Rockwell B-1B Lancer 2018

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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neptune

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Unread post15 Jan 2018, 06:13

https://www.military.com/defensetech/20 ... bombs.html


What's on a B-1B Lancer Aircrew's Wish List? Room for More Bombs

By Oriana Pawlyk
21 Dec 2017

DYESS AIR FORCE BASE, Texas
-- The B-1B Lancer already can carry more weapons than its Air Force bomber counterparts. But thinking about future airmen who will have to deploy and put bombs on target, leaders are hoping the B-1B Lancer get a scheduled upgrade to its bomb racks. The main reason? So it can carry more than it already does. "We have the largest payload, we have the speed to get to where we need to get to, we have the loiter time to hang out once we're there," said Lt. Col. Dominic "Beaver" Ross, director of operations for the 337th Test and Evaluations Squadron here at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. The 337th, umbrellaed under both the 53rd Test and Evaluations Group, Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, and the 53rd Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, conducts test and evaluations for all B-1 offensive and defense systems.

Military.com sat down with Ross during a trip to the base, and took a ride Tuesday in the B-1B over training ranges in New Mexico. The aircraft's method of dropping bombs needs work, he said. "We are getting what's called a BRU-56, an ejector rack [modification] and there's safety reasons for why we're getting it, but it gives us capability," Ross said. But "there was a failure rate on those ejector racks," he said without elaboration. The long-range aircraft has three types of racks that it carries in each of its three bomb bays. "Where that ejector rack mounts on that eight-carry launcher, it just bolts on there," Ross said. "Our conventional rotary launcher … is what we carry our [GBU-31] 2,000-pound weapons with. It has eight stations on it." Aside from that, there's also a spacing issue. "The B-1 carries the most 2,000-pound [Joint Direct Attack Munitions], but we [have to] carry [fewer] 500-pound [Joint Direct Attack Munitions]," Ross explained.

When the aircraft was a nuclear platform, the BRU-56 was originally designed to carry nuclear weapons with 30-inch lug spacing, according to the program's solicitation posted on FedBizOps. But the mod calls for more variety in the ejector spacing. " A modification and upgrade to the BRU-56 ejector rack on the Multi-Purpose Rotary Launcher (MPRL), to include 14-inch lug spacing capability, would contribute to increased safety, quicker sortie generation rates, lower maintenance time, increased reliability, and lower maintenance personnel requirements," the solicitation says. The variation in ejector spacing is needed because GBU-38 500-pound weapons have tail kits "that are a little bit too long" for some of the carry-racks, Ross said. Depending on whether the bombs are in the forward, intermediate or rear/AFT weapons bay; there must be meticulous rearrangement so they can properly fit, he said. "They won't fit on the upper station on the 10-carry rack," Ross said. "So it's funny because … we only carry 15 total (5 in three bays of) 500-pound JDAMs, but we can carry 24 total (8 in three bays) of 2,000-pound JDAMs." The BRU-56 modification will expand the rack to carry eight 500-pound JDAMs in each bay, "so it will [be able to] carry the same number [as] the 2,000-pounders," he said. The upgrade may take awhile. The Air Force has only just started the bidding process, according to the FedBizOps post, which stipulates roughly three years time to design, develop and manufacture the upgrade.

Currently, the B-1 can carry 75,000 pounds -- 5,000 pounds more than the B-52 Stratofortress -- of both precision-guided and conventional bombs. Those include;

- Mk-82 or Mk-84 general-purpose bombs
- Mk-62 or Mk-65 Quick Strike naval mines bombs
- CBU-87, -89, -97 cluster munitions
- CBU-103, -104, -105 Wind-Corrected Munitions Dispensers
- GBU-31 or GBU-38 JDAMs
- GBU-54 Laser JDAMs
- AGM-158A Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles
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Unread post15 Jan 2018, 06:25

