Message posted by Russ on July 29, 2002 at 5:40:14 PST:
This interesting article is in the latest issue of Air Forces Monthly: Interesting!
"Russia is believed to be continuing it's pioneering work on the development of a plasma cloud generator to provide active stealth protection for combat aircraft. Details are sparse but the Keldysh Research Insitute, under the leadership of Anatoly Korotoyev, is known to have developed a plasma generator weighing about 220lb (100kg), suitable for installation on tactical fighter aircraft. This has been tested on models and real aircraft, with the Su-32/34 strike fighter believed to be the first combat aircraft to incorporate the system in it's airframe.
In essence, the system requires an energy source on the aircraft to energise the surrounding air, most probably at the leading edges of the aerodynamic surfaces, causing ionised air in the boundary layer to flow around the airframe, shrouding it in an impenetrable radar screening cloud. Unfortunately, the power requirement for the generator is high and the system would probably only be activated when an enemy radar is detected. The presence of the 'cloud' around the aircraft would also block transmissions from the aircraft being protected."
I heard a rumour that when it's activated the aircraft glows brightly, thus giving the game away to the enemy. Also they mention that it requires lots of energy to power it, I wonder if it also gives off a lot of heat when it's on. Which would obviously make it vunerable to IR guided missiles. It's certainly an interesting concept, but perhaps it needs a lot more work before it could be employed successfully in combat!