2 B-2 bombers kill 80 ISIS militants (talk about overkill)

Unread postPosted: 19 Jan 2017, 21:40
by edpop
http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/19/politics/ ... index.html

What is that................about 2 million dollars per militant? Reminds me of Vietnam when we would call in airstrikes for ground support. 4 Phantoms would show up with clusters and nape and that would take care of individuals who were harassing us.

Re: 2 B-2 bombers kill 80 ISIS militants (talk about overkil

Unread postPosted: 19 Jan 2017, 23:50
by popcorn
Aren't etended flights a part of the training curriculum to maintain proficiency? Might as well put them to actual use and drop ordnance for realism.

Re: 2 B-2 bombers kill 80 ISIS militants (talk about overkil

Unread postPosted: 20 Jan 2017, 02:22
by wolfpak
It was reported they used 50 GBU-38's. Never thought I'd see that capability used as I imaged the B-2 would be reserved for strategic targets that need serviced by 2000 lb. weapons. Good operational test none-the-less.

Re: 2 B-2 bombers kill 80 ISIS militants (talk about overkil

Unread postPosted: 20 Jan 2017, 04:36
by popcorn
How many SDBs can you dump out of a B-2? That would be impressive to see.

Re: 2 B-2 bombers kill 80 ISIS militants (talk about overkil

Unread postPosted: 20 Jan 2017, 05:19
by delta9991
popcorn wrote:How many SDBs can you dump out of a B-2? That would be impressive to see.


From what I've seen online, the B-2 has quite a few attachment points (something like 60+ from what I recall) for BRU-61 racks so the connection points aren't the issue. If you go by the typically cited payload capacity (40k lbs) then you come up 26 racks for 106 SDB or SDB II's. Impressive loadout, but thats obviously just speculation.

Re: 2 B-2 bombers kill 80 ISIS militants (talk about overkil

Unread postPosted: 20 Jan 2017, 05:20
by smsgtmac
popcorn wrote:How many SDBs can you dump out of a B-2? That would be impressive to see.

80.
see: http://news.northropgrumman.com/news/re ... rt-weapons.

It's a rather mature capability.

Ooops. Misread the question. The answer to the question you actually asked is more nebulous. They had many options for carrying SDBs (SDB Is, the SDB IIs weren't around) but they ended up putting them on four-pack racks on the RLAs instead of using the SBRAs, IIRC, the preferred approach was going to allow about ~200 (216?) SDBIs per plane, but theoretically they could pack them more densely to carry over 300. The low end number is more for practical considerations than constraint by capability.

Re: 2 B-2 bombers kill 80 ISIS militants (talk about overkil

Unread postPosted: 20 Jan 2017, 05:45
by smsgtmac
Thanks for posting this!
It's interesting that CNN focuses on the body count. How SEA circa 1965.
Why use B-2s? ....So ISIS never saw us coming.
Why 2 B-2s to drop 38 weapons when 1 can carry 80 500lb JDAMs?.... To bomb both locations at the same time, like probably down to the last second unless they wanted to cause a response in one first by bombing the other. And more than 38-40 would have probably been overkill.
Was this cost effective? Aside from killing the terrorists who would have carried out attacks in Europe and probably elswhere now and later (CNN and their 'militants'....F' both.) it probably flattened their training facilities, weapons building capability and stockpiles, & the trainers of future terrorists, it will also make the survivors look up in the sky at night and loose their beauty sleep. The immediate and later costs of letting any attacks happen probably far outweighed the cost of flying 2 B-2s.

Expect some slacker in the media to use the 'kitchen sink' definition of $/fh to rail against the strike as wasteful in 5...4...3...

I had a very small role in fielding the Smart Bomb Rack Assembly (Smart BRA :D ). I suppose since they dropped only 38 they could have used the Rotary Launchers (RLAs) but that's OK too, since I also played a small role developing and testing the smart weapons interface that allowed GATS/GAM then JDAMs etc to be dropped as well.

I feel pretty good about all that right now. :beer:

Re: 2 B-2 bombers kill 80 ISIS militants (talk about overkil

Unread postPosted: 20 Jan 2017, 05:52
by popcorn
You called it... :doh:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/colossal- ... 23999.html

The colossal price to fly a pair of B-2 bombers to hit two ISIS camps in Libya


...The price tag of Wednesday's mission was colossal.