https://www.military.com/defensetech/20 ... -test.html


B-1B's Long Range Anti-Ship Missile Strikes Multiple Targets in New Test

By Oriana Pawlyk
15 Dec 2017

The U.S. military is prepping for anti-surface warfare to make a comeback, and it's moved one step closer with another successful test of the latest air-launched Long Range Anti-Ship Missile. Lockheed Martin Corp., the missile's manufacturer, recently launched the AGM-158C LRASM from a B-1B Lancer, at Point Mugu Sea Range, California, the company said. The aircrew "simultaneously launched two LRASMs against multiple maritime targets, meeting the primary test objectives, including target impact," Lockheed said in a release. Once launched from the aircraft, the missile -- based on the, Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range, or JASSM-ER (F-35A/C Block 5 upgrades)-- will be able to autonomously sensor-locate and track targets while avoiding friendly forces. The estimated $1.5 billion Navy program is also being tested on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. "This continued success with LRASM provides confidence in its upcoming early operational capability milestone, putting a proven, unmatched munition into the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force inventories," said David Helsel, LRASM program director at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control. "The successful flight demonstrates LRASM's continued ability to strengthen sea control for our forces," he said in the release. The precision-guided, anti-ship standoff missile was first tested on a B-1B in August 2017. "The B-1 is the only Air Force platform scheduled to receive this, and we are the threshold platform for [it]," Maj. Jeremy Stover, B-1 program element monitor and instructor weapons systems officer, told Military.com in July. The weapon will enhance not just the B-1, but the U.S. military's targeting capabilities while protecting at-risk assets in a high-threat environment, Stover said. The B-1 may be capable of carrying more than 20 LRASMs at a time. The Air Force is scheduled to integrate LRASM onboard the B-1B in 2018 and the Navy on its F/A-18E/F in 2019 (IOC for USN F-35C), the release said.
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Unread post10 Sep 2019, 12:11

Expanded carriage demonstration showcases possible B-1B capability

By Giancarlo Casem, 412th Test Wing Public Affairs / Published September 06, 2019

... The demonstration showcased the feasibility of increasing the B-1B weapons capacity to integrate future advanced weapons. The two potential programs – external carriage and long bay options – would allow the B-1B to carry weapons externally, significantly increasing its magazine capacity for munitions, as well as adding larger, heavier munitions, such as hypersonic weapons.

“The purpose of the demonstration was to show that we’re still able to move the bulkhead from the forward intermediate bay to the forward location; increasing the intermediate bay capacity from 180 inches to 269 inches, said Lt. Col. Dominic Ross, B-1B program element monitor, AFGSC. “Additionally, we demonstrated that we can still carry weapons externally on six of the eight hard points, which increases our overall carriage capacity.” Ross said the expanded capabilities will be conventional only, keeping the aircraft compliant with New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, or New START.

... were briefed on the potential expanded capabilities and how they would be able to adapt to future requirements. “It increases the magazine capacity of the B-1B. Currently we can carry 24 weapons internally, now it can be increased to potentially 40 based on what type of pylon we would create,” Ross said. “This gets the B-1 into the larger weapons, the 5,000 pounders. It gets it into the hypersonics game as well.” ...

... For the demonstration, the bomber was also outfitted with an inert Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile attached to a pylon, which was attached to one of the original hard points on the plane. ...

... “I wanted to make sure it was tested correctly and reviewed it to make sure it’s relevant to the warfighter,” Grace said. “And absolutely, there are things we can use this for.” Another point he made was how quickly the bulkhead modification can be accomplished, and then reversed. “It’s not a permanent modification, it’s something that can be done through a few work shifts with the Maintenance (Flight),” he said. “So depending on what the targets are that we’re going after, the weapons we need to carry, we can move that bulkhead, and do the external carriage.” ... “It would basically increase the weapons capacity to make the bomber more efficient, so that we’re able to strike more targets with the same aircraft,” Barksdale said. “It would allow us to more efficiently plan for targeting and use fewer aircraft with fewer aircrews in harm’s way to strike the same number of targets. It would also decrease the support required, whether that’s tankers or other support assets.” ...

