Note: thanks to Navy Matters commenter, “FM” for the link. (1)
The exercise in question occurred shortly after Desert Storm. A B-52 bomber was tasked with attempting to reach attack range, inside 200 miles, against the USS Ranger and its air wing. The defending force consisted of two E-2 Hawkeyes, F-14s for CAP, EA-6Bs, S-3s, and A-6s. The short version is that the B-52 got within 20 miles of the carrier before being detected and announcing its presence.
This was a giant, hulking B-52, not some small, sleek, wave-clipping missile!
Radar is NOT the infallible, all-seeing, omniscient eye that so many believe.
This is analogous to the documented Cold War exercise of a carrier group sitting off the Russian coast and remaining undetected for an extended period.
In the real world, detection of any object by any means is a challenge. We need to keep that reality firmly in mind as we discuss the various Navy plans and concepts that all assume perfect situational awareness on our part and zero awareness on the enemy’s part. The reality will be quite different and that reality strongly suggests that many of our plans and concepts desperately need to be re-evaluated.
(1) Username: FM, Navy Matters, “USS Boxer – A Second Drone”, August 5, 2019 at 11:36 PMhttps://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/25572/confessions-of-an-e-2c-hawkeye-radar-operator