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We May See America's Next Stealth Bomber by This Time Next Year.

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posted on Sep, 17 2014 @ 08:57 PM
At this year's Air Force Association Air and Space Conference held on Sept 15th., the Air Force announced that they will select a single manufacturer to build the LRS-B stealth bomber by next spring or summer. That means we may get to see the thing by this time next year! Yeah!

“We’re about ready to enter into the next phase of the bomber. We’ve spent the last couple of years refining the requirements and maturing the technology. Within the next year we will down-select to one contractor and then start the heavy lifting of building the first bomber and testing,” Lt. Gen. Ellen Pawlikowski, military deputy for Air Force acquisition, told Military​.com in an interview.

Hmmm...... "and then start the heavy lifting of building the first bomber and testing”. Not likely. I'm pretty sure there are a couple of examples out there somewhere already.

Some details about the bomber were talked about at the conference. It will have global reach, like the B2 and be able to strike any where in the world. It is supposed to be able to cross the globe in hours and be nuclear capable.

“Combining with the weapons that it will carry and the suite that goes with the bomber it will be able to essentially put anywhere in the world at risk within a short period of time,” she said.

The new aircraft will be designed to have global reach, in part by incorporating a large arsenal of long-range weapons. The LRS-B is being engineered to carry existing weapons as well as emerging and future weapons, Pawlikowski explained.

The Air Force has put a lot of effort into protecting funding for this project from budget cuts and hope to keep the final price per arcraft to $550M. Lets hope the final contractor can keep it there.
One thing mentioned in the article was that it is slated to replace the B2. I was under the impression it was to supplement the B2 and not be a direct replacement but I could have been mistaken.
edit on 17-9-2014 by Sammamishman because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 17 2014 @ 09:28 PM
I guess this is cool, but it raises some questions, at least for me.

First can we not basically place ANY ordinance, conventional or otherwise anywhere in the world now?

Second, we're forcing our people to fly 20, 30 and even 40 year old fighters. Does this investment make sense?

With smart missiles just around the corner, isn't stealth a little questionable these days?

I would have thought a 6th gen fighter would have more priority??

Please educate me...

P.S. there's now seven heading for Portland on Sunday...there's an extra seat open.....

posted on Sep, 17 2014 @ 10:06 PM
a reply to: nwtrucker

I work at a UPS facility that is 30 years old. It was crated during the dark ages of dial up internet. Now, with connection speeds as they are today - instantaneous - well, it simply wasn't meant to handle that many packages. But somehow, it does. More packages may be be destroyed and lost, but their are more customers and thus more people receiving their package. You can still always go to a store...

Many writers still use typewriters. I have a massive vinyl record collection. 20, 30, 40 years is how you use your technology. I'm sure many of you are that age and are employed, so do you want people younger than you working your job, with their miniscule experience, with their "kinks" not worked out so to speak. What if our next bomber ends up like many of our newest fighter planes - mostly unusable due to software and mechanical malfunctions. Remember all those Osprey crashes?

We still have ICMBs.

When we have to dust off the Enola Gay, then I will be worried about our air dominance future.

All that said, I can't wait to see this baby at the next airshow, that is, if Andrew's AFB ever gets enough funding to have another.

edit on PMpAmerica/ChicagoWed, 17 Sep 2014 22:10:27 -050030000000Wed, 17 Sep 2014 22:10:27 -0500America/Chicago by Aperture because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 17 2014 @ 10:09 PM
a reply to: nwtrucker

I think the difference with this one is that this is the next step in stealth. Enemy radar is now getting to the point they may potentially be able to see and track the B2, this is supposed to be much, much better.
Also there is the unmanned version that will effectively turn this thing into a super sized UCAV. A UCAV, that if using some of the tech that has been postulated here on these boards, would allow it to loiter over targets for extended periods of time. Undetected and be able to pick off targets of opportunity that an otherwise smart single warhead munition may not be able to do.
It is also, in my opinion, a vital segment to the nuclear triad deterrent. With the ineffectiveness of the B-52's to penetrate contested airspace and the aging B2's days numbered it was time for a replacement. Fighters are nice but they don't keep the wolves at bay as convincingly as a stealth bomber. A bomber that can hit them where it hurts before they know what is going on.

