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Although conventional (i.e., passive) radar absorbers are widely used for modifying the radar cross-section (RCS) of current military platforms, such absorbers may not have adequate performance to satisfy future requirements. Active absorbers, however, offer the potential to overcome the so-called Rozanov performance limit and to enable additional smart functionality such as monitoring damage, adaptive control of RCS or target appearance, identification-friend-or-foe, and absorb-while-scan. This paper outlines the concept and basic properties of a novel type of active radar absorber, the so-called phase-switched screen (PSS). The basic PSS topology is then modified so as to enable it to operate as a smart radar absorber when used together with an external sensor and feedback control loop. System implementation issues and the optimum choice of design parameters for a range of operational scenarios are discussed, and theoretical predictions are supported by measured performance data.