back to article US: BAE 'could have' pirated our secret Stealth 3.0 tech sauce

Global arms and aerospace colossus BAE Systems this week released a high-profile audit into its internal ethics and served it up with a big slice of humble pie as it promised to be a better corporate citizen in future. But even as BAE sought to draw a veil over previous alleged indiscretions, it emerged that US officials have …


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  1. DrStrangeLug
    Paris Hilton

    The cost would naturally be cheaper without espionage

    The original US stealth demonstrator was built in the 1970s as project Have Blue, which eventually evolved into the F-117 Nighthawk. Improvements in stealth technology ( F-22, F-35 etc) have come about because of increases in computer power since the design of the F-117 - and how much more bang per buck to you get out of a computer since the 70s?

    Trying to duplicate a 30 year old technology is naturally going to be cheaper than creating it first yourself - that's the price you pay for being first. Technology gets cheaper as it gets older.

    Paris because the first caveman to wield a stick was a genius but now even she can do it.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    And ?

    How many secrets did the Yanks pirate from the UK ?

    FFS the Harrier WAS BRITISH !

    Radar ?

    Jet engines ?

    Lord thanks for making the Channel so narrow and the Atlantic so wide.

  3. Mike Richards Silver badge

    One problem with this theory...

    If BAe had funnelled US stealth technology to the UK, I can't think of any manufacturing companies over here that could use it in their products. Not unless Dualit is planning a radar busting toaster.

  4. fred
    Thumb Down


    Ah. It's been a while since you've carped on about this, I was wondering when it would come up again.

    Accepted you have great military experience and doubtless an enviable network of contacts. I admire many articles you write. But have you ever actually done any military tech development and engineering? Different game entirely to paddling around the 'Med in those dinky little minesweepers with a G&T on the bridge, I'm afraid.

    The Americans seem to be going through one of their periodic protectionist fevers at the moment. There are some politicos on Capitol Hill around who would just love to kick BAE in the nuts, hence the report you base your article on.

    If the Americans who mattered (ie the ones inside the JSF project controlling the security) got the first suspicion that leaks like this were occurring, even to good old trusted 'blighty', there are very drastic and automatic procedures that would come into place to sort things out. I think we can all be very sure of that. Security in these projects is audited by the government agencies, not the contractors.

    And RE your remarks on Taranis and the price differential: so it's stealth. But what kind? Is it better or worse than the US version? You don't put forward any kind of evidence or metrics to suggest it is comparable to 'stealth 3.0', and the unfair thing is you know the relevant spokespeople are gagged by official secrecy and will never be able to say anyway. So another idle non sequitur which will be forgotten.

    Get an internship on a high-tech Defence engineering team before you comment on this stuff.

  5. Anne Bokma

    Payback is a bitch

    The yabks "stole" the movable tilplane for the chuck yeager mach breaking plane, so iits about time something comes back on that "investment"

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Brain Washing..

    Surely a firewall does not stop the techies from moving to different projects? a business is afterall a human structure... and with that human goes knowledge.

    So of course developing your own with someone who has worked in the field is going to be 99% easier!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Remember Frank Whittle?

    It works both ways you know. The entire american aviation industry is built on technology stolen from the UK during the second world war. I'll make them a deal... we'll stop developing cheap stealth fighters if they stop using jet engines. Sorted

    <let the trans-atlantic flame wars begin>

  8. Thomas Guymer

    Here here...

    Firstly, at AC:

    I agree, so much UK technology gets sent to the US but they cry when one guy in an office *thinks* BAE got some US tech - oh boo hoo!

    Secondly, I love the last paragraph on page 2:

    "But of course that isn't true, as everyone involved will tell you. BAE - without any reference to information it had been given as a result of the F-35 programme - is simply able to develop working Stealth planes for approximately one or two per cent of what it cost the USA." - and in only a couple of years! Nice one BAE!

    Good article none the less, lets just see if the US can manufacture any evidence to back up their claims.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    stealth tech not american

    the maths to enable stealth technology isn't even american originally, they just did a secondary discovery of it.

    it was originally done by a russian bloke in the first half of the last century and languished in a book ignored, like these things are until someone works out wtf to do with them.

    i suppose its possible that they used the ruskies formulas to figure out how to bend radar round their flying hotpots

    but knowing how security conscious bae are... they probably just copied it

  10. Dr. E. Amweaver
    Black Helicopters

    Apocraphyl story...

