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The Skunk Works New Proposal: FB-22 with Active Visual Stealth!

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posted on Dec, 1 2004 @ 03:45 AM
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The F/B-22 would be a stealthy supersonic fighter bomber. It would feature a larger wing for more lift and fuel. The main weapons bay could carry 2 2000 lb bombs and 2 Amraams, or 6 Amraams. The side bays could hold 2 small diameter bombs or two sidewinders each. Stealthy external weapon bays would have a 5000 lb capacity as well and stealthy pylons that can carry the JASSM. The fuselage would remain the same but the nose would be lengthened to accommodate second crewperson.

The most interesting part of this proposal is a morphing wing design. The wing would expand to take on extra fuel and as its burned off it would contract. Reports suggest that reduction of its IR signature will be involved as well as an active exterior skin coating. This coating will give it a chameleon like effect matching the sky background and providing some visual stealth.




The FB-22 (at 120,000 lb. gross weight with fuel and bombs) would be a stealthy, supersonic fighter-bomber with enlarged wings to increase lift and carry additional fuel for extended-range missions. Lockheed Martin designers say a $8-9-billion program would produce an aircraft with the range for intertheater strike even if external weapons were added to beef up the internal weapons payload. The aircraft would be fielded with global network links that allow target-updating up to the moment a target is struck. The FB-22 would carry a number of lethal self-protection weapons--which means AIM-9X high-off-boresight infrared missiles, a helmet-mounted cuing system and AIM-120 beyond-visual-range active/passive radar missiles.

Pratt & Whitney's F119 engine could be modified for the new design with new hot-area materials and coatings, allowing it to perform at higher temperatures. The expected result is that the FB-22, a much bigger aircraft, would be able to operate at the same speeds and altitudes as the F/A-22. Pratt & Whitney officials say they are testing derivative F119 engines both for new long-range strike and long-range reconnaissance aircraft concepts.

The aircraft's combined external and internal payload is expected to exceed 15 tons. Working from the inside out: the lengthened main weapons bay also will have bulged doors to carry two 2,000-lb. GBU-31s and two AIM-120 Amraams, or six Amraams. Two side weapon bays can carry two small-diameter bombs (SBDs) or two AIM-9Xs each. Two external, 5,000-lb.-capacity, low-observable, wing weapon bays on inboard positions would each carry a GBU-31 or a GBU-37 (5,000-lb.) bomb or two GBU-38s (500-lb.) or six SDBs (250-lb.) weapons. Two low-observable pylons would be fitted to outboard wing stations so that each can carry a stealthy Jassm missile.

FB-2 2




posted on Dec, 1 2004 @ 05:20 PM
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BTW, Your link only will work for people with a subscription.

As for the F/B-22, with a full bomb load will it still be able ato supercruise? Wonder what its range will be.

But I hope the USAF buys it, because not only will it give us our first ever mach 2 bomber, but it will help bring down the F/A-22's price tag.


With UCAV's coming online, and the fact that we allready have a stealthy bomber, the only thing in its favor will be its speed.



posted on Dec, 1 2004 @ 05:26 PM
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Originally posted by Murcielago
BTW, Your link only will work for people with a subscription.
But I hope the USAF buys it, because not only will it give us our first ever mach 2 bomber, but it will help bring down the F/A-22's price tag.


You forgot the B-58 Hustler Fast and HUGE!

Yeah, the subscription thing is a drag, but you not likely to see it in other sources for a while so I put it up and quoted the section on the F/B-22 proposal.

They actually submitted 4 types. The others a AC-130J Arsenal Plane equiped with 8-10 cruise missiles, A hypersonic craft that would get its boost airborn by an ICBM, and the last was an all new blended wing looking craft that had wingtips a bit like the YF-23 but a totaly differnt craft



posted on Dec, 1 2004 @ 05:37 PM
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Here's the entire article for those without a subscription:


USAF Weighs Four Skunk Works Designs for Interim Strike

Lockheed Martin designers are taking the wraps off four concepts they're offering to the U.S. Air Force to meet its requirements for an interim long-range strike platform to fit in between the B-2 and whatever will replace the 21 stealth bombers in the 2035 period.

