USAF Unveils B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

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USAF Unveils B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

Postby mekender » Fri Feb 26, 2016 5:51 pm

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Re: USAF Unveils B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

Postby Langenator » Fri Feb 26, 2016 6:11 pm

The artist's conception looks like...a B-2.

So the USAF needs to do a really, really good job of explaining why this is better, and enough better to spend huge amounts of $$ on.

Instead of spending the money on super-sonic, semi-stealthy long range cruise missiles and a suitable, unsexy, bomb truck that can orbit safely outside enemy air defenses while launching said missiles.
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Re: USAF Unveils B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

Postby Greg » Fri Feb 26, 2016 7:18 pm

B-2.1, OK then. :lol:
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Re: USAF Unveils B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

Postby randy » Fri Feb 26, 2016 7:22 pm

Langenator wrote:So the USAF needs to do a really, really good job of explaining why this is better, and enough better to spend huge amounts of $$ on.


James also explained why the B-21 shares some resemblance to the B-2.

“The B-21 has been designed from the beginning based on a set of requirements that allows the use of existing and mature technology,” James said.


Somehow, I don't thing that's what Lagneator has in mind. :mrgreen:
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Re: USAF Unveils B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

Postby Langenator » Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:44 pm

I've read several articles that asset that we're well past the point of diminishing returns when it comes to stealth - spending lots and lots of money for relatively small returns in reduced radar signature. Also that improvements in other types of sensors (optical, thermal, etc) as well as Russian and Chinese efforts at learning how to detect stealthy aircraft may soon render traditional stealth less and less effective.

If traditional F-117/B-2/F-22/F-35 stealth loses effectiveness, you basically have three options:

1) Go in low and fast to reduce target acquisition times and use terrain masking. May also be used in conjunction with what used to be called 'Wild Weasels' to knock back defenses.
2) Go high and REALLY fast. I'm thinking SR-71/XB-70 mixed with B-2+.
3) Standoff with long range missiles of some sort.

Best I've been able to tell, the USAF seems to want to continue to dump most, if not all, of it's eggs into the stealthy basket, without much in the way of Plan B.
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Re: USAF Unveils B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

Postby Jericho941 » Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:45 pm

Langenator wrote:The artist's conception looks like...a B-2.

So the USAF needs to do a really, really good job of explaining why this is better, and enough better to spend huge amounts of $$ on.


If it's more weather-resistant than the B-2, that'd be a hell of a start.

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Re: USAF Unveils B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

Postby Langenator » Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:51 pm

Jericho941 wrote:
Langenator wrote:The artist's conception looks like...a B-2.

So the USAF needs to do a really, really good job of explaining why this is better, and enough better to spend huge amounts of $$ on.


If it's more weather-resistant than the B-2, that'd be a hell of a start.


IIRC, the F-22 is, at best, no better. Nor is the F-35. My hopes are not high.

It does remind me of a conversation I had, years ago, with another Army Major who worked in Acquisition, in the PEO Night Vision office. A rep from the company that built the LRAS3 (Long RAnge Scout Surveillance System - a thermal imager used by scouts in Stryker and mech units). He was trying to sell a 'next gen' product, for which he claimed a 50% improved performance. At the cost of a 50% increase in size and doubling of the weight.

My buddy told him if he came back with something that offered the same performance with half with size and weight and double the battery life, he'd listen.
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Re: USAF Unveils B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

Postby Jericho941 » Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:57 pm

Langenator wrote:
Jericho941 wrote:
Langenator wrote:The artist's conception looks like...a B-2.

So the USAF needs to do a really, really good job of explaining why this is better, and enough better to spend huge amounts of $$ on.


If it's more weather-resistant than the B-2, that'd be a hell of a start.


IIRC, the F-22 is, at best, no better. Nor is the F-35. My hopes are not high.


Actually, they are.

With the B-2, it "must be sheltered or exposed only to the most benign environments -- low humidity, no precipitation, moderate temperatures."

It's the difference between noted increase in wear, and "we can't park this thing out on the flight line, it has to be in the hangar as much as possible."

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Re: USAF Unveils B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

Postby Rich » Fri Feb 26, 2016 10:23 pm

Just eyeballing the picture, it looks like a more traditional intake system. That would perhaps mean more efficient thrust throughout the in-flight regime.

Still looks like a Northrop/Grumman product though.
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Re: USAF Unveils B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

Postby JustinR » Fri Feb 26, 2016 10:29 pm

The real question is why the USAF is wasting the money for very little improvement over the B-2. As Langenator said, they should be collaborating with NASA on building a SABRE engine bomber, something that would be transformational rather than a waste of resources.
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Re: USAF Unveils B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

Postby Greg » Fri Feb 26, 2016 11:56 pm

JustinR wrote:The real question is why the USAF is wasting the money for very little improvement over the B-2. As Langenator said, they should be collaborating with NASA on building a SABRE engine bomber, something that would be transformational rather than a waste of resources.


Because, fundamentally, they don't know what to do. They really have no real idea where to go from here, so, like Hollywood, they're going with a sequel.
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Re: USAF Unveils B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

Postby Mike OTDP » Sat Feb 27, 2016 12:25 am

LRS-B is designed to a technology base about 30 years more advanced than the B-2. Though I agree that the USAF has probably overrated LO, undervalued performance. One good thing about the F-22 is that supercruise knocks missile engagement envelopes back considerably.

Of course, I would not take any artist's conception as 100% accurate at this time. Wait until we see hardware.