    ...any truth in the rumours that:

    - US inspectors were stunned to find that UK Army land rovers not only used an almost identical radar absorbent paint for years before Stealth, but got it considerably cheaper

    - said paint doesn't work in the rain, or even moisture-heavy cloud banks?

    Black Helicopter: because none of this would have ever happened to Airwolf.

  11. Steve

    of course it's cheaper

    Technology gets cheaper and easier as it matures.

    it always costs huge amounts to be on the bleeding edge, competitors generally rip the idea off a few years later at far less cost, partly because they can physically see some of the tech involved, partly because some of the maths/physics gets published in technical and academic journals, and partly because people with the knowledge move to other companies (for lucrative pay awards).

    It's not rocket science is it, tune the shape to deflect rather than reflect, use radar absorbing materials (but not paint, it's too easy to scratch), etc... The basic principles are well known now.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So much of what goes into making an aircraft stealthy is in the shape, not the paint. The British Vulcan bombers for example were quite Stealthy. The shape of stealthy planes is very much out in the open!

    As for the UK independently developing a stealthy aircraft (including the soup) for a fraction of the cost to the US, well that is very much possible. Just look at the percentage of the F22's capability the Eurofighter has for considerable less cost. Doing business with the DoD is clearly license to print money!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    BAE Stealth tech

    From there old press releases, the UK arm of BAE did not simply develop their stealth tech overnight for the Raven/Corax/Taranis program. The Replica program was apparently started in 1994, see below link:

    In the bit of BAE Warton that I was working at in 2003, it was generally reckoned that the only reason the US would let us anywhere near their stealth tech was the implied threat that we were quite capable of doing it ourselves and then they couldn't control who we sold it to.

    Replica was a black program that lasted at least 5 years, and little info was released. Probably not public knowledge what it cost, probably a bit more that was spent on Taranis, but my understanding is that it was considered worth it for a slice of JSF.

    Anonymous for obvious reasons...

  14. Anonymous Coward

    it is not all US and UK research you know

    Yes americans seem to believe that all high tech is invented by them. This is by no means an excuse to reiterate without thinking by non-americans. Additionally there is a world of engineers and scientists outside UK also. Stealth technology has a long background in quite a few engineering research projects in europe. Just because not many countries in the world develop airplanes (and thus not stealth airplanes either) does not mean that engineering solutions are not developed or invented. During the second world war at least eight countries invented a working radar - mostly without having much if any detailed knowledge of each others solutions. The jet engine also - several theoretical solutions in many countries - and a few (different) applications. So was it with the computer, not all american - or UK either. When it comes to Stealth technology if you go outside of its application on flying jets (not prototypes) then obviously there is not much competition at the moment. However if you go to other areas - like stealth ships as an example - then US does not have any apparant dominance in engineering at all - other countries have working navy vessels developed with their own stealth technology that goes far beyond anything the US navy has available outside of the world of prototypes.

    Sorry but the fact that people do not have american english as a mother tongue does not make them less intelligent or capable... often it only means they have less financial resources available for their research activities - so many of the inventions made tend to cost less and be focused more on prototypes and also not often result in full scale production.

  15. Daniel Wilkie

    More fuel

    Lets not forget that there were two key technologies for the British investment in the JSF (because it IS a joint project) - there was two bits of technology that they needed us to make work. Firstly, iirc, there were issues with the VTOL system, which the British made work. And secondly, the ability to cruise at Supersonic speeds without using afterburners for extended periods of time. So without British Boffinry and Tech - no JSF. Well no VTOL JSF that can cruise at more than Mach 1 without running on the burners all the time anyway...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Awwww They are just worried

    Incase us Brits took one look at the plans and came up with a better system than theirs. If they do start making a noise I say get Number 10 to write a licensing letter for the use of jet engine technology and demand back payment for previous years use of said technology. Pretty sure that will shut them up.

    Paris as she could show the US government what a good screwing is like.

  17. Simon Ball

    Oh for god's sake

    Stealth is as old as radar. The possibility of designing aircraft so as to minimise radar cross-section was recognised before radar was actually in operational deployment. It just took forty years before the computing technology necessary to model the interaction between aircraft and radar waves was available. These days, such technology is dirt cheap.

    Eurofighter incorporates stealth technology. Any number of warships currently proposed or in service incorporate stealth technology. Any technologically advanced nation is capable of producing stealth tech - the fact that most don't bother doesn't mean squat. And I remain to be convinced that "Stealth 3.0" is significantly different to what has gone before. It's not as if we're talking about something radical like radar-absorbing plasma sheaths or active radar wave cancellation - it's at most an incremental upgrade.