Buried in those presentations are options--some acknowledged by the company and some not--for employing jamming devices, intelligence-gathering sensors and directed-energy weapons, say a number of military and aerospace industry officials with insight into future strike planning. Other proposals involve mounting low-observable external weapons pods and pylons, introducing morphing wing skins for carrying addition fuel, and changing aircraft skin colors for visual daytime stealth.

Air Force analysts had asked for concepts that could be fielded by 2010. Notional requirements for the interim strike capability include fielding an operational vehicle by 2015 with a range of 1,500-2,000 naut. mi. and a 5-15-ton payload. Another consideration is that "we fully expect there's going to be some pretty good energy weapons available by 2015-20," says John E. Perrigo, Lockheed Martin's senior manager for combat air systems business strategy and development.

LOCKHEED MARTIN responded with two aircraft--C-130J and F/A-22 derivatives--that could meet the deadline and would be the least expensive of the company's offerings. However, not even notional prices were discussed. The third concept is an ICBM-derivative, missile-based concept that could evolve over time to a single-stage-to-space system with a reusable suborbital hypersonic delivery platform; it would cost more than the two derivative aircraft. However, it would be designed to place a bomb anyplace on Earth within an hour from a ship, a submarine or a land base.

Lastly and perhaps most intriguing, but also most costly, the company offered the "BMACK" common-body concept, which offers a short-takeoff-and-landing, large-payload stealth aircraft that can be configured as a bomber (B), surveillance/intelligence aircraft, special operations (M) gunship (A) or clandestine transport (C) or tanker (K), Perrigo says. However, he adds the cautionary note that this last concept would be tough to field by the 2015 deadline. It could require another five years based on funding and technology improvements. He says that any all-new, non-derivative design is difficult to field in fewer than 20 years and would cost more than a derivative aircraft.

Addressing the four initiatives in turn, Perrigo described the AC-130J arsenal ship as nonstealthy, subsonic and not designed to penetrate enemy air defenses. However, it would be modified internally to carry 8-12 cruise missiles for standoff attacks. The restructuring would consist of roll-on, roll-off weapon racks and a launch console. Weapons selection is expected to include the conventional air-launched cruise missile, Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile and Jassm-ER and miniature air-launched decoy missiles fitted with electronic attack warheads for close-in jamming.

The FB-22 (at 120,000 lb. gross weight with fuel and bombs) would be a stealthy, supersonic fighter-bomber with enlarged wings to increase lift and carry additional fuel for extended-range missions. Lockheed Martin designers say a $8-9-billion program would produce an aircraft with the range for intertheater strike even if external weapons were added to beef up the internal weapons payload. The aircraft would be fielded with global network links that allow target-updating up to the moment a target is struck. The FB-22 would carry a number of lethal self-protection weapons--which means AIM-9X high-off-boresight infrared missiles, a helmet-mounted cuing system and AIM-120 beyond-visual-range active/passive radar missiles.

Pratt & Whitney's F119 engine could be modified for the new design with new hot-area materials and coatings, allowing it to perform at higher temperatures. The expected result is that the FB-22, a much bigger aircraft, would be able to operate at the same speeds and altitudes as the F/A-22. Pratt & Whitney officials say they are testing derivative F119 engines both for new long-range strike and long-range reconnaissance aircraft concepts.

The aircraft's combined external and internal payload is expected to exceed 15 tons. Working from the inside out: the lengthened main weapons bay also will have bulged doors to carry two 2,000-lb. GBU-31s and two AIM-120 Amraams, or six Amraams. Two side weapon bays can carry two small-diameter bombs (SBDs) or two AIM-9Xs each. Two external, 5,000-lb.-capacity, low-observable, wing weapon bays on inboard positions would each carry a GBU-31 or a GBU-37 (5,000-lb.) bomb or two GBU-38s (500-lb.) or six SDBs (250-lb.) weapons. Two low-observable pylons would be fitted to outboard wing stations so that each can carry a stealthy Jassm missile.

To curtail down, the FB-22's tail and fuselage would stay the same as the F/A-22's, but with the larger wings and an extended nose to carry a second crewman--a battle manager to run network-centric operations and control unmanned reconnaissance or combat aircraft.

