The US Air Force is finishing engineering details on an aggressive plan to prototype, test and deploy hypersonic weapons on a faster schedule.
Having a faster development and rollout of offensive military capabilities is critical with decline of stealth and rise of hypersonic
Quanutum radar and other anti-stealth countermeasures are proliferating
Stealth effectiveness is declining with the development of new quantum radar by China, Canada, UK, US and other countries.
Stealth planes are never completely invisible, as they will always generate a radar signature in the end according to Douglas Barrie, senior fellow for military aerospace at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. If you are seen five miles from your target, compared to be being spotted 100 miles away, then it will have done its job.
Anti-stealth countermeasures are now “proliferating”. Whereas most radars operate between 2GHz and 40GHz, a low-band equivalent such as VHF radar operates between 1MHz and 2MHz and is able to pick out most stealth planes that are known to be flying today.
The Russians persevered with low-band radar due to their technological conservativism.
Quantum Radar work in Canada
Quantum radar uses a sensing technique called quantum illumination to detect and receive information about an object. At its core, it leverages the quantum principle of entanglement, where two photons form a connected, or entangled, pair.
The method works by sending one of the photons to a distant object, while retaining the other member of the pair. Photons in the return signal are checked for telltale signatures of entanglement, allowing photons from the noisy environmental background to be discarded. This can greatly improve the radar signal-to-noise in certain situations.
But in order for quantum radar to work in the field, researchers first need to realize a fast, on-demand source of entangled photons.
To date, quantum illumination has only been explored in the laboratory. The Government of Canada, under the Department of National Defence’s All Domain Situational Awareness (ADSA) Science & Technology program, is investing $2.7M to expedite its use in the field.
The 54 North Warning System (NWS) radar stations, based in the Arctic and operated by the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), are nearing the end of their life spans and could need to be replaced as early as 2025.
“This project will allow us to develop the technology to help move quantum radar from the lab to the field,” said Baugh. “It could change the way we think about national security.”
China claims first quantum radar and Russia shows off hypersonic weapons
According to Chinese state media, the first quantum radar was developed and tested by China in real-world environment in August 2016.
Russia showed off its hypersonic missiles on a Mig 31.
Dr. Will Roper, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics will be speeding up the Air-Launched Rapid Response Weapon (ARRW) and a Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW).
Roper explained the rationale for not waiting many more years for a “100-percent” solution if a highly impactful “90-percent” solution can be available much sooner. Often referred to as “agile acquisition” by Air Force senior leaders, to include service Secretary Heather Wilson, fast-tracked procurement efforts seek quicker turn around of new software enhancements, innovations and promising combat technologies likely to have a substantial near-term impact. While multi-year developmental programs are by no means disappearing, the idea is to circumvent some of the more bureaucratic and cumbersome elements of the acquisition process.