    In any case, you can hardly compare the cost of a cheap and cheerful unmanned technology demonstator with that of developing and building an operational fourth-generation fighter - the latter inevitably suffers from excessive caution, pork and political interference, which pushes the price through the roof.

    @AC - I agree with the sentiment, but the US didn't actually steal it - we gave our tech away because we were desperate, and because we just didn't have the resources to manufacture it.

  18. Norbury

    Big non-story

    Once someone has invented something then it is always possible to replicate that more easily, even without getting the knowhow direct from them. In the case of the stealth paint once you know which frequencies it absorbs then you can hazard a guess at the composition, and you can measure the frequencies it absorbs best quite easily. I learnt about stealth tech at Uni FFS (Materials Science since you ask). And yes, Dr. E. Amweaver, (nice nick) if it gets wet it's useless on planes. Most of the reduction of radar signature is in the shape of the plane though.

  19. graeme leggett

    Wartime military technology exchange

    We gave the US access to many of our wartime developments so that they could make them for us quicker and faster than we could. Unfortunately with the war on, we were short of cash (having bought aircraft and weapons off them since 1939) and time so we didn't bother getting the IP signed off properly. If we had then perhaps we could have asked for some money for it later.

    On the plus side the US did help out by lending us a lot of what we built and we only had to pay for what we wanted to keep after the war.

    There were a couple of instances were we did give the tech away for gratis after the war of interest though - one we don't seem to get the credit for: the all-moving tailplane, and one we get too much for: giving the Russians a good working jet engine design

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    All you Brits seem to be missing the point. BAE takes your money, says its a UK tech powerhouse - though in fact it is selling off the Brit tech base as fast as it can. In exchange it gives you things it has riped off from the Yanks for zero cost. BAE spends your cash - which you have got by shorting your soldiers' pay and allround screwing over your defences - and spends that money -plus what it gets by selling off all the legacy of Whittle et al which it was given free - on US companies.

    That's not a good thing for Britain, or for British tech or for anyone who cares about either. Wake up.

  21. Doug

    i like

    Not a bad article you have to expect Page's opinions on BAE to come through a fair bit but the actual fact he is reporting on this stuff is great.

    Nice to know the Americans are so trusting of UK engineers while no doubt employing scores of Indian tech support chaps to maintain these "systems" to stop us running away with all the good stuff.

    Though maybe they have a point who exactly gave the israel the knowledge to manufacture the bomb?

  22. Chris

    Reality check

    Come on. Being the first to develop anything is always expensive. And time consuming. All those blind alleys to explore just for starters.

    Once a technology has been developed it's always much easier for others to 'develop' their versions. Atomic bombs to non-stick coatings. And it's not always 'espionage' - though the Yanks seem to love to claim it is.

    Why do you think patents were invented? The concept was intended to give developers of new technology a limited monopoly on new technology/products. An incentive to carry out the R&D to push technology forward.

    Because once it's proved that something CAN be done, made to work, it's a LOT easier to duplicate it or produce improved versions. Always has been, always will be.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For the past week I've been wondering...

    why no one was making a really big deal about Oracle buy BAE Systems, I mean a US software company buying a British manufacturer of high tech military kit seemed like it would warrant more coverage...just realized they bought BEA Systems....damn lysdesxia.....

  24. Jesse

    MM vs. DM

    The final straw was when you fuckers stole our Mickey Mouse technology and created Danger Mouse

  25. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Follow the Money

    Look at technology this way: I'm a shareholder of several defense suppliers. Each owns certain intellectual property. Those based in the US operate under strict rules as to whom they may sell their products to. Those based in the UK have access to larger markets. The French will sell to practically anyone. The larger the market share, the greater the profit potential for a given product.

    Boards of directors know this and seek to move production to the most profitable locations. We (the grunts in the factory) worry about the lower costs of labor overseas. But in many cases, a larger market share is worth more than a couple of bucks an hour (particularly for high tech products).

    I've worked at an outfit that, upon discovering a technology we were developing could have DoD applications, ordered work to be discontinued, our materials to be crated up and shipped off shore. It ended up costing us more to "purchase" the parts from overseas, but their overseas subsidiary had no restrictions on who they could sell it to.

  26. Anonymous Coward


    From what I've heard the Americans are anything but trusting of the UK workforce on these programs. Even basic data isn't available, even when it should be, and when the data transfer is required to keep the program going.