While Lockheed Martin officials won't address the subject, others involved with next-generation stealth say the new Lockheed Martin/Boeing design is to be an even more elusive target than the F/A-22. Efforts will focus on reducing the infrared signature (through redistribution of heat on the skin to eliminate hot spots) and adding an active exterior skin coating that, when electrically charged, will offer shades of blues and grays to match the aircraft's high-altitude background (and thereby avoid optical detection). Similar stealth treatments are expected to show up on operational versions of the Northrop Grumman X-47 and Boeing X-45 joint unmanned combat air vehicles.

Besides extra fuel tanks in the expanded wings, Lockheed Martin researchers are suggesting a morphing wing design that would expand (to hold an extra 5,000-10,000 lbs. of fuel) when full for takeoff and then shrink to the aircraft's stealthy outline as fuel burns off. Notional company drawings show faceted, canoe-like structures on top of the wing about one-third of the way from the fuselage to the wingtip on each side.

The space systems would begin in 2015-18 with a common air vehicle and a small launch vehicle using a solid rocket booster. This ICBM with a conventional warhead concept would eventually give way to an air-breathing, hypersonic vehicle--a wave-rider design that could carry scores of common air vehicles with penetrator warheads or area weapons to near-space for fast delivery around the world. The near-space system would operate at "hundreds of thousands of feet, fly at Mach 7-10 and carry 16,000 lb. of payload," Perrigo says. Prime target sets would include deeply buried and heavily defended facilities. The operational concept for 2030 is to base such aircraft on airfields with conventional 16,000-ft. runways so that they can strike any target within an hour.

BMACK would come in several versions, all of them with structural and systems commonality based on a program being conducted for the special operations forces community. The subsonic, C-130-size aircraft would be stealthy for penetrating missions. Its flying wing shape would provide the lift to carry around 40 direct attack bombs, short-range missiles or other internally carried weapons, including a single Massive Ordnance Air Blast or several GBU-28 5,000-lb. penetrator bombs. It would be designed to take off and land on airstrips as small as 1,000-2,000 ft., Perrigo says.



posted on Dec, 1 2004 @ 05:48 PM
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Oh yeah, forgot about that one, but now thinking about it, if I remember right it was overall an unsuccesful craft. (It looked cool and went fast but it just wasn't need ed that badly, thats what i meant, and not that it couldn't fly)

I personally like the Hypersonic plane idea better. For an everyday type of bombing mission you could use the B-52, and if you need to get their quicker you would use the B-1 ,and you can use the B-2 if you need to to that mission over a more powerful country, But for the countries you need to strike quick with you send the Hyper bomber their way, or for when you get good intell on like where Osama is and have visual proof, since it could take a B-2 nearly a day to get there.

Edit: thanks for the full article Intelgurl

[edit on 1-12-2004 by Murcielago]



posted on Dec, 1 2004 @ 06:13 PM
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I had heard of the research going on in the morphing wing designs and optical stealth. This is the first I have heard of them really talking about them putting them on a production aircraft.

I know they been working on this visual stealth for awhile but thats all they are really saying about it I have yet to see any information beyond that yet. I wonder if we are going to get a peek at it soon if they put it on the F-22.



posted on Dec, 1 2004 @ 06:29 PM
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Well, it seems that the rumors about Northrop Grumman are true, they DID propose a modified YF-23 design for the Intermin Strike/Bomber Aircraft!

en.wikipedia.org... (check bodem of page)

That's quite exciting news IMO



posted on Dec, 1 2004 @ 07:01 PM
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I think the morphing wing is still aways away.

It seems that the Airforce isn't stoping at radar Stealth, It appears there longer term goal is invisible. If they choose the F/B-22 I cant think of any reasons to keep other bombers, maybe the B-52 but thats because of its versatility, the B-1 would be eliminated for sure, since its only leg up on the others is supersonic, and why keep the B-2, since its leg up is stealth, This thing would really be an ultimate package, and with A2A missiles it wouldn't need any escorts, I'm begining to like the F/B-22 idea more and more, a radar illusive, environment blending, supersonic, heat reducin bomber must sound very sweet to Air Force generals, and will make all other nations drool with envy. It will also be interesting to see what Russia does if/when this goes into production, because they always try and counter the US.

[edit on 1-12-2004 by Murcielago]



posted on Dec, 1 2004 @ 07:04 PM
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Originally posted by Murcielago
It will also be interesting to see what Russia does if/when this goes into production, because they always try and counter the US.


