An interesting photo of the F-22 Raptor fighter, sheathed with slabs, similar to those with which the Shuttle space shuttle was pasted over at one time, with the only difference that they have a mirror image, appeared on the santos_caceres.lv page on Instagram. The nickname santos_caceres.lv, according to information from the American military forums, is a photographer Santos Caceres from Las Vegas. He is known for his admiration and, most importantly, a high-quality filming of American planes flying from Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.
The snapshot of the mirror Raptor, in fairness, surprised the overseas expert community. A number of experts and journalists could not understand why such a glamorous beauty of a combat aircraft. As for the Internet non-professional public, the American “couch troops” ridiculed the new F-22.
Someone joked that not only the fighter is wrapped in foil, but the pilot’s helmet is also made of foil. And they also write that “this is an anti-alien fighter to destroy enemy UFOs, as well as the Russians and Chinese sitting in them.” The greatest number of likes was received by the comment: “Generals love shiny things, so they ordered the fined pilots to clean their plane with soda to make it sparkle like new.”
In general, the reaction of the local public can be called with one capacious word – “rzhaka”, senseless and merciless. However, there were also approving reviews and even interesting suggestions that deserve special attention.
“The tiles project images from the other side of the plane, making the plane visually invisible,” said one observer Jim Zeitler. Say, even if the enemy pilot manages to get close to the new Raptor in line of sight, the F-22 will merge with the sky, cloud, sun and even earth. No, at a distance of two hundred meters, it, of course, can be distinguished from the background, but at a half-kilometer distance – a fig with butter. Note that such R&D is actually underway, although there were no reports of the success of these projects. The explanation is simple – today there is not enough computing power for this.
There is also an opinion that special stealth thermal panels were installed on this “mirror” Raptor to remove heat. The fact is that at speeds of Mach 1 or more, the reflective properties of the stealth coating sharply deteriorate, which prompts the pilots to fly at virtually tortoise, that is, subsonic speeds. In other words, the Yankees are experimenting with materials that will allow them to arrange afterburners in the sky without losing stealth.
A user with the nickname Mantis, who reported knowledge of the purpose of this particular experiment, stated that “all covered with a mirror, absolutely all” F-22 was tested on the reflection of powerful laser weapons of a secret air defense system.
Meanwhile, according to a number of American media outlets, including the Pentagon’s Military.com, this is not the first flight of a plane with a mirror surface. So, on June 13, 2000, high above the Mojave Desert, under top secret conditions, US Air Force pilots tested mysterious aircraft called Scaled Composites Model 401, also known as “Son of Ares”. They supposedly can fly around the Earth and, if something happens, “jump” into space, fleeing, for example, from pursuers. NASA even circulated hazy photographs, which show that these aircraft, too, were mirrored.
Of course, the F-22 did not “jump” into space, but the Raptor makes attempts to climb as high as possible. In particular, it has already been reported that one heavy stealth fighter climbed to an altitude of almost 20 km, where he conducted a series of experiments.
If you look at the American military forums, you can see descriptions or reports of many different secret tests of both drones and aircraft. It seems that the United States is trying to create some kind of air-force wunderwaffe capable of ensuring their victory over any enemy, including an alien one, which, it turns out, also violates the air border of the United States.
Moreover, as the aforementioned blogger Mantis writes, allegedly familiar with a number of mysterious flights over the Mojave Desert, now the Americans are “obsessed” in two directions. The first is the creation of new stealth materials, primarily heat-resistant ones. Thanks to them, pilots will be able to fly at speeds of Mach 2 + without fear of being shot down by Russian S-400 air defense systems and S-500 air defense systems.
And the second is testing various laser systems, both ground and airborne. But these experiments become extremely aggressive and require special mirror protection. In this regard, the use of reflective surfaces looks like a completely justified and even explainable solution.
What is curious: these reports coincided with American news that the Yankees discovered as many as three radars with an active phased antenna array on Russian fighters, including those capable of operating in the L-band of the radio frequency spectrum from 1.0 to 2.0 GHz with wavelengths 15-30 cm, just where the “invisible” F-22 and F-35 are visible no worse than conventional 4 ++ fighters. In particular, the Military Watch magazine wrote about this. Speech, judging by the publication, is about the antenna systems Н036L-1-01, located in the edges of the wings of the Su-35 and used in the radar station (radar) Н036 “Belka”.
It can be assumed that the United States is now really focused on the development of stealth thermal panels, which theoretically can neutralize the possibility of detecting stars and stripes “invisible” in the L-band. The high speed of the F-22 (more than Mach 2), according to the experts there, worsens the capabilities of the H036 “Squirrel”, since it increases the load on the on-board computer system. But, they say, the Russians do not have chips capable of “digesting” ultra-rapidly changing information. How true this is is difficult to judge.
As a rule, this kind of stuffing into the media has a double purpose. On the one hand, the Pentagon shows taxpayers that Russia is stepping on the heels of the US Air Force and is breathing hotly in the back of F-22s and F-35s with its Su-35s with a modified Irbis-E superradar. On the other hand, the American defense industry is working ahead of the curve, creating new coatings that are not afraid of any L-band radio waves.
Be that as it may, the United States is drawing other countries, including the Russian Federation, into an expensive arms race using the printing press, according to the US economists themselves. The worst part is that the American “engineering genius” can indeed create a military advantage, albeit a temporary one. Thus, to make overseas politicians, obsessed with their greatness, feel an easy victory. By the way, Nazi Germany attacked the USSR in 1941 in full confidence in the strength of its air fleet.
That is why the novelties of the US Air Force, which caused a “rzhak” among the “couch experts” there, should be taken very seriously. It seems that already in the middle perspective, the Yankees will announce a qualitative improvement in their aircraft, capable of maintaining stealth at supersonic speed. And it is necessary to react to this already today.