    So the likelihood of any of the more tricky details of things like stealth technologies being transferred is very low.

    On the other hand it's easy to engineer something when someone else has done it first because:

    a) you know it can be done and

    b) you can usually see quite a few details of how it was done.

    In the case of something like stealth it's even easier because the physics are well known, and the only limitation is how you apply them. As the tools get better and the computers get faster you can produce ever more complex designs, progressing from basic forms (e.g. F117) through to more complex designs (e.g. B2) and then you eventually work out that you don't need to apply the design everywhere, and just modify the key points (panel fit & finish, leading edges, intakes) to get the RCS down, which is about where were are now.

    A good analogue would be aerodynamic design in F1 - the physics are well known, and have been for years, but you can see how far it's progressed particularly as improved CFD has been introduced in conjunction with more computing resource. And even the low budget teams do OK in keeping up to date, because they can see what other people have done (and if it worked) and having an idea to copy is often enough to do your own version.

    In any case they seem a little too concerned. Counter-stealth is well advanced, and has been for a long time, so the value of 'stealth' isn't what it was - and the original value is dubious given the availability of other detection methods.

    So if anything this sounds like just another attempt by certain companies to lock down the US market against the competition.

    Not that this is such a problem, it just means other people will get the best stuff, while the US gets the inferior but domestically sourced solution.

  27. This post has been deleted by its author

  28. amanfromMars Silver badge

    If cash rules, let it rule 42 See what IT can dDeliver.....

    ....and QuITe Naturally, the More One Gives, the More One Gets.

    "One may take it that the knowhow could then spread onward from Saudi to pretty much any place which can afford to rustle up a few briefcases of cash, Bentleys with solid-gold hubcaps, scantily-clad practitioners in the field of negotiable companionship and so forth. Not many people could actually use such specialised information, but there are those in Russia and China who'd love to have it."

    Lewis, surely one would assume such titbits would prevent any untoward technology transfer to undesirables. After all, to set up a line of unlimited credit or stashes of cash for spending on any desirable which would be tempting, is not a problem for Uncle Sam ..... and just think of the currency flow in a market stagnating because of sub-prime transfers which nobody wants. And I imagine that there is also the difficulty posed by Really New Technology which has Universal Application and is Intellectual Property which is not already "owned".

    "If the Americans who mattered (ie the ones inside the JSF project controlling the security) got the first suspicion that leaks like this were occurring, even to good old trusted 'blighty', there are very drastic and automatic procedures that would come into place to sort things out. I think we can all be very sure of that. Security in these projects is audited by the government agencies, not the contractors." ... By fred Posted Friday 9th May 2008 13:45 GMT

    Crikey, fred, if their government agencies are anything like the UK's they're always going to be compromised by the lure of fast, flash cash. And in America, the land that sells its Soul to Capitalism, you expect there to be a sense of Homeland/National Integrity? I admire your optimism.

    "Not unless Dualit is planning a radar busting toaster." ... By Mike Richards Posted Friday 9th May 2008 13:46 GMT It might go some way to justifying the price of their classic toasters, Mike. :-)

    "Brain Washing.." By Anonymous Coward Posted Friday 9th May 2008 13:52 GMT ...... Now there's a most interesting and very lucrative, XXXXStreamly Stealthy Technology, which you wouldn't even Realise was being Deployed such as are ITs Sublime Employment Paradigms/Protocols/Algorithms. And boy, is that the UltiMate Stealth Tool or is that the UltiMate Stealth Tool, or what? I wonder if that is what Oracle are into ...... "For the past week I've been wondering...why no one was making a really big deal about Oracle buy BAE Systems" ... By Anonymous Coward Posted Friday 9th May 2008 15:35 GMT.

    What you invariably find in fields of intense mixed interest is an invention of something uniquely different so that a NeuReal Industry can be Launched to start a whole New Phase of Research and Developments/Massive InfraStructure ReDevelopments.

  29. Privateer


    Every time I see that Mr Page has written an article on BAE Systems I hope that he's finally got a grasp of business and every time I'm disappointed.

    To say that BAE was "given" factories around the UK shows that someone hasn't quite grasped the concept of nationalisation and privatisation - the government sold the factories to investors when British Aerospace was privatised. As for job losses, if you're claiming that after 20 years of state ownership all the jobs in BAC were sustainable then you really should be disqualified from writing on such topics.