Ive always wondered if a space based radar system could pick up a stealth. Obviously we don't know but a radar from space using say X-Band freq may be able to get a hit. Or a super senative space based infrared sensor package?



posted on Dec, 1 2004 @ 07:12 PM
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Good find GrOuNd_ZeRo YF-23 based design for the USAF's interim bomber would be sweet I love that plane.

Murcielago I think the B-22 is going to be around for awhile it can carry 16 2000 lb JADAMS OR 16 B61 or 16 B83 free-fall nuclear bombs with a range of 11,515 mi w/ one refuelling,The plane is huge.The F/B-22 cant come close to that payload or range.



posted on Dec, 1 2004 @ 07:26 PM
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Originally posted by Murcielago
BTW, Your link only will work for people with a subscription.

As for the F/B-22, with a full bomb load will it still be able ato supercruise? Wonder what its range will be.

But I hope the USAF buys it, because not only will it give us our first ever mach 2 bomber, but it will help bring down the F/A-22's price tag.


With UCAV's coming online, and the fact that we allready have a stealthy bomber, the only thing in its favor will be its speed.


You also forgot the XB-70. It went over mach 3.



posted on Dec, 1 2004 @ 08:27 PM
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Shadow
Murcielago I think the B-22 is going to be around for awhile it can carry 16 2000 lb JADAMS OR 16 B61 or 16 B83 free-fall nuclear bombs with a range of 11,515 mi w/ one refuelling,The plane is huge.The F/B-22 cant come close to that payload or range.

Lets face it, if war ever went nuclear, do you really think we will send a sub-sonic bomber...No...It will be all ICBM's. As for payload it could do at least half of the B-2's, and we no longer need a huge payload since this craft (unlike the B-2) cant carpet bomb. and range is still unditermend, obviously like the F-22 & B-2 it will have Mid-air refueling, but with a option of stealthy external fuel tank I bet it could get close to that range on supercruise, since then it will be able to cover ground quicker but not use after burners which consume a crap load of fuel.



posted on Dec, 1 2004 @ 11:27 PM
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Originally posted by jetsetter
You also forgot the XB-70. It went over mach 3.


Good call, but it never went into service
Incredible plane though



posted on Dec, 2 2004 @ 12:44 AM
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Originally posted by Murcielago

Lets face it, if war ever went nuclear, do you really think we will send a sub-sonic bomber...No...It will be all ICBM's. As for payload it could do at least half of the B-2's, and we no longer need a huge payload since this craft (unlike the B-2) cant carpet bomb. and range is still unditermend, obviously like the F-22 & B-2 it will have Mid-air refueling, but with a option of stealthy external fuel tank I bet it could get close to that range on supercruise, since then it will be able to cover ground quicker but not use after burners which consume a crap load of fuel.


Thats true about the B-2 but thats not what it was designed for. If you launch ICBMS everyone will know about it seconds after you launch. The beauty of the B-2 is they can fly over nice and slow and drop nukes before anyone even knew they where under attack. The heart of the B-2 was a nuclear first strike weapon born from the cold war.

I never heard the F/B-22 will be able to carry half the B-2 payload that would be 8 2000lb JADAMs. Thats still a huge payload I would be impressed if that true.



posted on Dec, 2 2004 @ 05:11 AM
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It'll be interesting to see what NG comes back with on the F/B-23.

I expect we'll build one or the other. I know we've been working on the chameleon coatings for some time now, but for various reasons I doubt we'll see it on the F/A-22. But it's possible, it all depends on how it integrates with the ECM/EW systems.

I like the F/B-22, but the other proposals don't really fit, imo. The key here is interim bomber. The B-1B airframes are wearing out faster than we originally expected, recent retirements have us down to 90 AC. But that's the nature of swing wings, the F-111 had the same problems. And we all know we can't keep flying the F-117 forever, especially with all the S-300 and S-400 SAM's everywhere and the new ELINT "passive radar" (I hate that term) systems coming out.

So there is definitely a need for a purely tactical strike AC that can penetrate protected airspaces and hit high value targets.

120,000 lbs is heavy. That's twice the gross weight of the Raptor, and one has to wonder if the F119 is up to the task. PW is going to have to squeeze everything out of it that can be had. I knew they were working on a higher temp version, but I don't know just how much they can get. And there's only so many BTU's in a gallon of jet fuel.