The pair of B-2s flew for 34 hours at an operating cost of approximately $130,000 per flight hour. That comes out to roughly $4.4 million a piece or $8.8 million for the duo. Additionally, there were roughly 15 aerial refueling aircraft involved in the mission, not to mention the cost of 100 JDAMs.

Re: 2 B-2 bombers kill 80 ISIS militants (talk about overkil

Unread postPosted: 20 Jan 2017, 07:14
by smsgtmac
popcorn wrote:You called it... :doh:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/colossal- ... 23999.html

The colossal price to fly a pair of B-2 bombers to hit two ISIS camps in Libya


...The price tag of Wednesday's mission was colossal.

The pair of B-2s flew for 34 hours at an operating cost of approximately $130,000 per flight hour. That comes out to roughly $4.4 million a piece or $8.8 million for the duo. Additionally, there were roughly 15 aerial refueling aircraft involved in the mission, not to mention the cost of 100 JDAMs.


Thanks for this too! I decided to repackage my comment over at my place, so was able to use an excerpt there to highlight the accounting hijinks:
slacker-accounting-tweet.jpg


Now stop encouraging my bad behavior. I have to get some sleep. :D

Re: 2 B-2 bombers kill 80 ISIS militants (talk about overkil

Unread postPosted: 20 Jan 2017, 14:29
by hornetfinn
I wonder what the possible alternatives to achieve this would be:

A. Send in a battallion of marines from crapload of ships, helicopters and thousands of people (overall). Doesn't sound like very cheap or safe
B. Send in a CVN Strike Group with crapload of ships. Doesn't sound very cheap either and also less safe
C. Use F-15Es or similar small ground based fighters from Italy. Would need a lot of airfrarmes and a lot more aerial refueling. Doesn't sound that cheap or safe either, especially since the aircraft and personnel would first have to be sent there.
D. Use cruise missiles from ships or bombers. That doesn't sound exactly like cheap either.

Re: 2 B-2 bombers kill 80 ISIS militants (talk about overkil

Unread postPosted: 20 Jan 2017, 20:43
by popcorn
I think the question is why not use Lancers or BUFFs? That's where the "undetectable" advantage factors in I guess. There are countries who are less than friendly who have the ability to detect those old platforms who could spoil the surprise.

Re: 2 B-2 bombers kill 80 ISIS militants (talk about overkil

Unread postPosted: 20 Jan 2017, 22:19
by popcorn
Talk about overkill. The Reapers got into the action as well with Hellfires to finish off what the B-2s started. Now I really want to see the strike video. 8)


http://www.military.com/daily-news/2017 ... tagon.html

The B-2s together dropped about a hundred 500-pound precision-guided bombs, or Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs). The B-2 strikes were followed up by an MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle firing Hellfire missiles, said Col. Pat Ryder, an Air Force spokesman.

Re: 2 B-2 bombers kill 80 ISIS militants (talk about overkil

Unread postPosted: 20 Jan 2017, 22:39
by popcorn
And the hits just keep on coming. This time it's Al Quaeda on the receiving end from a B-52 with Reapers doing mop up.


http://www.military.com/daily-news/2017 ... syria.html

US Airstrike Said to Kill 100-Plus Al-Qaida in Syria

WASHINGTON — U.S. warplanes bombed an al-Qaida training camp in Syria, killing more than 100 militants, marking the second major U.S. counterterrorism strike in the final hours of Barack Obama's presidency, a defense official said Friday.

The Syria strike was carried out by one B-52 bomber and an undisclosed number of U.S. aerial drones, the official said. The official, who was not authorized to publicly announce the operation and so spoke on condition of anonymity, said it happened at about noon Washington time on Thursday, less than 24 hours after a combination of B-2 stealth bombers and drones struck two military camps in a remote part of Libya, killing 80 to 90 Islamic State militants.