... “It really shows the aircraft was originally designed for that capability; to move that bulkhead forward and make a larger bay, it shows the forethought of the original engineers and now, that can potentially come into fruition,” Barksdale said. “To me, just the opportunity to increase the weapons load capacity is pretty exciting. It’s a pretty impressive capability.” Ross said the initial idea was brought forth from B-1B crews, including himself. ...


https://www.wpafb.af.mil/News/Article-D ... apability/

~40% more B-1B bombs for the buck, and a whole lot more flexibility! :applause:
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Unread post10 Sep 2019, 13:25

So its getting a new anti-ship missile, ability to carry 5,000lb class weapons, hypersonics and SDBII too, if I'm not mistaken. It can carry more than the B-52, get there faster, has great legs and all with a RCS that's a fraction of the B-52.

And they're planning on retiring it?

Makes no sense, unless the CPFH is absurdly high. Even then, I'm not sure you'd want to be giving all this capability up. The B-21 will be a fine aircraft, but I bet the Navy would really appreciate a dedicated ship hunter. Big, flexible platform that's combat proven and room to grow.

No way they should be retiring it. Shrink the fleet maybe, but damn - most countries would kill to have this capability. We're thinking of sending them to the boneyard/museums. Go figure...
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Unread post10 Sep 2019, 13:27

mixelflick wrote:So its getting a new anti-ship missile, ability to carry 5,000lb class weapons, hypersonics and SDBII too, if I'm not mistaken. It can carry more than the B-52, get there faster, has great legs and all with a RCS that's a fraction of the B-52.

And they're planning on retiring it?

Makes no sense, unless the CPFH is absurdly high. Even then, I'm not sure you'd want to be giving all this capability up. The B-21 will be a fine aircraft, but I bet the Navy would really appreciate a dedicated ship hunter. Big, flexible platform that's combat proven and room to grow.

No way they should be retiring it. Shrink the fleet maybe, but damn - most countries would kill to have this capability. We're thinking of sending them to the boneyard/museums. Go figure...


Well, you saw what we did with the X-47B and F-22. Nobody ever accused the DoD of having the best and brightest making decisions.
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Unread post10 Sep 2019, 15:05

Maybe it can semi-retire like the F117A.
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Unread post10 Sep 2019, 15:54

IMO, B-1B is the most immediate and pressing threat to the PLAN surface fleet. Indo-Pacific's analogue to F-111's plinking tanks during DS. The right aging but decisive capability at just the right time. I hope they keep it around until B-21 is better at fleet-killing, Hour-1, Day-1.
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Unread post10 Sep 2019, 17:19

mixelflick wrote:So its getting a new anti-ship missile, ability to carry 5,000lb class weapons, hypersonics and SDBII too, if I'm not mistaken. It can carry more than the B-52, get there faster, has great legs and all with a RCS that's a fraction of the B-52.

And they're planning on retiring it?

Makes no sense, unless the CPFH is absurdly high. Even then, I'm not sure you'd want to be giving all this capability up. The B-21 will be a fine aircraft, but I bet the Navy would really appreciate a dedicated ship hunter. Big, flexible platform that's combat proven and room to grow.

No way they should be retiring it. Shrink the fleet maybe, but damn - most countries would kill to have this capability. We're thinking of sending them to the boneyard/museums. Go figure...

It is difficult not to agree here. Such platforms just need to be kept reasonably updated and they have enormous military value. But it seems that in US the only way to get political support behind a program is to remove all alternatives, so to get B-21 you retire the B-1 and so on. Having said that, I think the B-1B will stay in operation longer than planned.
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Unread post11 Sep 2019, 09:28

Good that they are fixing the poor bomb carrying capability of B-1B... :shock: :-D
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Unread post17 Sep 2019, 10:44

B-1B to get expanded role. :applause:

More B-21s Likely; B-1s To Carry Up To 8 Hypersonic Weapons
By COLIN CLARK
September 17, 2019 at 12:17 AM

... We still fly B-2s for nuclear missions and the B-1 for conventional missions (it almost literally flown its wings off executing Close Air Support and other bombing missions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.) In the large allied strike against Syrian targets in April last year, B-1 bombers launched 19 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles (JASSM-ER). But by August of this year, data indicated the B-1 fleet faced serious problems and at one point only six bombers were ready for war.

