Viewing a single comment thread. View all comments

KNHaw t1_je5c9ch wrote

In 1990 I was a fresh college graduate working at Northrop (now Northrop-Grumman) on the B2 bomber when Desert Storm started. There were several engineers who I worked with who suddenly disappeared. When I asked where they had gone, I was told not to ask.

It turns out they'd all worked on a target drone as described above. On the first night of the air war, the Iraqi air defenses detected hundreds of attacking targets and shot them down. But in doing so, they'd turned on their radars, which had been detected by ECM aircraft that had blown them up to pave the way for the real wave of air strikes.

That first wave was training drones, designed to be shot down, originally for training but here as a feint tactic. All those engineers who'd gone missing were in Saudi Arabia supporting this because they'd all previously worked on these crappy, low end target drones Northrop had made as a sideline.


JetScootr t1_je5r6tg wrote

That's what Wild Weasels (piloted F4 phantoms) did in Viet Nam - they'd go in first to get the enemy to turn on their radars, which they would then shoot up with radar-seeking missiles.


nomnomnomnomRABIES t1_je5q77c wrote

I never heard of this- I hope it's not classified information


KNHaw t1_je5xoee wrote

No worries. Not classified at all. Gen Schwartzkopf gave one of his famous news conferences about it. "You know how the Iraqi government claimed they shot down a hundred planes yesterday? Well, let me explain why they think that..."


DragonWhsiperer t1_je5roi2 wrote

Dunno but i don't think so. SEAD and DEAD are anti radar warfare concepts going back to the war in Vietnam. Wild Weasel squadrons were especially trained pilots that would fly as a lures into enemy SAM range to trigger their radar, and have their buddy that was silent fire special anti radar missiles.

Basically the same practice, just replacing the human pilot with a remotely operated craft.


neoplastic_pleonasm t1_je5yu5n wrote

Nah, it's been publicly known for a long while. I think it's mentioned in the book Skunkworks. The Operations Room also has a good video series about the Desert Storm air war that I think mentions it:

Edit: around t=13:30


zipcloak t1_jebqmeh wrote

Not at all. You can use publicly available satellite data to detect analog radar at the moment yourself, if you'd like.