There is a difference between tracking the aircraft as air controller and as a SAM operator. Contrary to that F-117 was special in that way that Iraqi and Yugoslav air controllers were not able to track them reliably (if at all). But SR-71 and A-12 were never an issue in detection and observation of their flight path. To "lock" them and engage them with SA-2 was however something completely different as SA-2 has minimal window of opportunity to engage them.
For example Czechoslovak air controllers were easily observing SR-71 flying along West German/East German and West German/Czechoslovak border but MiG-23 trying to intercept it head on was unable to "lock" it.
EDIT: I will add that I don't know what should be ideal RCS in CMANO. I just want to point that actual stealth aircrafts (F-117 and later) are something completely different regarding their abilities.
They are completely different in as much as the F-117 takes some of what was done on the SR-71, refines it, and adds the discoveries made regarding radar reflection from Petr Ufimtsev. I don't think anyone has suggested that the SR-71 should have a cross section (or more accurately the dB rating) similar to that of the F-117 (approx 0.003 sq.m according to global security). Making such a comparison, respectfully, seems like a straw man.
What has been suggested, and what I advocate for, is that the current level of "low observability" is likely substantially off, and too easily detected, for the SR-71 in reality. Obviously this is difficult to pinpoint for a myriad of reasons, but several have claimed here that the SR-71 is not a stealth aircraft, but this is demonstrably wrong given that the source material, and anecdotes from the era, clearly indicate that low observability was a design goal, and in use the SR-71 was considered something unusual, and difficult to track given it's size.
So, no, no one here is thinking 0.003 Sq.m. On the other hand, the current value of RCS (derived from dB) of 11.5 Sq.m seems unjustifiably large, even for a 100 ft aircraft due to the construction of the SR-71 itself having a substantial focus on low observability. Also, multiple sources indicate the RCS of something around 1 to 2 square meters, and some much lower than that, and none over 10 Sq.m.
Several sources, some first hand from the manufacturer, and some previously classified list the RCS of about 1 Sq.m or about the same as "a man". I, personally, believe these sources to be the most trustworthy.
So, having said that, as I asked way back when, if we are going by the available information, why is the RCS of the SR-71 around 11.5 when no source suggests it's that high, and multiple, reputable sources suggest it is more likely around 1 to 2 Sq. m? What justifies the 11.5 number other than a very basic "look how big it is" argument. Such an argument is not backed by any source whatsoever, right?
< Message edited by Dfox071 -- 8/16/2019 11:02:08 PM >