Re: Did China get access to the crashed helicopter?

Message posted by Eagle Scout on August 17, 2011 at 7:44:18 PST:

Not that it's a good idea to let potential adversaries (military and commercial) get their hands on our stuff, but I wonder if there's really anything in the wreckage that the Chinese would find useful.

The very sensitive technology in such an artifact would be the composition and more importantly the layering of any RF coatings on the aircraft skin. Stealthy aircraft use radar absorbing material (RAM) applied to reduce radar reflections. The material is "tuned" to the frequencies most likely to be a threat, those used by fire control radars, for example.

What these RAM coatings need to accomplish is not a secret; it's just physics & math. What is secret, really secret, Manhattan Project secret, is the composition of the RAM "in the can," the recipe of the stuff. There's a lot of cutting-edge chemistry and materials science involved here. I just don't know how much can be learned from a dried sample of the stuff. Something could be learned, to be sure; but enough to reverse engineer the recipe or to develop countermeasures? I dunno.

In Reply to: Did China get access to the crashed helicopter? posted by Gimbal on August 17, 2011 at 1:04:28 PST:


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