Re: 2 B-2 bombers kill 80 ISIS militants (talk about overkil

Unread postPosted: 21 Jan 2017, 12:44
by lamashtu
I would also add that in order to carry out that operation with F-16s from, say, Aviano AB in Italy you would need at minimum ten Vipers (if we presumed that they carried external fuel tanks, and thus only four GBU-38s could be carried), so the cost disparity would not be so yawning as some would suggest. I also have no doubt there were other tactical considerations as well; some reports suggest this wasn't a straight bombing sortie and the B-2s had to loiter for some time before striking the targets, which an F-16 can't really do for a target as distant as that. Plus, if the operation was spread out over 10 different aircraft it is absolutely not guaranteed those JDAMs would be going off roughly simultaneously (within five minutes at most).

Re: 2 B-2 bombers kill 80 ISIS militants (talk about overkil

Unread postPosted: 21 Jan 2017, 12:58
by hythelday
A little bit of conspiracy spiced with some stronkism on my part...

Kuznetsov battle group would have been in the general area at the same time. Might have been a good opportunity to check out what would B-2 see from up high in operationally significant environment :D

Re: 2 B-2 bombers kill 80 ISIS militants (talk about overkil

Unread postPosted: 21 Jan 2017, 15:15
by quicksilver
Most of the reporting on defense matters is unreadable...just the absolute worst. Then, I am reminded every day of the Gell-Mann Amnesia Effect and the collective kool-aid we're all drinking from some (similarly moronic) reporters on some subject, somewhere.

A hundred or so DMPIs, at a remote and essentially inaccessible location, (probably) covered inside a minute or two, with no one or no structure left standing. I'm good with that.

Re: 2 B-2 bombers kill 80 ISIS militants (talk about overkil

Unread postPosted: 21 Jan 2017, 17:05
by les_paul59
why is the discussion always cost when the USAF pulls out the high-tech kit to kill militants. First off the high-tech kit gets the job done better and why not use what you paid for.

Re: 2 B-2 bombers kill 80 ISIS militants (talk about overkil

Unread postPosted: 21 Jan 2017, 17:29
by sferrin
les_paul59 wrote:why is the discussion always cost when the USAF pulls out the high-tech kit to kill militants. First off the high-tech kit gets the job done better and why not use what you paid for.



Because most of the media is made up of liberals with an agenda. Do you have any idea how many safe spaces and coloring books could be procured for the cost of that mission?

Re: 2 B-2 bombers kill 80 ISIS militants (talk about overkil

Unread postPosted: 21 Jan 2017, 21:23
by count_to_10
popcorn wrote:You called it... :doh:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/colossal- ... 23999.html

The colossal price to fly a pair of B-2 bombers to hit two ISIS camps in Libya


...The price tag of Wednesday's mission was colossal.

The pair of B-2s flew for 34 hours at an operating cost of approximately $130,000 per flight hour. That comes out to roughly $4.4 million a piece or $8.8 million for the duo. Additionally, there were roughly 15 aerial refueling aircraft involved in the mission, not to mention the cost of 100 JDAMs.

So, isn't that "$130,000" just the total cost of ownership divided by number of hours flown in the course of a year?
It's not like the marginal cost of flying an extra hour is $130,000, and, as others have mentioned, training considerations mean that the hours of the mission might not have been "extra".

Re: 2 B-2 bombers kill 80 ISIS militants (talk about overkil

Unread postPosted: 22 Jan 2017, 01:39
by arian
Certain countries (cough Italy cough!) have a history of warning terrorists of impending US strikes once they detect our planes in the air. Even within Libya itself, if there remain any operational radars, some of those could be in the hands of factions which may have warned the terrorists.

But also the US is not beyond using assets which may be over-kill for PR purposes. We did in Afghanistan to get footage for TV broadcasts on a couple of occasions. Kind of pointless when you think about what kind of a f**ked up media we have and how they will turn everything into a negative story anyway.

Re: 2 B-2 bombers kill 80 ISIS militants (talk about overkil

Unread postPosted: 22 Jan 2017, 02:59
by madrat
ISIS sympathizers are embedded in the media. The gulf countries didn't spend big bucks on media companies for nothing.

Re: 2 B-2 bombers kill 80 ISIS militants (talk about overkil

Unread postPosted: 22 Jan 2017, 16:38
by XanderCrews
The cost of not killing them is far more expensive. I hate people that treat these costs like it's a scoreboard. That's not the way the game works.