Gen. Ray said things are looking up for the beautiful aircraft. “The depot level work required for the structures is not as extensive as we thought,” he said, adding that much work on aircraft deficiencies should be done by the end of next month. For the longer term, the service plans to use the B-1s for different missions than it has spent most of the last 20 years executing. A rotary launcher will enable the aircraft to carry up to eight — and at least four — “large hypersonic weapons, Ray said.

Perhaps taking the lessons learned from the strikes against Syria, Ray told the conference yesterday afternoon that the plan is to “put a lot more JASSM-ERs externally on the hard points there.” And, for the venerable B-1s, Ray predicted a “pretty good flying season” over the next six to nine months.


https://breakingdefense.com/2019/09/mor ... c-weapons/

If external hard points can take JASSM-ER, expect they'll have little problem lugging LRASM. :thumb:

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Unread post27 Sep 2019, 18:22

Hands Off, Budgeteers! DoD Must Fund Our Small Bomber Fleet

By DAVID DEPTULA and DOUG BIRKEY

on September 24, 2019 at 7:01 AM

Years of hard use, long-overdue modernization programs, and budget pressures mean the entire U.S. bomber inventory faces significant risk over the next several years. Successfully navigating this risky period demands that the White House and Congress shore up the B-1, B-2 and B-52 bombers with smart upgrades, while doubling down investment on the newest bomber, the B-21 Raider.

Air Force bombers execute a unique set of responsibilities thanks to their range, responsiveness, payload, survivability and versatility. However, America’s bomber inventory averages 43 years in age, with nearly half the fleet pre-dating the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. In the wake of the Cold War, a drive for budget cuts saw drastic cuts to the bomber inventory. The current fleet is just 157 aircraft. Of these, only 20 stealthy B-2s would stand a chance in contested airspace.

The small fleet cannot do all that is asked of it. According to one senior Air Force official, combatant commanders’ demand for bombers has increased 1,100 percent in recent years. While this would stress any aircraft fleet, the Budget Control Act of 2011 and repeated Continuing Resolutions have exacerbated the sustainment challenges, as did a major shortfall in experienced maintainers. How bad is it? Few observers were surprised when Air Force leaders revealed at a July congressional hearing that less than 10 B-1s out of a force of 62 are fully mission capable. (Gen. John Hyten of Strategic Command said six were ready to fly in August.)

Despite clear signals that the Air Force needs more bombers, current plans call for the B-1 and B-2 to retire sometime in the early 2030s, part-way through B-21 production, which is only expected to fly for the first time around December 2021. Budget programmers eager to free up funding are eyeing juicy pots of modernization and sustainment funding as the Air Force approaches a budget bulge in the next three years. . This risks creating a major capacity and capability gap.

B-21 Raider artist rendering

While the B-21 is by all accounts making good progress, Air Force leaders have said it will not achieve Initial Operating Capability until the mid-to-late 2020s. Full operational capability, certification for nuclear missions, and delivery of the full fleet of at least 100 aircraft will not happen for years after that. While everyone wishes the B-21 the best for rapid fielding, acquisition history suggests that the program could be delayed.

This means that the existing fleet of B-1s, B-2s, and B-52s will have to hold the line for many years to come. Compounding the challenge, the B-52 is slated to undergo radar modernization, re-engining, and a host of other upgrades around the same time that the B-21 is being delivered to squadrons. While these upgrades are prudent, some B-52s will have to be taken out of service, further taxing the bomber fleet during this transitional period.

While the Air Force may want to cut maintenance and modernization funding for the B-1 and B-2, these aircraft could be essential to bridge the gap before a robust fleet of B-21s is flying. So, the B-1 and B-2 must be kept maintained and flown over the mid-term. For the B-1, that means boosting readiness through focused maintenance and necessary service life extensions. The B-2, on the other hand, has ample service life remaining, but its defensive management system must be upgraded. That program to ensure it can continue to survive in advanced threat environments is already on the books. Maintaining the B-2’s ability to penetrate the sort of A2/AD air defenses China and Russia have built is especially critical given the plane’s roles in nuclear deterrence and as the nation’s only means of delivering heavy, bunker-busting bombs like the Massive Ordnance Penetrator. ...