    Also, to describe BAE as "a channel by which government-created capital and jobs leave the country" is so clueless as to be risible. BAE has had a major presence in the states through its merger with MES and, for many years now, the US government has been the largest source of revenue for BAE. By Mr Page's reasoning it's only right that BAE should be creating more jobs there.

    As for the claims of espionage, they amount to nothing more than nudging and winking. Mr Page also doesn't seem to be too concerned that the second largest defence contractor in the UK is Thales and that companies such as Smiths have been bought by GE...

  30. Robert Hill
    Paris Hilton

    It's not that the US minds the Brits having the tech...

    It's just that BAE is so quick to sell it to the highest bidder, not just the weapons but the knowhow to, while the UK hides behind the US's strategic defenses (albeit with a modest SLBM fleet).

    That's the problem...BAE is proven to have the ethics...well, absolutely no ethics that anyone can see. Bribery, illegal transfers of tech, etc. They may pay off everyone in Whitehall, but they really deserve no respect.

    Paris, because even she has better taste in who she lays down with than BAE...

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oi, give us something back, you tight-fisted gets

    As others have pointed out, given the US' long and inglorious record of variously pilfering and otherwise helping itself to UK technical innovations and often reneguing on reciprocal agreements once they've got what they're after, they don't really have a leg to stand on when it comes to moaning about us doing likewise for once. It's probably not even theirs anyway, given their equally long and inglorious record of taking the credit for other nations' work.

  32. heystoopid
    Thumb Up

    Sounds like

    Sounds like the technology they stole from the Russians too me !

  33. Anonymous Coward

    What about our tech?

    The STOVL version of the JSF only flies because it contains UK developed engine and flight control system technology. Maybe we should withdraw that so the USMC can carry on using Harriers for the next 40 years.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    long history of given and thrown away technologies

    Super twist nematic(sp.), an early LCD technology, developed by MoD never patented. Successfully used by display manufacturers with no royalties to British Gov. Original work on atomic weapons, British. Salters duck, an efficient way to extract energy from waves. Developed with British Government dosh , sold to Scandinavians for £20,000 in early '80's.

    It's often a result of the too cosy a relationship between the MoD and the defence industry,(individuals pogoing between Mod and defence contractors up the greasy pole, in the end the separation between the two that should ensure good value contracts is lost. and other times the arrogance of Civil Servants taking decisions on subjects they know little and understand even less.

    Sometimes the Govt. was over a barrel ( the Atomic research). Other times it threw away the technologies like Paris with a chewing gum wrapper.

  35. Chris

    The truth will out!


    'The final straw was when you fuckers stole our Mickey Mouse technology and created Danger Mouse'

    O-kay! NOW we know what's going on. I'm sure we'll all be a lot happier now we know the truth behind what's been going on.

    Still, I'd have thought using our knowledge to assist in the development of the Fission Bomb, then denying us access to data regarding the development of the Fusion Bomb could be considered over-reaction (nearly a pun there - sorry) - anyway, it only delayed us a couple of years...

    Technology's a wonderful thing you know. Just because I can figure out the technology to create my hand held Improbability Field generator doesn't mean that no one else in creation is smart/lucky/insane enough to come up with the same technology...

    I fear this is connected with the ingrained belief of the vast majority of Americans that everything outside the USA is a howling wasteland inhabited by savages...

    Now, please excuse me, I have to get on with putting the final touches to my Doomsday Machine.

    PS. You DO know what Micky Mouse technology MEANS to the rest of us?

  36. Mark
    Black Helicopters

    @Robert Hill

    Well as any arms manufacturer will tell you, weapons are for selling.

    As to being done so much cheaper, when you start on something completely new, you have all the ideas that may have worked but didn't to fund. Following up on what was done is cheaper because you're just copying what you saw was successful.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    BAE "proven" to lack ethics?

    (@Robert Hill)

    They've been accused, certainly, but that's not exactly proof, now is it?

    AC for obvious reasons. Paris because she knows what it's like to be hounded by the press.

  38. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Blighty Boffinry Battling Buffoonery Boldly ....

    "Technology's a wonderful thing you know. Just because I can figure out the technology to create my hand held Improbability Field generator doesn't mean that no one else in creation is smart/lucky/insane enough to come up with the same technology..." .... By Chris Posted Saturday 10th May 2008 10:06 GMT

    Amen to that Home Truth, Chris. Now about my hand held Improbability Field generator ...... ? How does IT BetaTest? FailSafe Positive? Cloud Hosted?

  39. groovepoint

    Well they stole from us anyway

    So why not return the favour, micro-chip anyone!?

