B-21 (LRS-B) Thread

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
  • Author
  • Message
Offline
User avatar

sferrin

Elite 3K

Elite 3K

  • Posts: 5061
  • Joined: 22 Jul 2005, 03:23

Unread post29 Oct 2017, 01:58

Well, with modern electronics the B-52 could have had a Phalanx on it's tail:

75105 B-52H 61-0036 left rear M61 Vulcan gatling gun l.jpg
"There I was. . ."
Offline
User avatar

southernphantom

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1060
  • Joined: 06 Aug 2011, 17:18
  • Location: Kentucky

Unread post31 Oct 2017, 19:05

count_to_10 wrote:This is starting to sound like a “sky cruiser” (barrowing the WWII “Land cruiser” naming). Or, maybe “air frigate”?


Let's be honest with ourselves. It's a VLO Megafortress.
I'm a mining engineer. How the hell did I wind up here?
Offline
User avatar

count_to_10

Elite 3K

Elite 3K

  • Posts: 3274
  • Joined: 10 Mar 2012, 15:38

Unread post31 Oct 2017, 20:49

southernphantom wrote:
count_to_10 wrote:This is starting to sound like a “sky cruiser” (barrowing the WWII “Land cruiser” naming). Or, maybe “air frigate”?


Let's be honest with ourselves. It's a VLO Megafortress.

Dale Brown...you know, as a teen, I found his books entertaining, but now I find them kind of ridiculously unbelievable. If I remember correctly, there was one about a Russian supersonic heavy stealth bomber with anti-fighter weaponry.
Oh, here it is:
https://www.amazon.com/Night-Hawk-Dale- ... 0425136612
Einstein got it backward: one cannot prevent a war without preparing for it.

Uncertainty: Learn it, love it, live it.
Offline
User avatar

neptune

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2885
  • Joined: 24 Oct 2008, 00:03
  • Location: Houston

Unread post01 Nov 2017, 14:35

https://breakingdefense.com/2017/10/boo ... nal-needs/

Boost The US Bomber Force: Dollars vs. Operational Needs

By Mark Gunzinger
on October 03, 2017

The United States Air Force should consider shifting its balance of its strike forces from fighters to long-range bombers.
At the end of the Cold War, the Air Force’s combat aircraft inventory included 411 bombers. Today, it has a total of 158 B-1, B-52, and B-2 bombers, of which only 96 are designated as Primary Mission Aircraft Inventory assigned to operational squadrons to support wartime missions. ...Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Chief of Staff David Goldfein warned last month that: “the Air Force as currently constituted is too small to do what the nation expects of it.” .. The Air Force’s “combat air force,” as it is called, now primarily consists of short-range aircraft and has a limited capability to penetrate advanced enemy defenses... Continuing to rely almost exclusively on fighters operating from airbases that can now be attacked by large salvos of missiles launched by China, Russia, Iran, and others could greatly reduce the capacity and tempo — and effectiveness — of future U.S. air campaigns. Although shifting to airbases located out of the range of most of an enemy’s missiles could lessen that threat, operating from more distant bases also would decrease the number of sorties that deployed air forces could launch per day. This suggests it would make sense to rely more on using bombers for the bulk of airstrikes in the future, rather than fighter aircraft that have about one-fifth the unrefueled range and one-tenth the payload of a typical bomber. Staging U.S. airstrikes from more distant areas could also decrease the density and increase the cost of an enemy’s airbase attacks, since it would force him to resort to using larger and more expensive long-range weapons to reach U.S. forces. Changing how U.S. air forces operate to offset enemy salvos and other A2/AD threats would also result in changes to the number and mix of combat aircraft needed for strike operations.

This might be one reason why the Air Force believes that its current bomber force is now “insufficient to meet [DoD’s] Defense Planning Guidance and nuclear guidance while sustaining current operational demand.” Procuring at least 100 new B-21 stealth bombers as currently planned will increase DoD’s capacity for long-range strikes into contested areas... Furthermore, it is likely the requirement for B-21 bombers may be much higher than 100 aircraft. This is worth further study, considering that the analyses that led to this acquisition objective would have occurred six or seven years ago and may have been based on conflict scenarios that did not consider a resurging Russia, maturing A2/AD threats, and the proliferation of guided weapons that threaten U.S. airbases.