It would be a hell of a strike package though, a handfull of F/B-22's could put a lot of JDAMS on target in a short period of time, and be home before the smoke cleared. You have to wonder why they are talking 6 AMRAAM's though, it's not exactly an air dominance machine, that's the Raptor's job. But the JDAM/AMRAAM mix gives it the ability to operate unescorted and still defend itself, which the F-117 can't do.

The big fuel load gives it a long range without having to coordinate AAR. And on extra long missions, you could still sortie and not have to worry about refueling until the return leg.

All in all, it would give us a flexibility we don't currently posess. We could mix in sea launched cruise missiles, Raptors, and JSF's and have a pretty serious first day strike capability, or we could send a couple out alone and make a symbolic statement on very short notice.



posted on Dec, 2 2004 @ 02:47 PM
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I'd really like to see NG get the job, if for no other reason then it seems lockheed-martin seems to becoming the only contractor the AF uses. I like a little compitition. Plus, the BW was waaaaaaay cooler then the Raptor


I think the reason for having the F/B carry amraams is so it doesn't need an escort. One of the biggest pluses of stealth is that it decreases dramatically the number of air craft needed for a mission. Like you said, this will allow it to protect it's self without a few precious Raptors protecting it.

One question for you engineer - how would the chemilian skin effect ECM/EW? I don't know much about the subject and would enjoy your insight.



posted on Dec, 2 2004 @ 03:01 PM
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Originally posted by American Mad Man
One question for you engineer - how would the chemilian skin effect ECM/EW? I don't know much about the subject and would enjoy your insight.

Beacuse it's electrically charged. So it has to integrate with the entire EM footprint of the AC. The raptor has sensors along the wing edges, etc. We don't know what all it has, but adding a coating that operates by charging itself to various levels of potential will certainly affect the EM footprint.

The question is, can this be incorporated into the Raptor's overall stealth suite? We don't know the answer to that, but I guarantee it will be a factor.



posted on Dec, 2 2004 @ 03:03 PM
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What exactly will the FB-22 buy you if you already have the JSF [not exactly chopped liver] and the B-2?

Supersonic, especially with high payload, will suck up fuel like crazy and reduce
range.

If you need something for ultra stealth deep penetration bombing (do you think the B2 will be that vulnerable) then go for the UCAV: a potentially retreivable cruise missile.

And this will probably be land-based only---for first strike there will likely not be
any usable friendly bases. So either you launch from your carrier (JSF can do,
F-22 can't), or you fly in over a long time from CONUS or Diego Garcia with in air
refueling. For those you need multi-pilot cockpit so that they can get sleep.

All that extra weight for carrying around the human can better to to fuel or ordnance.

And if you need really ultra deep ground penetration capability you can't get it without the velocity from a ballistic rocket trajectory, aka "rod from god". Very very expensive per warhead dropped, but incomparable speed and range and quick time-to-first attack from the go signal.



posted on Dec, 2 2004 @ 03:32 PM
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mbkennel,

The US ORBAT is changing. We will be drawing down our large forces in Europe, SouK and Japan, and adding small forward operating bases in central asia and the ME. So we won't be limited to carrier strikes or just Diego Garcia and CONUS. There could be squadrons of F/B-22's based at Incirlik, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, etc.

This thread didn't get any attention, but read it and think about the implications:

www.abovetopsecret.com...

The interim bomber will allow us to strike at intermediate range targets with a much quicker response than a subsonic platform like a B-2 or F-117, and be capable of defending itself. It will be cheaper to field than a B-2, which means we can have more of them. And the B-1's are wearing out, we can't count on them forever. This is a tactical platform, not a strategic one. Lightning strikes on terrorist bases, first day SEAD, high value targets, etc.

Sometimes you need eyes on the target for BDA, and the ability to go around again for another pass if you don't do the job the first time. UCAV's will be limited in loadout, so they won't necessarily give the same capabilities as a light/medium bomber would.

It has a greater capacity and range than the JSF. Not to say that they can't or won't be used together, but it's a different capability. It compliments the JSF, rather than replaces it.



[edit on 2-12-2004 by engineer]



posted on Dec, 2 2004 @ 03:36 PM
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With the JSF, F35, Lockheed won the contract, but does any one know what the cost of it is supose to be? Or if they are in production yet? Or how many have been delevered?



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