  40. Pete W

    @Daniel Wilkie

    a) The J in JSF implies that the aircraft serves a joint role as an air-to-land and air-to-air platform (thereby serving all branches of target military(s)). The J does NOT indicate that this was a joint project between the US and the UK. The platform was designed in America by Lockheed Martin Skunk Works.

    b) The F-35 can't super-cruise, to fly above Mach 1 it must use it's afterburners. You're confusing it with the F-22 Raptor, which can super-cruise.

    c) When you refer to VTOL I can only assume that your talking about the exhaust duct technology built by General Dynamics (an American company, based in Virginia) for their model 200. I don't know details of any foreign partnerships on that project, but it is irrelevant anyway. Choosing not to incorporating thrust vectoring was a mistake that made the F-35 less agile then it could have been. What is your argument, that without the UK the US would have been forced to make a better aircraft?

    Do you actually know anything about the JSF?

    I think the bigger picture is that certain technology can cause harm if it falls into the wrong hands. No, I'm not implying the UK here. The concern is that BAE, being a profit generating entity, will whore itself out to the wrong people who happen to have the right funds. The funny thing about weapon platforms is that once your enemy gets their hands on a sample, they're 50% down the path to defeating it.

  41. DaveB

    No worries

    No the British do not pirate technology and build a cheaper version.

    They go out pirate technology, and build a more expensive version, then when its 90% complete they give up and buy a US version.

  42. Anonymous Coward

    Maybe your next article

    Could be on Echelon and how it benefits the US (to the detriment of its "friends").

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: Nationalism

    No, you're missing the point, as is Mr Page. Jobs are only a very small part of the benefits of having such a large company as BAE under your jurisdiction.

    The fact we have control of such a major part of the world defence market is important as is the amount of money BAE brings to the British economy. Both these things are far more valuable than any amount of jobs back home here in the UK.

    As for the most stupid part of the article, the comment that BAE supposedly must have stolen stealth tech to be able to reproduce it so quickly, I do have to ask Mr Page, you do realise I could quite easily model a very stealthy aircraft here at home on my PC nowadays?

    The F117 was retired only a couple of weeks ago which is an extremely short timespan to have such a costly and extremely advanced at creation aircraft in service. The reason it's gone out of service is because it was a victim of Moore's law, back when it was created it took days to model the effects of radar frequencies hitting the various flat surfaces of the F117 and they simply didn't even have the computing power to try curved surfaces as they have now for the F22, JSF and such. This kind of thing can now be modelled in real time on a home computer for flat surfaces and easily modelled in a sensible time period for curved surfaces.

    What's more, understanding of how stealth tech. works has become common knowledge so it's not as if there's even any research required there, you can take a math/physics/aircraft design student straight from university and chuck them onto such projects straight away now.

    Producing stealth tech. in 2 years is not just possible, it's easy. The plans for a working prototype could easily be in place within months. Stealth research now (presumably the type of things this stealth 3.0 you speak of supports) simply surrounds standard aircraft design - making the latest greatest airframe using newly discovered nano-materials whilst not breaking the radar profile. There's not really much more you can do with stealth now other than trying to incorporate it into ever more advanced aircraft designs whilst also keeping the aircraft's heat profile down.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Steady on lads...

    We're all going to be fighting the same religious nut jobs thirty years hence - that's Al Queda and Dubya.

    We're on the same side aren't we?

  45. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Nut jobs and Bolts from the NEUKlearer Blue Yonder.

    "Do you actually know anything about the JSF?

    I think the bigger picture is that certain technology can cause harm if it falls into the wrong hands. No, I'm not implying the UK here. The concern is that BAE, being a profit generating entity, will whore itself out to the wrong people who happen to have the right funds. The funny thing about weapon platforms is that once your enemy gets their hands on a sample, they're 50% down the path to defeating it." .... By Pete W Posted Sunday 11th May 2008 09:15 GMT

    That was a very perceptive post, Pete W, introducing Failed Lead Conspirators .....Brain Dead Skunks, who would need to address their obvious Joint abuse issues...... LoadsaJunk Dependencies ..... for their Abuses in its Use are Destroying them, with All able to See the Devastation and the Pushers and Pimps hustling their Toxic Waste for its Profits, Money for Nothing which is Theft. But whenever you have Created a Banking System, which doesn't actually make anything but which manages to make itself wealthy and perceived to be in Control and Rich, then you have Created out of a Crazy Idea, a Major Problem for yourself whenever IT is uncovered/discovered/abused/Misused.