In summary, it is highly likely that a decision to retire B-1s and B-2s — if it comes to pass — would occur simply because the Air Force doesn’t have enough money to meet its modernization needs. That would be further evidence that dollars, not the National Defense Strategy and capabilities needed to operate in the more dangerous environs of the 21st century, continue to drive the Pentagon’s investment decisions. It should be the other way around.
:)
Offline
User avatar

neptune

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2885
  • Joined: 24 Oct 2008, 00:03
  • Location: Houston

Unread post03 Nov 2017, 04:20

....with the recent announcements of the proposed advances in LREW???, the addition of this system to the B-21 would seem intuitive.

....at what range in 100's of miles do you reduce your dependence on B-21 stealth and begin to consider some alternative defenses that have IR? trails??

....at what range would a LREW from a B-21 become IR trackable?

:shock:
Online
User avatar

popcorn

Elite 3K

Elite 3K

  • Posts: 7644
  • Joined: 24 Sep 2008, 08:55

Unread post15 Nov 2017, 05:15

Another role for the Raider --- a LO BACN platform.


http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/15 ... ar-capable

"It also means the B-21 will be able to loiter above the tactical aircraft air combat environment below. As such it could act as a communications and data link connectivity node, sucking up information from the F-35's, F-22's, and one unmanned combat air vehicle's proprietary and stealthy data links. It can then connect these aircraft below by rebroadcasting updates of a "fused" common battlefield picture on each of their individual waveforms.

They could also convey the battlefield information from stealthy assets below up to satellites above where it can be pushed around the theater and beyond for real time exploitation. In essence, this will allow the B-21 to act in a similar role as a Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) for stealthy assets whose sensor information will be among the most critical as these assets will be deployed the farthest forward over the battlefield.

This concept, which has been cryptically touted in multiple organizational concept charts in recent years, solves a number of problems and fits in with two high priority USAF initiatives. Those include focusing on networks and information sharing, as well as morphing from a platform-centric fires and intelligence gathering strategy to a "distributed" one."
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
Offline

mixelflick

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2983
  • Joined: 20 Mar 2010, 10:26
  • Location: Parts Unknown

Unread post15 Nov 2017, 16:03

It is looking more and more like the "arsenal" plane we've all come to know and discuss.

Long range strike with secondary air to air capability. By the time all's said and done, I wouldn't be surprised if the Air Force specifies it be 50/50...
Offline
User avatar

neptune

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2885
  • Joined: 24 Oct 2008, 00:03
  • Location: Houston

Unread post15 Nov 2017, 17:58

"Arsenal plane" and "extended presence" (orbiting?) are common attributes "we" keep attaching to the B-21. If that is the case, and it is flying with a 4-flight of F-35s then what is imagined as the AO for this arrangement, several hundred air miles? The F-22/35 have limited magazines of 4-6 -120 missiles each plus the a/c provides a "push" of Mach 1+? to launch the AIM-s. If the B-21 is to augment these associates and is a couple of hundred miles distant, might one consider adding a "little helper" as a disposable flying magazine of 4-10 of -120 missiles arriving in the required area at Mach 2.0? That "arsenal plane" moniker keeps pushing up an opportunity to add something new to the fight, like the "magazine, Mach 2.0". Given that the missiles are linked bi-directional and the magazine would be under flight control from the F-22/35 these "slave wingmen" could add an additional punch from the limited fighter capacities. Aside from the Aim-120, those flying magazines could carry/ launch HARMs, Standoffs, SDBs, etc.; thus mitigating the external loading of the stealth a/c. The autonomous magazine could delay after launch from weapons bay, the engine ignition and allow the B-21 to move away from the IR signature of the magazine that may not need the stealthiness of the bomber; thereby mitigating IR detection.
...just a thought.
:wink:
Offline
User avatar

neptune

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2885
  • Joined: 24 Oct 2008, 00:03
  • Location: Houston

Unread post15 Nov 2017, 18:02

neptune wrote:....with the recent announcements of the proposed advances in LREW???, the addition of this system to the B-21 would seem intuitive.

....at what range in 100's of miles do you reduce your dependence on B-21 stealth and begin to consider some alternative defenses that have IR? trails??

....at what range would a LREW from a B-21 become IR trackable?

