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originally posted by: aholic
a reply to: darksidius
If you don't mind me jumping in. I do think it was the better choice, regardless of the industry implications. From what I've been gathering its the more versatile of the two submissions and has greater interoperability between theaters.
The LockMart jet is certainly cool, but the brass has grown up a bit. Also, as has been said previously, Northrop has a way with integrating sensors and combat networking that puts their bird on top.
originally posted by: Barnalby
a reply to: mbkennel
Given that the F-35's overseas sales house of cards looks poised to collapse thanks to the new Canadian government (and there's no way a Canadian cancellation won't have ripples across the globe), I'd imagine that the DOD is MUCH more miffed than they can publicly let on.
I can't exactly blame the foreign operators. Other than UK who needed the B to replace harriers
I can't exactly blame the foreign operators. Other than UK who needed the B to replace harriers, everybody else wanted an updated Viper for good air defense and some interdiction capability.
LRS-B is unusually mature for a program at this stage of development, as the Air Force has already completed much of the testing and risk reduction. Although there are no indications a complete prototype has flown, the team has already built component prototypes and scale models for testing. LaPlante recently indicated the plane could begin flying relatively soon after selection.
But the winning formula was most likely not just a question of delivering more stealth or more range. In LRS-B, the winner had to meet a complex set of requirements that stress risk reduction, an open systems architecture, agile management and manufacturing technology.
There is one other way in which LRS-B will differ from other programs: its production rate. The number is based on a “fundable profile, without the big ramp-up you see on F-35,” LaPlante said. “We have set it up to be resilient,” with affordable annual funding. “That would be $550 million times your production rate, which might be seven or eight per year,” he said. The rate is much lower than recent combat aircraft programs but also means the line will be moving until almost 2040. Many bomber advocates quietly argue that if LRS-B delivers, and Asia-Pacific operations remain important, the Air Force will need more than 100 of the bombers.
Many bomber advocates quietly argue that if LRS-B delivers, and Asia-Pacific operations remain important, the Air Force will need more than 100 of the bombers.