the program was publicly acknowledged, and not until 1990 that it made its first formal public appearance. By this time, the aircraft had been operational for seven years.
F-117A is powered by two 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 detection of the after 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.
The aircraft can carry a range of tactical fighter ordnance in the weapons bay, including BLU-109B low-level laser-guided bomb, GBU-10, and GBU-27 laser-guided bomb units, Raytheon AGM-65 Maverick, and Raytheon AGM-88 HARM air-to-surface missiles.
The B-2 Spirit is an American heavy, stealth bomber which is developed during the cold war. The bomber is subsonic and can deploy both conventional and thermonuclear weapons, such as up to eighty 500-pound class (230 kg) Mk 82 JDAM GPS-guided bombs, and sixteen 2,400-pounds (1,100 kg) B83 nuclear bombs. The B-2 is the only acknowledged aircraft that can carry large air-to-surface standoff weapons in a stealth configuration.
It can fly six thousand Nautical miles without Aerial refueling and ten thousand Nautical miles with one aerial refueling.
The Lockheed SR-71 “Blackbird
The SR-71 Blackbird is developed under the ‘’blackbird’’ project by Lockheed corporation and NASA jointly for a long-range, high altitude reconnaissance.
The SR-71 operated at high speeds and altitudes (Mach 3.2 and 85,000 feet, 25,900 meters) to allow it to outrace threats. If a surface-to-air missile launch was detected, the standard evasive action was simply to accelerate and outfly the missile.
On average, each SR-71 could fly once per week due to the extended turnaround required after mission recovery. A total of 32 aircraft were built; 12 were lost in accidents with none lost to enemy action.
Lockheed F-22 Raptor
The F-22 Raptor is the most advanced fighter jet combined with lethal long-range air-to-air and air-to-ground weaponry, makes it the best air dominance fighter in the world. Its entered service with the USAF in December 2005. US federal law completely bans the export of F-22 to protect its stealth technology and classified features.
APG-77 has been developed for the F-22 by the Electronic Sensors and Systems Division of Northrop Grumman and Raytheon Electronic Systems. The radar uses an active electronically scanned antenna array of 2,000 transmitter/receiver modules, which provides agility, low radar cross-section, and wide bandwidth.
APG-77 has an operating range of 100 mi (160 km) while unconfirmed sources suggest an operating range of 125–150 mi (201–241 km), against a 1 m2 (11 sq ft) target. A range of 400 km or more, with the APG-77v1 with newer GaAs modules, is believed to be possible while using more narrow beams.
Missiles launch detector:
AN/AAR-56 Missile Launch Detector (MLD) is providing long-range, 360-degree detection and detection of both airborne and surface-launched guided missile threats.
AN/ALR-94 radar warning receiver (RWR):
The ALR-94 Radar warning receiver can detect and issue a warning when a radar signal that might be a threat at the range of 250 nautical miles (460 km).
The Four hardpoints on the wings can carry AIM-120A AMRAAM missiles or external fuel tanks besides this the F-22 has three internal weapon bays, the main weapons bay can carry six AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles or two AMRAAM for short-range and two 1,000lb GBU-32 joint direct attack munitions (JDAM).
M61A2 Vulcan rotary cannon is installed internally above the right air intake. These cannons hold 480 rounds of 20mm ammunition and feed the gun at a rate of 100 rounds a second.
The F-22 was designed for a service life of 8,000 flight hours, while the Investigations are being made for upgrades to extend their useful lives further. In the long term, the F-22 is expected to eventually be succeeded by a sixth-generation jet fighter only.
The F-35 is a single-engine, stealth, multi-role fighter which makes it the second 5th generation fighter in the world. The F-35 made its first flight on 15 December 2006 and comes into the service in July 2015. The United States is the primary user of this fighter jet Additionally, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Canada, Japan, Poland and, Australia are also using F-35 for Aerial defenses.
AN/APG-81 capabilities include the most advanced air-to-air and air-to-ground situational awareness, multiple ground moving target indication and track, combat identification, electronic warfare, and ultra high bandwidth communications which increased its effectiveness and survivability.
The six external hardpoints on wings give it the ability to carry 8,200 kg total weapons payloads, while the four internal bays made it carry long and short-range air-to-air missiles.