:shock:


....sorry!, I forgot to add the applicable link, as follows;
http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/15 ... ir-missile
:oops:
Offline

madrat

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2108
  • Joined: 03 Mar 2010, 03:12

Unread post16 Nov 2017, 02:37

Sounds like you re-iterated the mule concept. A stealthy aerial tanker could escort in a package of unmanned strikers, and with some creativity you could include a disposable mule to tank the last leg. Maybe that same tanker make multiple rendezvous points with multiple packages striking completely dispersed targets for maximum effect. Maybe you even have redundant tanking where the packages egress at multiple opportunity points, with an option to evade interception by tanking at alternatives away from enemy responding units. Stealth allows you to operate in tight to the enemy yet avoid interception.
Online
User avatar

popcorn

Elite 3K

Elite 3K

  • Posts: 7644
  • Joined: 24 Sep 2008, 08:55

Unread post16 Nov 2017, 03:11

"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
Offline
User avatar

neptune

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2885
  • Joined: 24 Oct 2008, 00:03
  • Location: Houston

Unread post22 Nov 2017, 17:16

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... rd%20Brief


Pentagon’s Inspector General Praises Secret $97 Billion Bomber

By Anthony Capaccio
‎November‎ ‎20‎, ‎2017‎ ‎3‎:‎57‎ ‎PM‎ ‎CST

The Air Force’s classified next-generation bomber program began with a solid plan for meeting cost goals and warfighting requirements, which include an option to fly unmanned missions, according to a newly declassified audit from the Pentagon’s inspector general. The challenge will be sticking to that plan. The early praise for what the Congressional Budget Office in a new estimate says is a $97 billion B-21 program came about a month before the Air Force selected Northrop Grumman Corp. over a rival team consisting of Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp. for the bomber contract in late 2015. While big-ticket weapons systems like the B-21 frequently end up with significant cost increases and production delays, in the initial stages the Air Force was cited for its “comprehensive acquisition strategy and risk-management process to support a cost-effective program,” according to the audit. The program had “clearly defined requirements to ensure” warfighter “needs are being met,” it added. That initial assessment is no guarantee the B-21 won’t encounter serious cost, schedule and performance problems as system development continues, with the service seeking to declare an initial operating capability by the “mid to late 2020s,” Global Strike Command spokesman Joe Thomas said in an email. The aircraft’s first flight “along with specific details of the technical capability of this platform, is protected by enhanced security measures,” he added. The CBO’s $97 billion estimate includes $69 billion in production costs, though the office says the program’s secrecy made it difficult “to generate an independent estimate of its costs.” The previously classified audit by the inspector general was released this month under a Freedom of Information Act request after the service made major redactions, adding additional secrecy to a program critics such as Republican Senator John McCain, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, have complained was already excessively classified.

The inspector general’s report also disclosed details about the B-21’s expected capabilities.

- In addition to being able to carry and deliver a modified B-61 nuclear bomb two years after reaching its initial operating capability stage,
- the bomber will also be capable of unmanned operations.

Because the audit is redacted, it could not be determined whether the service allowed only favorable conclusions to be released while keeping any criticism cloaked in secrecy. The Air Force, for example, released the conclusion that the service had a detailed contracting strategy but blacked out a paragraph that preceded the sentence “under this approach the Federal Government assumes some of the research and development risk.” The praise also means the inspector general’s assessment will come under scrutiny if the program veers off track, in costs or performance, as it proceeds. Still, the conclusions released mark the second time an outside group has praised the service’s acquisition approach. The U.S. Government Accountability Office, in a February 2016 decision that rejected a protest filed by Boeing-Lockheed Martin against the Northrop award, praised the selection process. Northrop Grumman’s “significantly lower proposed prices” for initial production “created a near-insurmountable obstacle” to Boeing “achieving best-value” or to “demonstrating prejudice” in the Air Force’s calculation of realistic costs, the GAO said. The Pentagon’s inspector general also said the program office “incorporated adequate processes to develop accurate cost positions and funding requirements" and the review system set up with Pentagon cost analysts “ensures appropriate oversight, accurate development and effective approach for funds management,” said the audit. The service also developed a “detailed contracting strategy” and “adequately developed and incorporated a process to develop an accurate cost position and program schedule,” said the audit. Despite McCain’s criticism of excessive secrecy, Congress has supported the program, approving $2 billion in the fiscal 2018 policy bill the Air Force requested toward added staffing for Northrop Grumman, software development and producing detailed engineering drawings.
:)
Offline
User avatar

neptune

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2885
  • Joined: 24 Oct 2008, 00:03
  • Location: Houston

Unread post29 Nov 2017, 17:37

http://aviationweek.com/defense/b-21-ra ... w-rco-Home > Defense > B-21 Raider Headed Toward Critical Design Review, RCO Says