Im reminded of the "cost/casualties" approach to hunting UBL in the 1990s. What did that "economical" method end up costing us?

Re: 2 B-2 bombers kill 80 ISIS militants (talk about overkil

Unread postPosted: 22 Jan 2017, 16:42
by XanderCrews
sferrin wrote:
les_paul59 wrote:why is the discussion always cost when the USAF pulls out the high-tech kit to kill militants. First off the high-tech kit gets the job done better and why not use what you paid for.



Because most of the media is made up of liberals with an agenda. Do you have any idea how many safe spaces and coloring books could be procured for the cost of that mission?


Now that their guy is out of office they have to really care about the cost of these foreign wars were involved in seemingly out of nowhere

Re: 2 B-2 bombers kill 80 ISIS militants (talk about overkil

Unread postPosted: 22 Jan 2017, 20:35
by KamenRiderBlade
XanderCrews wrote:The cost of not killing them is far more expensive. I hate people that treat these costs like it's a scoreboard. That's not the way the game works.

Im reminded of the "cost/casualties" approach to hunting UBL in the 1990s. What did that "economical" method end up costing us?

Waaaay too much.

9/11 which lead to countless other pandora's boxes.

If Clinton would've taken the shot and take out Osama back then, alot of issues wouldn't have happened.

Re: 2 B-2 bombers kill 80 ISIS militants (talk about overkil

Unread postPosted: 01 Feb 2017, 00:43
by popcorn
Dave Deptula provides more context for the recent B-2 strike comparing it with Operation El Dorado Canyon in 1986.

http://breakingdefense.com/2017/01/long ... e-cheaper/

Long-Range Strike: ‘More Potent,’ More Survivable & Cheaper

Comparisons between the two attacks illustrate the value of the unique combination of range, precision, large payload and stealth into one aircraft:

The 1986 raid required 77 aircraft and two aircraft carrier battle groups. The 2017 attack required 17 manned aircraft (2 bombers, 15 tankers) plus a small number of MQ-9 drones. To deliver 108 weapons with fighters today operating from carriers or regional bases would require about two-dozen fighters and about the same number of tankers. This illustrates the value of long range and large payload—massed precision punch from a small number of aircraft.

The B-2 attack only put four people at risk compared to the over five-dozen aircrew that flew in harm’s way in 1986.

In 1986, just 16 percent of the weapons were precision-guided, compared to 100 percent in the 2017 raid. Precision weapons are 15-30 times more effective than unguided weapons. So, while the 1986 attack delivered more weapons, the 108 precision weapons delivered by the B-2 provided greater overall effectiveness.

The 1986 raid had to deal with air defenses — the B-2s in 2017 did not. However, when air defenses were a threat in the attacks against Libya in 2011, stealthy B-2s penetrated without the extensive defense suppression the Air Force and Navy fighters required in 1986. Stealth reduces the need for defense suppression and increases overall aircraft survivability.

The Defense Department has stated that B-2s were selected because no overflight permissions were required (and thus no warning of the attack would leak). In 1986, the US planned to overfly France, Spain, and Italy, but was denied permission. This required the UK-based force to fly a much longer route (and required significantly more tanker support). It also opened up the potential that Libya would be alerted to the raid. The B-2’s combination of range and payload provided significant operational flexibility and allowed for the important component of surprise.

The 2017 raid was far less expensive to accomplish a similar objective. Some analysts use cost per flying hour to calculate costs, but this is a very poor metric. The vast majority of support costs (personnel, spares, etc.) are fixed each year, so the cost per hour will typically decrease as flying hours increase. A better metric is what does it cost to maintain a capability each day? Each B-2 costs $110,000 per day ($FY16) in support costs while tankers cost about $27,000 per day ($FY16). That is roughly $600,000 for operating all the aircraft plus the 108 weapons costing some $2 million. Compare that to the daily cost of the two carrier groups and their aircraft in 1986—$13 million per day in current year dollars—not to mention the daily cost of the F-111s and tankers. In addition, the laser-guided weapons employed by the F-111s were much more expensive than the B-2’s satellite-guided weapons.