Oh and U2U sent about Portland.

posted on Sep, 17 2014 @ 10:14 PM
If it's really stealth how we gonna see it Moe?


posted on Sep, 17 2014 @ 10:31 PM
a reply to: Sammamishman As far as I can see the claim that it will be "able to strike anywhere in a few hours" as the USAF have eluded is a bit of a truth stretch, unless of course they have quietly added another requirement for shorter transit times. The claim implies super-cruise or hypersonic cruise speeds, however all along the LRS-B story it has regularly been stated that it would be subsonic. And frankly if they are genuine about staying within the $550m per airframe and total cost of $1b each with development they will need to exclude such exotic requirements for a 5000nm+ platform. Although even the USAF have admitted that there could be some ballooning as this price is more of a "guide" to stop themselves and contractors falling into the habit of scope and technology creep. That's why the stated requirement is st somewhere between 80-100 airframes, if it ends up costing much more they will simply cut numbers from the top end of this requirement to stay within cost. Frankly I'm not sure they are building enough. There was an earlier stated goal for I think the NGB that LRS-B grew out of for something like 150-175, which would have allowed for around 10-12 squadrons plus training, attrition reserve and maintenance/overhaul/upgrade numbers. This current build number will probably only see half that of 5-7 squadrons, plus spare birds, not really enough for a sustained operation, especially a protracted one with China etc. And if you are involved in two theaters at once you could barely cover each with two squadrons, while allowing for reserves and training workup back stateside. And that's without getting into the other whole argument of increased long term wear and tear on a numerically smaller fleet. Personally I think they should up the number by at least 50 airframes, remember these are not just going to act as bombers but will also serve a host of other roles such as ISR.

And whilst I see the requirement I'm not sure it is the best option they could employ. I think if you want real, rapid, sustainable and cheap global strike you simply cannot beat missile systems, whether they are fixed or mobile land, sub, ship or even very long range air launched, the amount of bang for your buck cannot be beaten. The ISR component could also be covered by other systems. I think the LRS-B whichever aircraft wins will be a fine system if all goes well. I suspect it may even prove very effective in roles they haven't yet really intended for it. I'm just not convinced they have thought outside the square enough for the requirement at hand.

edit on 17-9-2014 by thebozeian because: Just because...

posted on Sep, 17 2014 @ 10:38 PM
a reply to: Aperture

I get your point and it is duly noted.. Typewriters aren't F-15Cs though.. they're starting to fall out of the air!! LOL

posted on Sep, 17 2014 @ 10:40 PM
a reply to: Sammamishman I see. Bottom line not enough money to go around....

posted on Sep, 17 2014 @ 10:54 PM
We don't need new bombers. There are much bigger problems looming in our aerial arsenal then bombers. The B-1 and the B-2 are doing just fine as well as the B-52.

Bigger issues at hand: The F-35 and the F-22 need permanent solutions. They are very unreliable. The F-15 and F-16 are still are go to fighters, but they've been around for quite sometime.

The C-130 is still a beast. The J-models are great. But the H's and E's are starting to get pretty old and over used. I know when I was flying (aeromedical evacuation, not as a pilot) at Pope AFB, the H's and E's we had there were under constant repair. Weight restrictions were almost always a factor.

The C-17, though still very new by AF standards, has gone through hell and back with all the hours they've logged in OIF/OEF. I'm sure they've got plenty of hours on them. But I've heard through certain channels that many of the pilots are worried that they were used too much over the past 13 years.

Then there are the tankers. I still fly regular missions on the KC-135, which has far exceeded its life expectancy. There aren't many KC-10's out in the system. The KC-46 is nearly ready to be inserted into our inventory, but that's going to take a long time before it completely replaces the KC-135's.

I'm low on the totem pole so my opinions mean squat. But if it were me, I'd invest all that money into fixing our stealth fighters first, pushing out as many new tankers as we can as quickly as we can. Getting some additional C-130J's in the air to take the pressure and hours off the C-17's (where applicable). Purchasing a few new C-17's. And finally, finding a new age A-10.

I love the A-10, my favorite plane. Trying to replace it with the F-35 is silly IMO. Just create an advanced A-10 with improved technology. It fills a very specific role that is incredibly useful on the battlefield.

