- Research team of the Recearch Center
named after M.V. Keldysh has developed new technologies allowing dramatic
decrease in aircrafts' radar observability. Russian approach to low observability
(LO) technologies is completely different from US Stealth and offers complete
furtiveness of the protected object at a significantly lower price. An
exclusive interview about these technologies was conducted by Nicolai Novichkov,
ITAR-TASS with director of the Center, academic of Russian Scientific Academy
- As academic explained, American approach
to LO (Stealth technology) applied on B-2, F-117A, and fifth generation
fighter F-22 "Raptor" is based on the following principles. The
airframes of these aircrafts are designed to minimize their radar cross
section (RCS), avoid all possible elements of the structure, which could
reflect electromagnetic radiation. In order to minimize reflected radiation
radio absorbing materials (RAM) are also applied to the surface of the
structure. The main drawbacks of the Stealth technology are its negative
effects on the flight and agility characteristics of the stealth aircrafts.
- Russian scientists approach the issue
from the other direction. They proposed to create a plasma formation around
protected object, which prevents radars from seeing it. Thus, aerodynamical
characteristics of the plane itself do not suffer. Without interfereing
with technical characteristics the artificially created plasma cloud surrounding
the plane guarantees more than hundred times decrease in its observability.
- The physics of plasma protection can
be described as following. If an object is surrounded by a cloud of plasma,
several phenomenas are observed when the cloud interacts with electromagnetic
waves radiated by enemy radar. First, an absorption of electromagnetic
energy occurs in the cloud, since during plasma penetration it interacts
with plasma charged particles, pass onto them a portion of its energy,
and fades. Second, due to specific physical processes, electromagnetic
wave tends to pass around plasma cloud. Both of these phenomenas results
in dramatic decrease of the reflected signal.
- Static and flight experiments proved
the effectiveness of this technology. The first generation devices, producing
plasma field surrounding an aircraft and decreasing reflected signal were
created in the Center. Later, a possibily of creating second generation
advanced systems (capable of not only decreasing reflected signal and changing
its wavelength, but also producing some false signals) was discovered.
Such systems significantly complicate determination of actual aircraft's
speed, its location and leads to development of completely new approaches
to LO provision, unachievable to conventional Stealth technology. Furthermore,
the weight of the systems developed in Russia do not exeed 100 kg, and
power consumption ranges from kilowatts to tens of kilowatts.
- Advances in development of the third
generation LO systems allowed to clear the systems of first and second
generation for export, commented academic Anatoliy Korteev.
- 26/01/99 (c) ITAR-TASS,