    You may like to consider that certain technology is causing harm in the wrong hands, being profit generating entities, whoring themselves out to the wrong people who happen to print funds. You may also like to consider that certain other Virtually Advanced NEUKlearer Guard Technologies ..... Astute NXXXXT Generation AISF ..... to which they are not privy, but of which they have been advised, are fully embedded, armed and loaded into their Capitalist System awaiting their next Request and Draining Away all Dodgy Power for Beta Command and Control of CyberIntelAIgent Agents ......Prime Time Non-State Actors ..... CyberIntelAIgently Designed Entities which/who are in Real Life, Virtual IDEntities and therefore Non-Entities.

    Welcome to Virtual Reality for Real and Merlin, The MetaPhysician's SuITe Program, Godisagoddess ur2die4 ...... Magical Mystery Turing ZerodDay Tripping with All the Help you Need from ur Friends.

    And this is ITs Registered Launch and SurReal Call on Funding to the Technology Strategy Board for a piece of the action .."Innovation was the word favoured by ministers who presented the plan yesterday. They would give the money to firms that could match the funding, pound for pound. But a portion of the money would also be alloted to high-risk projects." .... ..... and that would be a piece of the high-risk projects action, of course, for the risk to them in failing, is catastrophically high.

    And let's be perfectly honest about all of this, it is not as if they do not already know that there is something Major in the AIR&dD Force for it has been Shared QuITe Openly, with IT even targetting and challenging MI5 to get their sorry act together .... "NIRobotIQs wants Matrix style virtual world for Perfumed Gardens of Eden" ... By amanfromMars Posted Wednesday 7th May 2008 16:25 GMT .... ..[although you will notice that the Registered post is now missing, which is telling]

    You might like to ponder why anyone would hide the Truth whenever it causes so many untold problems for those with something to hide. The Truth sets you Free. Don't make yourself a Prisoner of a System which Hides IT and Labours towards Inexorable Suicidal Systemic Meltdown.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Given not stolen!

    Sad to say the Americans did not *steal*

    The Harrier

    Radar ?

    Jet engines ?

    Supersonice tail planes


    The british government of the day gave them to the Americans

    incidently they also gave the russians Jet Engine technology before the Russians "went bad"

    what is actually the bigger crime where the range of civil and miltary projects cancelled to cosy upto to the americans for other political reason, such as those to "garentee our *independant* nuclear SLBM force under the guise of Polaris/Trident"


    as for the could the UK develop stealth caperbilities? obviously and yes the learning curve gets easier!

    it took the UK hundreds of years to ferment and launch the industrial revolution upon the world! look how quickly others caught up and surpassed it!

    (yes I am British, not American)

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    we're quits

    well we gave them the turbojet engine, patent and royalty free, they stole all our best designers when the TSR2 was cancelled then flogged us the crappy F111 in its place, so I guess this brings us back to about even

  48. Jon

    @ given not stolen

    "The british government of the day gave them to the Americans"

    No they gave it on agreement of return of ideas.

    It is still stealing (well fraud) if I sign a contract to pay you when you do somthing but then baulk the payment

  49. spider from mars
    Dead Vulture


    "In 2006, the UK Ministry of Defence gave BAE a £124m contract for Project Taranis, under which a working stealth aircraft demonstrator would be built for the RAF in just a few years - a remarkable feat by the Lancashire engineers, given the hugely greater amounts of time and money it took Americans to do the same."

    Taranis is not a technology development platform: it's a technology integration platform. All the elements have already been developed; it's a question of getting them all working on a single airframe.

    As noted by AC above, BAE has had a stealth program - that we know of - since at least 1994.

    The author can't possibly be ignorant of this, so I've got to question his motives for writing such a deliberately misleading article.

  50. Anonymous Coward


    I thought that the whole industrial revolution as such was founded on systematic piracy. And surely it was fermented by the Dutch for a while before it became succesfully pirated and relaunched by the british and then 'given' to the americans...

  51. Steve

    Re: ethics of BAe

    Why is anyone surprised? Just look at what they produce. And then remember that they are a publicly traded company and as such are mandated by law to be sociopathic.

    They are merchants of death and you people actually think there is a rational discussion over business ethics to be had here.

  52. Dave
    Paris Hilton

    not much of an article to get excited about - but 1 CLASSIC phrase!

    "scantily-clad practitioners in the field of negotiable companionship" resulted in spattered spam sandwich in this office, going to take ages to clean this keyboard now...

