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Stealth Aircraft, military aircraft, fighters, and bombers designed to elude detection and tracking systems, such as radar and infrared monitoring. Stealth technology is used to mask unmanned objects such as cruise missiles. The United States is a world leader in developing and deploying stealth technology, although much about its program remains classified.
Stealth technology includes a variety of design features that affect an aircraft signal, also called its signature, on tracking systems. These features include an aircraft shape and the materials used to build it. For example, it is harder for a radar to detect an aircraft that has smooth and rounded curves. Special composite materials or coatings on the surface of an aircraft can absorb or deflect radar signals. Engines placed within the body of the aircraft and exhaust vents may be arranged to mask the heat coming from engines and help hide an aircraft from heat seeking sensors. Reducing the noise and vibrations produced by stealth aircraft may also minimize its acoustic signature. In addition, stealth aircraft are equipped with special electronics for suppressing or confusing enemy monitoring systems.
Since the use of radar during World War II (1939-1945), air forces worldwide have tried to develop methods of confusing radar or making it ineffective. Early attempts at this included the targeted aircraft attempting to electronically jam radar or to release metallic strips to produce false readings. However, in the 1950’s and 60’s, new electronic tracking methods and the new waves devised to confuse them kept pace with one another, prompting military engineers to look for ways to completely mask aircraft.
American aeronautical engineer Clarence L.
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