B-21 Raider Headed Toward Critical Design Review, RCO Says

Nov 28, 2017
James Drew

Since being stood up in April 2003, the U.S. Air Force’s shadowy Rapid Capabilities Office (RCO) has expanded significantly, now overseeing 30 weapons programs valued at more than $30 billion over the next five years. The jewel in the organization’s crown, however, is the Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider, which now accounts for “about half” of the RCO’s total workload. One of the Air Force’s top three acquisition programs, work on the nuclear-capable, optionally-piloted stealth bomber began in February 2016, and the program is now marching toward a critical design review within the next year or so. Speaking at an Association of Old Crows conference in Washington on Nov. 28, RCO Director Randall Walden says his organization’s aim is to deliver the heavy bomber on cost, which requires minimizing schedule delays. The RCO is uniquely suited to this task, he says, because of its direct access to decision makers. The organization’s board of directors includes the Pentagon’s top acquisition official, Ellen Lord, as well as Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein. “It’s not easy to go and build a next-generation stealth bomber, but all of the indicators suggest we’re successfully executing the program,” Walden says. “We’re focused on getting to the critical design review, and getting those drawings in place and starting to build this bomber.” Of the RCO’s 220 personnel—a mix of military, civilian and contractor positions—half are focused on the bomber. Senior program officials are headquartered at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, close to the Pentagon, White House and Capitol Hill. About 80% of the other staff are at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, home of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center. Another contingent is at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, according to Walden’s slide presentation. The B-21 team successfully completed an integrated baseline review of the flying-wing bomber in November 2016 and passed through the preliminary design review stage earlier this year. The requirements and basic design of the aircraft should now be firm. Walden confirms that the production target remains 100 bombers, and the first operational unit should be ready for service by the mid-2020s.

The B-21 is the Air Force’s largest development program, requiring $13.5 billion in funding through fiscal 2022, according to the service’s budget request. It is the RCO’s greatest undertaking in its 14-year history, which includes the development of the Boeing X-47B Orbital Test Vehicle and establishment of an integrated air defense system around Washington. Most of the organization’s programs are veiled in secrecy, and the B-21 is no exception. The service has released scarcely any details, except top-line budget numbers, an artist’s rendering and a list of key suppliers. Not only does the B-21 program employ roughly half of the RCO’s staff, it’s the largest single slice of the group’s $30 billion program portfolio. The remaining 29 programs, most of which are hidden from public view, must be collectively worth about $16.5 billion across the Air Force’s budget plan, spanning fiscal 2018-22. Walden says the RCO doesn’t seek further expansion, contending that it is busy enough already. The board of directors ultimately decides which projects RCO takes on. “[But] I don’t want to do everything,” he says. Walden says “rapid” acquisition is best achieved by compressing the front-end work of defining the requirements; picking a winning industry team; and getting them on contract. The RCO’s B-21 program couldn’t avoid a bid protest by the loser, Boeing, but the Government Accountability Office ultimately ruled in its favor and Boeing’s leadership stepped back from a potential legal challenge. Even though it strives to go fast, the RCO must still abide by laws of “acquisition physics.” “Building a new weapon system takes X-amount of years [no matter what],” Walden explains. “It takes about three to five years to build an airplane—to do it right. The prototype takes maybe a couple of years.” The Raider is being designed by Northrop engineers in Melbourne, Florida, and will likely be assembled in Palmdale, California, with parts shipped in from across the U.S. The aircraft will initially augment, and then replace, Air Force Global Strike Command’s legacy Boeing B-1, B-52 and Northrop B-2 fleets, depending on the final quantity. Global Strike hopes to eventually expand its bomber fleet to about 175 or more aircraft.
:)

....66/ B-1B, 20/ B-2, 76/ B-52 for 162 total operational
Last edited by neptune on 29 Nov 2017, 23:52, edited 1 time in total.
Offline

mixelflick

Elite 2K

Elite 2K

  • Posts: 2983
  • Joined: 20 Mar 2010, 10:26
  • Location: Parts Unknown

Unread post29 Nov 2017, 18:11

I'm excited for the B-21, but the # built concerns me. If we're asking for 100, we'll be lucky to get 50. You know how it goes... The requirement is based on projected threats and some yahoo in congress is going to cite the fact Russia isn't going to be fielding the PAK DA anytime soon so.... we don't need as many.

Sure, you can re-frame the threat as China. But that may be a tough sell to Congress, given the lack of Chinese aggressive behavior. All I'm saying is that some pinko commie congressman/woman always seems to throw cold water on these things, and a 20 TRILLION deficit isn't going to help matters.
Offline
User avatar

sferrin

Elite 3K

Elite 3K

  • Posts: 5061
  • Joined: 22 Jul 2005, 03:23

Unread post29 Nov 2017, 20:05

mixelflick wrote:But that may be a tough sell to Congress, given the lack of Chinese aggressive behavior.

**COUGH, COUGH** <splutter>. Say WHAT??
"There I was. . ."
PreviousNext

Return to Modern Military Aircraft

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Exabot [Bot] and 16 guests