... Bottom line—the Air Force needs to stop looking to its bomber force for near-term budget savings and instead increase investment in this critical mission area. The Air Force should be exploring every option to grow the size of its bomber force. Findings by the Mitchell Institute, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, MITRE, and the Air Force’s own, “The Force We Need” vision, all agree that the current bomber inventory is too small and should be expanded. If an aircraft like the B-1 was taxed so hard due to high demand, the appropriate lesson is that the nation needs more bombers, not less.

Finding ourselves in a bomber hole, we need to stop digging. Extending the B-1 and B-2 is the only affordable way to sustain and grow the bomber force until future B-21 production can replace these aircraft in an additive fashion. ...


https://breakingdefense.com/2019/09/han ... ber-fleet/
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Unread post27 Sep 2019, 21:00

element1loop wrote:IMO, B-1B is the most immediate and pressing threat to the PLAN surface fleet. Indo-Pacific's analogue to F-111's plinking tanks during DS. The right aging but decisive capability at just the right time. I hope they keep it around until B-21 is better at fleet-killing, Hour-1, Day-1.


Agreed. Except someone needs to step up LRASM production.
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Unread post27 Sep 2019, 23:06

blain wrote:
element1loop wrote:IMO, B-1B is the most immediate and pressing threat to the PLAN surface fleet. Indo-Pacific's analogue to F-111's plinking tanks during DS. The right aging but decisive capability at just the right time. I hope they keep it around until B-21 is better at fleet-killing, Hour-1, Day-1.


Agreed. Except someone needs to step up LRASM production.


Significantly. :bang:
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Unread post28 Sep 2019, 01:22

blain wrote:
element1loop wrote:IMO, B-1B is the most immediate and pressing threat to the PLAN surface fleet. Indo-Pacific's analogue to F-111's plinking tanks during DS. The right aging but decisive capability at just the right time. I hope they keep it around until B-21 is better at fleet-killing, Hour-1, Day-1.


Agreed. Except someone needs to step up LRASM production.


Agree.

It's the first step in rolling back A2D2. B1-B + LRASM changes the Indo-Pacific naval balance in days. Over-match achieved. And restrict what's left to 'sheltering' inside the first Island chain. The exchange cost ratio is incredible. If you go to war with what you have there should be a lot more B-1B + LRASM, not less.

PLAN smashed, long-range forward GLCM, drones and anti-ship applying A2D2 principles inside the first Island chain and killing PLAAF bombers on the ground, and strategic sensors and comms in the rear. Roving P-8A, SSN, DDG kill subs allowing the rest of the air power and bombers to be bought to bare with the USN still intact, providing support and relief for forward forces.

B1-B + LRASM changes the balance of forces fast and allows the initiative to be taken and retained. The CHICOMs certainly wouldn't consider withdrawing or de-funding a B-1B if they had it, nor would they be withholding funds for the one missile needed to gut a whole enemy surface fleet and its key bases.
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Unread post28 Sep 2019, 07:15

USAF aims to double long-term JASSM production up to 10,000 units

27 September, 2019
SOURCE: FlightGlobal.com
BY: Garrett Reim Los Angeles

The US Department of Defense (DoD) is increasing potential long-term production quantities of Lockheed Martin Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles (JASSM) from a possible maximum of 4,900 to a possible maximum of 10,000. The US Air Force (USAF) Material Command signaled its intention to increase missile production in a 27 September notice that seeks production sources. Acquisition regulations require the service to seek alternative sources even though Lockheed Martin is the only producer.

The USAF also seeks to increase quantities of Lockheed Martin-made Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASM) from a possible maximum of 110 to a possible maximum of 400, says the notice. LRASM is based on the extended range version of JASSM (JASSM-ER), which has a range of more than 500nm (926km). LRASM is a joint development effort of the USAF and the US Navy.

Image

Image

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... to-461148/


Presto! They're ordered, same day service! ... we're good now! :thumb: :notworthy: :cheers:

I'm dropping this into here for reference, more details at the link, or in the LRASM thread.

viewtopic.php?p=427482#p427482
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