    PH 'cos I wonder about her negotiating skills

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    @Pete W

    "Joint" as in "Joint Service", actually - the F35 is to be deployed by both the US Air Force and the US Navy. An aircraft capable of both air-to-air and air-to-ground is either 'multi-role' or 'swing-role' (the new name for


    And the airframe was NOT developed solely by the infamous Skunk Works - that is more LM PR spin. There have been LM "technical specialists" working on the eastern side of the Atlantic for many years now, certainly from before JSF was conceived.

    And as a self-appointed 'JSF expert' you must surely have heard of the F-35B, as intended for the Royal Navy, no? The one with the moving tailpipe? The moving tailpipe designed by BAe? Nothing to do with GD, methinks. And what the heck is "their model 200"? Do you mean the Gulfstream 200 civil business jet? Funny, I don't recall seeing any bizjets doing VTOLs recently...

    I wonder how pleased the Russian aerospace companies were when the two Germanies 'reunited' and then sent lots of ex-East German armed forces (all WarPac kit built by the USSR) over to America... there are several ex-(East) German helicopters and aircraft flying around American airspace with American identity codes... but you don't get to hear the Russians complain, do you?

    And I question your suggestion that BAe is any more of a security risk than any American organisation; when was the last time BAe lost radioactive material from a top-secret research base, or allowed foreign nationals access to secret data to show what a wonderful job they were doing (only for the foreigner to photocopy said data and tuck it into his briefcase in full view of security cameras... ain't hindsight wonderful!)

    There are, of course, many other examples of where the superior American way of doing things has let secrets (and worse!) loose but they get conveniently forgotten every time there's an election looming in the good ole US-of-A...

    As an aside, I used to work as a full-time, "company employee" for BAe, on a site that housed a "joint development" team from Lockheed Martin (and that was in 1994, fact-lovers!) so I have personal experieince of how long they've been working with/ripping off BAe.

    When trying to audit IT kit in the rooms the LM team used, they would not allow myself and another 'company man' in as they decided we were a security risk.

    Instead they let a BAe-employed Contractor in, on the grounds that they had seen him before... I'm not saying that he *was* a risk, but his first loyalty was to his own pocket. So who was the bigger risk? Someone employed by LM's "partner" or someone working purely for himself?

  54. Mark

    re: mendacity

    He's got a bee up his butt.

    Maybe he has reason for that, but I think it may be driving his interpretation rather than being a datapoint to consider for him.

  55. Pete W

    @Anonymous Coward - My Response

    >> "Joint" as in "Joint Service", actually - the F35 is to be deployed by both the US Air Force and the US Navy. An aircraft capable of both air-to-air and air-to-ground is either 'multi-role' or 'swing-role' (the new name for 'multi-role').

    You forgot the U.S. Marines, they use the JSF as well. What, your calling me out on phraseology? That's pathetic. Oh, "Joint role" vs. "Joint Service"... you don't seem to get my point, which is that the word "joint" was intended to reference their use across multiple branches of military(s), NOT to symbolize a multinational development effort (regardless of whether you believe such an effort existed).

    >> And as a self-appointed 'JSF expert' you must surely have heard of the F-35B, as intended for the Royal Navy, no? The one with the moving tailpipe? The moving tailpipe designed by BAe? Nothing to do with GD, methinks. And what the heck is "their model 200"? Do you mean the Gulfstream 200 civil business jet? Funny, I don't recall seeing any bizjets doing VTOLs recently...

    I meant their Model 200 experimental aircraft. It's not exactly top secret, take 5 minutes and do your own research.

    I never claimed to be an expert, I only asserted that another individuals statement was incorrect. For example, "the JSF can't super-cruise", do you disagree with this statement?

    The F-35B isn't intended for the Royal Navy, That's a deliberate oversimplification. I believe that it's actually intended for 8 (possibly more) nations militarys. I also believe that the largest customer nation is the United States (combined purchases of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marines). If it was "intended" for any specific nation, surely it would be for the largest customer, eh? Not a little Island which outgrew it's glory days centuries ago (that should spark some flames).

    >> As an aside, I used to work as a full-time, "company employee" for BAe, on a site that housed a "joint development" team from Lockheed Martin (and that was in 1994, fact-lovers!) so I have personal experieince of how long they've been working with/ripping off BAe.

    "fact-lovers!" You have to be kidding me, just because you say it doesn't make it fact.

    If you were in fact an employee of BAE, then haven't you just illustrated that they employ individuals who can't be trusted to keep your mouth shut?

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