My opinions come from 12 years in the AF, 8 of which have been flying on KC-135's, C-17's, and C-130's performing aeromedical evacuation mission all over the world accumulating over 1,300 hours (700 combat hours). Not an expert opinion, just an experienced opinion.

posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 08:51 AM
This will definitely have the new Mach 10 (sc)ram jet engine they've been working on. Maybe a version of the SR72.

posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 09:00 AM
a reply to: TamtammyMacx

No it won't. It'll be fast, but it won't have that engine on board.

posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 09:43 AM
According to this it won't be delivered for about 10 years and will use mature technology. No mach 10 scramjets.
I'd say it will probably use four turbofans like the B-1 and B-2 and I'd be surprised if it got above mach 2. Probably a waste of money and hopefully doesn't turn into another money pit like the F-35 and B-2. The B-2 cost 2 billion each so I don't know what they will end up with for a mere 550 million each? Will probably end up being more expensive than the B-2 if it isn't cancelled.

What we must not do is repeat what happened with our last manned bomber. By the time the research, development, and requirements processes ran their course, the aircraft, despite its great capability, turned out to be so expensive—$2 billion each in the case of the B-2—that less than one-sixth of the planned fleet of 132 was ever built.

The new bomber is targeted to cost under $550 million per plane with a production run of 80 to 100 aircraft, and it is to be delivered in about 10 years. In a speech in June, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for acquisition William LaPlante said that the program "is designed around a fixed set of requirements [and] relatively mature technologies... [we will] build the first version knowing it won’t have everything on it that we want or will want. We’re building an adaptable approach with an open architecture

posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 09:56 AM
a reply to: JimTSpock

Contracts going forward are almost exclusively fixed price with completion bonuses. This includes the next round of aircraft carrier buys.

posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 10:07 AM
a reply to: Zaphod58

If the price is fixed to 550 million each? We'll see.

On the $550 million-per-plane pricetag, LaPlante said, "If later on we decide to buy 200 bombers, or we decide to buy 50, the [cost] will change."

This part sounds interesting.

Air Force leaders have said the aircraft will likely be engineered to fly unmanned and manned missions.

Both manned and unmanned capable. I'm sure you know a lot more about it any idea how fast? Surely not mach 3+ ???

posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 10:14 AM
a reply to: JimTSpock

They were aiming for low supersonic, or very high subsonic, like the .99 range. Not Mach 3, but faster than a B-2.

posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 11:01 AM
"I have only talked with one Air Force official who has said anything in any detail about the bomber. And it wasn’t much — just that it will be much faster than anything that currently flies such missions. " I pick this words on the Breaking defense site, " anything that currently flies such mission" what is the B1-B top speed ? mach 1.23, so we can imagine something faster may be in the 1.5/1.7 mach , a new supercruise capacity may be like the F-22. With new variable cycle engine it can be possible or another turbine upgrade we don't know. " it will be able to essentially put anywhere in the world at risk within a short period of time" I don't think for the same speed of a B-2 to be shorter you need something faster , transonic give nothing more than a B-2 , 2 hundred kilometers by hours can't do a difference in my opinion.

posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 11:06 AM
a reply to: darksidius

The B-1 OFFICIAL top speed is 1.23, the reality is quite different. They're lucky to get in the same vicinity of 1.2 the rare times they go supersonic.

posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 11:14 AM
a reply to: Sammamishman

Yeah !!!! good golly...

Something the US needs badly...more weapons.

So they can bomb someone...stealthier than ever before....yeeeeiiiiiii !!!!

Maybe it's a....defensive stealth bomber...?

posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 11:34 AM
a reply to: MarioOnTheFly

Right, because it's horrible and evil for the US to develop new weapons, but it's perfectly fine for Russia and China to do the same thing.

posted on Sep, 18 2014 @ 12:05 PM
a reply to: MarioOnTheFly

If we stop producing new weapons, what will happen when China and other countries over take us in terms of military technological superiority?

Just because you have the weapons doesn't mean they need to be used. Usually, terrible weapons are better as a deterrent than an actual deploy-able system.

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