first published on June 12, 2019 by Will
Chinese researchers have discovered a high-frequency surface wave radar (HFSWR) that they claim can detect stealth aircraft like the F-35 and F-22.
The long-wave radar type was actually developed several decades ago, and was abandoned in the 1950’s due to its limitations. The radar stations can only be ground mounted and take up a large area. Additionally, the HFSWR can only tell an object’s direction of travel and not its precise location.
That is where the Chinese researchers came in and discovered that by building multiple HFSWR stations, an object’s precise location can be determined through triangulation. The system can cover a 250 mile area. The long-wave technology also makes the radar system undetectable to radar hunting missiles.
Modern day stealth aircraft like the F-22, F-35, Chinese J-20, and J-31 aircraft are designed to defeat modern microwave radar systems. It’s ironic that an “obsolete” radar system has now thrown cutting-edge stealth technology into obsolescence.
There are those that have been opposed to a total reliance on stealth technology for this very reason, calling “stealth” a gimmick. The F-35’s design relies heavily on its stealth capabilities. That design has made it slower and less maneuverable than older designs like the F/A-18 Hornet. Do we now have fleets of billion dollar, slow-flying targets?