Anyone who has an idea about stealth technology would marvel at its capabilities, and most of the world considers them to be a "game changer" in an actual battlefield scenario.
This is true, if , and only if , detection methods don`t evolve.. and it is already evolving, but maybe not gaining media glare `cos of the undulating hype surrounding stealth. Anti -Stealth technology is fast becoming a reality , thanks to some ingenious thinkers who refuse to accept the "Stealth is God" school of thought.
In fact, most of the current anti-stealth detection theories are not based on hi-fi sci-tech concepts but on crude, and dangerously practical ,scientific common sense. Yes, stealth vehicles can be detected. , if present estimates are to go by.
How it is done :-
The most astonishingly "simple" method which I`v seen is by using Radio telescopes - those astronomical instruments which scientists have used for decades to observe the star and constellation activities , now in catching Stealth Aircraft !!! Here is how:
1) Radio telescopes and radars don`t emit waves on their own, but receive radio signals from stars.All stars emit radio signals, and the radar receives all of them.
All astronomical agencies have a definitive " Star map" of a region, which shows the actual number of stars whose radio waves are received by the radars, and their respective intensities ( based upon the star`s distance from earth)
2) Any "obstruction" or "barrier" in the sky between the radar and the stars would result in a definite loss of signal strength or quality being received by the radar base station.
3) Hope you got the trick :-). Now, in the event of a stealth plane in the skies, it would absorb the radio waves by default, which would prevent the star radio signals reaching the radar.
4) The radar computer shows a loss in signal , pinpointing the location - the "void" in the sky from where signal loss is detected
And that "void", is nothing but our flying stealth beauty :-).
Once this is done, computers are smart enough to calculate the distance,speed and shape of the plane.There are ideas on equipping these bases with SAMs ( Surface-to-Air Missiles) to send it to oblivion :-P.
On second thoughts,
It may take time to this plan to be foolproof since the star map has to be accurate enough , lest there be false alerts.
Also, this requires really sensitive and high aperture radio telescopes, coupled with some really fast computers.This is a challenge, but will be overcome in the near future.
Anti-Stealth radars do exist at present ( Widely rumored to be the Russian Tamara radar), but any information on them is highly regulated,which makes the average non-military observer difficult to comment on its actual capabilities.
A US Airforce Stealth F-117A was shot down in Kosovo a few years back , apparently after being "detected" after it flew in the rain.... making it radar-visible.
Various theories abound, but none confirmed yet. The shroud of secrecy over the actual efficacy of stealth is also a pending issue.
But anyhow,once the global wide-eyed admiration for Stealth comes to normal, Anti-Stealth will come to light.
Till then, speculation rules the roost.