Question about military aircraft technology

The F-117A Stealth Fighter was deveolped in the mid 70’s and was up and flying by the late 1970’s. The B-2 Stealth Bomber was developed in the late 1970’s early 1980’s and was flying by the mid 1980’s. Yet the existence of both of these aircraft was denied by the Defense Department/Pentagon for a number of years.

Why did the military on the one hand, wait years and years before acknowledging the existence of the two stealth aircraft, but in the case of the Joint Strike Fighter be extremely open (by military standards at least) about that project?

Also, seeing that the technology in both stealth aircraft is nearly 25 and 20 years (respectively for the Fighter and Bomber) old, what new technology(ies) have the Air Force/Pentagon/Defense Department been playing with for the last 15 odd years? besides the rumored “Aurora” scram-jet engine plane?

Cold War.

I thought part of the Cold War strategy of the 80’s was to spend the communists into defeat. Wouldn’t bragging about the stealth weapons make the commies spend more money to counter the threat?

No. It would make the Commies spend more money on the KGBs First Chief Directorate (foreign intelligence) with the provision that it go toward recruiting more S&T (science and technology) operatives.

The F-15 wasn’t secret when it came out either. Not all military aircraft are kept top secret for a decade or two before becoming public knowledge. It costs a lot of money to keep a plane in the black. The stealth fighter had to fly only at night and be kept at particular air bases so that it could not be easily seen for what it was. That sort of thing isn’t going to work very well with a plane like the joint strike fighter, which is going to be used all over the place by air force, navy, and even some NATO countries.

Who knows what secret projects are out there now. You can find plenty of speculation. The one that always makes me giggle is the one that you mentioned, Aurora. The only thing we can say for certain about Aurora is that there is a secret project with that name because it accidentally showed up as a line item in a budget. Anything else about it is pure speculation, but that doesn’t stop people from claiming that it’s the successor to the SR-71 or has some fancy scram-jet engine or whatever other high tech invention seems to be in vogue. I could claim Aurora is project to create genetically engineered ducks and I’d have just as much evidence to back it up as anyone has who claims Aurora is a spy plane.

Also the JSF is not such a “revolutionary” airplane as the F-117 or B-2; it´s nothing more sophisticated than a updated Harrier in fact; it doesn´t make use of any technology that can´t be found on many other military airplanes around.

Are these the ducks whose quacks don’t echo?

Thanks for stealing my joke. :stuck_out_tongue:

the SR-71 , the 117 , maybe the B2 , and a certain quantity of russian migs , since they are of small quantitys , could be built and concealed from congress.

Of course the migs were bought , not built.

Since the F-35 is a multi year , multinational fighter , you need transparancey up front for all to see they are getting their monies worth

Declan