The very concept of stealth aircraft was developed in the United States precisely to achieve air superiority and covert penetration into enemy territory for surprise strikes. It was believed that only Americans possess such technologies, and therefore have secured their dominance. Now the stealth technologies are possessed by Russia and China, and U.S. aircraft are not so invisible and “light” on radar screens. However, the concept has remained – the money is spent, and the image of the “pervasive” force of the U.S. Army must be maintained, including to advertise its fifth-generation F-35 fighter.
Back in March 2019, the Free Press quoted u.S. Air Force Chief of Staff David Goldfein in a military review as saying how the U.S. military would operate on foreign soil. According to the general, the soldiers will secretly penetrate into the gaps in the enemy’s defense, “like through holes in Swiss cheese.” At the same time, the most modern American F-35 fighter will play a “pervasive” role in this regard. “If China or Russia, or another adversary on the globe ever sees the F-35 in its airspace, it will mean two words – “we are here.” Not “I’m here” because if he sees the F-35, which is unlikely, he will never act alone, but will be a penetrating part of the combined forces,” the general said. By questioning the effectiveness of Russia’s entire air defense system. By the way, Goldfein himself on his F-16 was shot down in May 1999 in the skies of Serbia by a missile of the Soviet missile-75 still produced. Now the general’s words to some extent refute the American edition of The National Interest, which, in its military review, reports that Russia still has “one opportunity” to detect and destroy the low-profile F-22 and F-35. One of the most innovative solutions is called the bistatic radar station “Struna-1” (known in export performance as “Barrier-E”). This is not the first time The National Interest has touted the merits of this Russian radar, which was developed in 1999 and is now believed to be on alert in Moscow’s air defense system.
Speaking about the merits of Strings-1, the publication notes that its feature is precisely the bistatic radar. This means that the transmitter and receiver are located at different points, while at the usual radar station they are in one place. Conventional radars are limited by the specifics of radio waves. As the radar target is removed from the transmission source, the radar signal strength weakens with the law of reverse squares. In conventional radar, this results in the received signal four times weaker than the emitted. Stealth technologies work because the aircraft weakens the reflected signal at a distance, dissipating and absorbing it with special absorbent materials.
The American authors claim that in “Strun-1” this problem is solved by the distribution of the receiver and transmitter to a certain distance. Because of this, the receiver receives a more powerful reflected signal compared to conventional radar, as it weakens in accordance with the law of reverse squares, rather than the reverse fourth force. “Thus, the radar becomes more sensitive because it is essentially a radar trap,” Says The National Interest. According to Russian sources, this principle of work almost triples the effective area of target scattering and allows you to ignore anti-radar coatings that dissipate radio waves. This allows not only stealth aircraft to be detected, but also other targets – cruise missiles, hang gliders and even air probes. The coverage area of the controlled section of one Struna-1 radar could theoretically be a section with a perimeter of up to 500 kilometers.
For all its effectiveness, Struna-1 is not, as the Americans believe, the only one in the air defense system. Other Russian radars are also aimed at detecting Invisibles, especially since The Strings-1 has a surface-to-air radar trap of only 160 by 20 kilometers and detects the target’s radar at an altitude of up to 7,000 meters. Accordingly, to create a spectacular defense, it must be used together with other, long-range systems. For example, over-the-horizon radars, like “Container,” “Taurus,” “Wave” that work on the diffraction principle – the signals they emit can encircle obstacles, both indirect and reverse direction. Sky-M radar systems designed to detect aircraft, helicopters and ballistic missiles at medium and high altitudes, including stealth aircraft. One of them was placed in 2015 in Crimea, from where it views the sky in a radius of 400 kilometers. Today, the number of Radar “Sky-M” has reached ten complexes in the BCS. This is in addition to the equally perfect Sky-U stations, as well as the Sky-IED forces in service. There are almost no special differences in technical characteristics of these radar stations of the family of the meter wavelength. In the air defense version, the antenna system is more complex, respectively, the time of installation and dismantling has been increased, the station has more capabilities. In the Army variant, the antenna system is simplified to increase mobility. But the general similarity is high quality in determining the three coordinates of the targets.
Again, Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile systems have their own radar systems capable of detecting air targets at ranges of up to 600 kilometers. The complex has an early detection radar 91N6E and an all-altitude 96L6E detector. If you take the fifth-generation Su-57 fighter, it has a microwave photon (quantum) radar, which is not susceptible to electronic interference and allows you to easily detect and hit the stealth aircraft, the same American F-35. The peculiarity of this radar lies in the compactness, lightweight and large range of action. It directly displays the silhouette of an aircraft with a resolution several times higher than that of conventional radar.