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trainor on the stealth

Q: The Stealth fighter--what's the difference between its image and the reality?

Trainor: The Stealth fighter was supposed to be the greatest advance in military operations .....Stealth....it conjured up the vision of something invisible. Well, the airplanes were not invisible. They just had a very, very low radar profile. Certain radars could pick them up, but most radars in the course of normal activities would not be able to pick up the Stealth because of its unique radar-avoiding characteristics. So the decision was made that in areas where there was a very high air defense capability on the part of the Iraqis that we would use the Stealth airplanes to go in to take out those capabilities, to go after the Iraqi early warning system and air defense system around Baghdad. Thereafter you could use more conventional non-Stealth aircraft. So the Stealth was going to go in. However, even the pilots of the Stealth airplanes were very, very nervous about this. They weren't quite as sure that they were as stealthy as the advertisements made them out to be. So when they went on their first strike in the Baghdad region there were also conventional airplanes, EF-111's which were electronic jamming aircraft went on the flanks to suppress the Iraqi radar. But the Stealth did work reasonably well. And the only airplanes that actually did fly over Baghdad were the Stealth aircraft. They were able to take out the Iraqi command and control for their air defense missiles, and thereafter the bombings could take place in and around Baghdad with relative impunity. And the proof of the pudding is that no airplanes were shot down in the bombing raids in and around Baghdad.


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