USAF Unveils B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

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mekender
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USAF Unveils B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

Post by mekender » Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:51 pm

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Langenator
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Re: USAF Unveils B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

Post by Langenator » Fri Feb 26, 2016 5:11 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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Greg
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Re: USAF Unveils B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

Post by Greg » Fri Feb 26, 2016 6:18 pm

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

Post by randy » Fri Feb 26, 2016 6:22 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

Post by Langenator » Fri Feb 26, 2016 7:44 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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Jericho941
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Re: USAF Unveils B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

Post by Jericho941 » Fri Feb 26, 2016 7:45 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

Post by Langenator » Fri Feb 26, 2016 7:51 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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Jericho941
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Re: USAF Unveils B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

Post by Jericho941 » Fri Feb 26, 2016 7:57 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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Rich
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Re: USAF Unveils B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

Post by Rich » Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:23 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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JustinR
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Re: USAF Unveils B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

Post by JustinR » Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:29 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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