Something Called a Flak Cannons Could Destroy an F-35 Stealth Fighter - It's true
The Air Force is worried about anti-air missiles, but also low-tech flak batteries.
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October 19, 2019 - by by Michael Peck for nationalinterest.org
- The Air Force is worried about anti-air missiles, but also low-tech flak batteries.
Surface-to-air missiles—those high-tech killers of aircraft—tend to get all the attention. But the U.S. Air Force reminds us that old-fashioned anti-aircraft guns are still a threat.
Hence the genesis of a new Air Force research project to locate flak batteries in the same way that ground troops use technology to identify the location of mortars and snipers.
The goal of the project, titled "Target ID of Radar Backtracking of Ant-Aircraft Projectiles," is to use airborne radar to trace the trajectory of anti-aircraft shells back to their source.
Significantly, while the text of the research solicitation doesn't mention the F-35, the acquisition program that the project is intended is listed as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. In addition, the F-22 is included in the list of keywords at the bottom of the solicitation.
"I'm sure it isn't a coincidence," says Dan Grazier at defense watchdog Project on Government Oversight. "The F-35 is quite vulnerable to ground fire, especially since the designers decided not to include self-sealing fuel tanks."
"Legacy AAAs [anti-aircraft artillery] are already lethal to 35,000 feet and will become more lethal as projectiles become smarter and as radar tracking improves. In the near future, they will be more lethal at...
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