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Stealth detection system disappears from screens
From: "Luqman Mahmud" <Lmahmud () fast net>
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2001 12:42:05 -0400

Stealth detection system disappears from screens
By Lester Haines
The Register: http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/5/19838.html
Posted: 20/06/2001 at 14:31 GMT

A British research and development company, which claims to have invented a
method to detect stealth aircraft, has clammed up on details about its
technology.

Roke Manor Research has decided not to speak to the press after UK national
the Daily Telegraph ran an article on the detection system. Roke claims the
Telegraph misquoted the company's head of projects. [The truth or arse
covering? - you decide, Ed]

The system uses a traditional mobile phone network to detect stealth
aircraft as they pass silently through the ether. Although the aircraft have
advanced coatings which absorb conventional radar signals, they apparently
still reflect back enough radiation emitted from mobile phone masts to be
detected by special ground receivers.

The receivers are linked to a central computer which - in sync with a GPS
satellite - is able to position the aircraft to within 10 metres.

The central computer could conceivably be a simple notebook operated by
ground troops. Once exposed, the stealth aircraft would be easy prey for
convential ground-to-air missiles.

Disabling the system would require the complete destuction of a target
country's mobile phone mast network - in reality, an impossible task.

Considering the potential of this system to completely undermine the US's
stealth aircraft programme, it might be reasonable to assume that the
military there is taking a close interest. Not so, according to Roke Manor
Research, despite claims by the Daily Telegraph.

According to the Telegraph Peter Lloyd, head of projects at the laboratory's
sensor department, said: "I cannot comment in detail because it is a
classified matter, but let's say the US military is very interested."

Lloyd today denied ever having said that the project was classified, or that
the US military has expressed an interest. He added that the article was a
"gross distortion of the truth", and that he was under instructions not to
talk to the press. Details on the project have been removed from Roke Manor
Research's website.

Despite the company's assertions, it is indeed unlikely that the US military
has not taken a degree of 'interest' in this project. After all, the US is
the only country currently actively deploying stealth aircraft - the F-117
and B-2. It also has the F-22 'Raptor' in development.

The Telegraph article claims that, according to 'military sources', the
Serbs may have used a crude version of the same technology to shoot down an
F-117 during the Kosovo crisis.

If this is true, then the US will be keeping a very close eye on an
ingenious idea which could, at a stroke, render its multi-billion dollar
stealth programme obsolete. ®

Update - 21 June
Roke Manor may have removed the links to the original article on its site,
but it's still available here:
http://www.roke.co.uk/news/stealth_aircraft.htm   Worth a look.

Bootnote
Another Roke Manor Research product recently made the news. The company's
'Hawk-Eye' system has been tested in a cricket match between England and
Pakistan.

The technology is able to accurately track the path of the ball from bowler
to batsman in three dimensions. It is hoped that this will eventually lead
to the umpires being able to call upon an impartial technological 'third
umpire' to resolve borderline lbw decisions.

Perhaps the company might like also to consider a device which can detect
meetings between cricketers and bent bookies - now that would be a
breakthrough.

Related Links
Roke Manor Research http://www.roke.co.uk/
Roke Manor's Hawk-Eye
http://www.roke.co.uk/technology/innovations/Hawk_Eye.htm
The Telegraph article
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/et?ac=003100565149417&rtmo=a5hTCChJ&atmo=99999999
&pg=/et/01/6/14/ecnbom14.html



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