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Re: USAF Unveils B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

Postby MiddleAgedKen » Sat Feb 27, 2016 2:25 am

Langenator wrote:If traditional F-117/B-2/F-22/F-35 stealth loses effectiveness, you basically have three options:

1) Go in low and fast to reduce target acquisition times and use terrain masking. May also be used in conjunction with what used to be called 'Wild Weasels' to knock back defenses.
2) Go high and REALLY fast. I'm thinking SR-71/XB-70 mixed with B-2+.
3) Standoff with long range missiles of some sort.

Best I've been able to tell, the USAF seems to want to continue to dump most, if not all, of it's eggs into the stealthy basket, without much in the way of Plan B.


Second look at SLAM? (No, I'm not going to let this go. Why do you ask?) :mrgreen:
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Re: USAF Unveils B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

Postby Jericho941 » Sat Feb 27, 2016 6:10 am

Here, I'll throw you my tumblr nonsense.

USAF: We need a successor to the B-2
Northrop Grumman: we gotchu covered fam
Northrop Grumman: *writes B-2 on a whiteboard*
Northrop Grumman: *adds a 1*
USAF: FUND THIS IMMEDIATELY

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Re: USAF Unveils B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

Postby Aesop » Sat Feb 27, 2016 8:36 pm

Mike OTDP wrote:Of course, I would not take any artist's conception as 100% accurate at this time. Wait until we see hardware.


Yeah, the change in reality from the "artist's conception F-19" to the reality of the F-117 always comes to mind.
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Re: USAF Unveils B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

Postby randy » Sat Feb 27, 2016 11:13 pm

Aesop wrote:
Mike OTDP wrote:Of course, I would not take any artist's conception as 100% accurate at this time. Wait until we see hardware.


Yeah, the change in reality from the "artist's conception F-19" to the reality of the F-117 always comes to mind.


Then there was the ability of various spokes-critters to claim with absolute honesty that there was no such thing as an F-19 Stealth Fighter being developed. And no such aircraft had ever been deployed to various hot spots in the world years before the -117 was officially brought into the "grey" world. :|
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Re: USAF Unveils B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

Postby slowpoke » Sun Feb 28, 2016 2:55 am

Greg wrote:
JustinR wrote:The real question is why the USAF is wasting the money for very little improvement over the B-2. As Langenator said, they should be collaborating with NASA on building a SABRE engine bomber, something that would be transformational rather than a waste of resources.


Because, fundamentally, they don't know what to do. They really have no real idea where to go from here, so, like Hollywood, they're going with a sequel.

Hey, heres an idea if they don't know what to do. Replace the fricken Minute Man 3 before it EOL's. Air force should court martial whoever thought of replacing the B2 when they have exactly jack shit to replace one third of our nuclear triad thats 4 years from end of life with no new production scheduled and no program to replace it. Then they could spin up a new warhead because 30 year old warheads dont instill confidence.
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Re: USAF Unveils B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

Postby randy » Sun Feb 28, 2016 3:04 am

I think part of the reason for the delay in ICBM replacement is that there is a group in the 5-sided funny farm that thinks of the Nuclear Triad as "cold war thinking" and thinks that we can get by with SLBMs and cruise missiles, so having to deactivate the Minutemen due to aging out of components is a feature, not a bug.

Of course, the real stupidity in this area was the retirement of the newer Peacekeepers due to slavish adherence to an un-ratified treaty with a country that no longer exists.
...even before I read MHI, my response to seeing a poster for the stars of the latest Twilight movies was "I see 2 targets and a collaborator".

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Re: USAF Unveils B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

Postby slowpoke » Sun Feb 28, 2016 4:00 am

randy wrote:I think part of the reason for the delay in ICBM replacement is that there is a group in the 5-sided funny farm that thinks of the Nuclear Triad as "cold war thinking" and thinks that we can get by with SLBMs and cruise missiles, so having to deactivate the Minutemen due to aging out of components is a feature, not a bug.

Of course, the real stupidity in this area was the retirement of the newer Peacekeepers due to slavish adherence to an un-ratified treaty with a country that no longer exists.

You mean the nuclear cruise missiles we dont have anymore since we finished decomissioning all their warheads a couple years ago?
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Re: USAF Unveils B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

Postby Cobar » Sun Feb 28, 2016 4:03 am

I guess they are getting rid of the minutemans by launching them at the marshal islands?

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Re: USAF Unveils B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

Postby Jericho941 » Sun Feb 28, 2016 6:19 am

slowpoke wrote:
randy wrote:I think part of the reason for the delay in ICBM replacement is that there is a group in the 5-sided funny farm that thinks of the Nuclear Triad as "cold war thinking" and thinks that we can get by with SLBMs and cruise missiles, so having to deactivate the Minutemen due to aging out of components is a feature, not a bug.

Of course, the real stupidity in this area was the retirement of the newer Peacekeepers due to slavish adherence to an un-ratified treaty with a country that no longer exists.

You mean the nuclear cruise missiles we dont have anymore since we finished decomissioning all their warheads a couple years ago?

Do you trust us more than we trusted Saddam Hussein?

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Re: USAF Unveils B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

Postby JustinR » Sun Feb 28, 2016 6:52 am

Four years? Wow...Obama just continues to fuck us in new ways...
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Re: USAF Unveils B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

Postby SoupOrMan » Tue Mar 01, 2016 6:27 pm

It won't carry enough bombs to be called the Lemay.
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Re: USAF Unveils B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

Postby Langenator » Tue Mar 01, 2016 6:59 pm

Just call it the Flying Moneypit...or did the F-35 already take that?
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