ABSTRACT

Stealth combat aircraft will play an increasing and crucial role in United States (US) warfare. Although stealth technology has many applications in almost every major category of combat platforms, such as warships and tanks, it is mainly associated with combat aircraft, which are exactly the foremost striking power in the US way of war. Currently, only a small fraction of US combat aircraft is stealthy, namely, 187 F-22 Raptor fighters and 20 B-2 Spirit bombers. Within a decade or so, around 2400 F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) and 100 newly conceived Long Range Strike Bombers (LRS-B), presently designated B-21 (Tirpak, 2016), will make up the bulk of US combat strength. These two are the only US new combat aircraft projects underway and will cost more than 1.5 trillion (US Department of Defense, 2016) and 100 billion (Harrison and Hunter, 2015) USD respectively. They are essentially the core of future US warfare.