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U.S. Air Force Said Poised to Award Bomber Contract Tuesday

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posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 03:59 PM
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a reply to: aholic

The B-1R was never more than an idea tossed around half in fun. It was never going to go anywhere from the start.

It was an interesting way to repurpose the B-1 and solve many of the ongoing issues the fleet has, but it wasn't ever really a serious proposal. It would have cost too much, and taken funding from too many needed programs, for really nothing more than a whiz bang project that Dale Brown would have been proud of.




posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 04:51 PM
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a reply to: aholic

Pardon my jumping in here - been reading on this topic on ATS for some time but never posted. Are there any drawings (artist educated renderings) of what the LM bird and NG bird may look like? Everyone keeps saying they look cool, etc.

I googled it but there's no clear answer, at least to me. Plus, you guys know what you're talking about.



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 04:55 PM
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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.


In a nutshell, Maverick [speedy flyboy jock] vs Iceman [mission focused competence].
edit on 28-10-2015 by mbkennel because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 04:58 PM
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a reply to: darksidius

Yes there are certainly more airplanes to build. And some of the LRS-B's cousins may in fact be more exciting than the LRS itself!



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 05:03 PM
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a reply to: stolencar18

The popular Northrop renderings are pretty close in all honesty. At least from what I'm hearing, others may have more to add.

The LM proposal went through a bunch of changes since their initial press, but there are good hints out there.



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 05:30 PM
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a reply to: stolencar18

Take the X-47b and the X-45c, put a cockpit where the engine inlet is and add a couple engine inlets on either side and you would probably not be too far off from what they look like.




posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 05:30 PM
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a reply to: aholic

Given that everyone here seems to be on the same page as far as the Northrop entry being basically a 2/3-scale B-2 with RQ-180 grade stealth abilities, while the Lockheed Martin entry was faster but less stealthy, I'd guess that these renderings from Lockheed, circa 2007, would give a pretty good impression of the direction they were going in with their proposal:

www.hitechweb.genezis.eu...

www.ainonline.com...

I'd guess that their proposal was something along the lines of "A B-58-sized stealth triangle with the B-1B's flight envelope but only half the bone's payload, and with F-35 grade stealth features/avionics". And their renderings seem to support that hunch.

Which is why, in hindsight, the Amarillo craft was all but certainly Northrop's bird.



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 05:30 PM
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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, everybody else wanted an updated Viper for good air defense and some interdiction capability. They thought that's what they'd be getting. There's a reason the F-16 sells so well: it meets the most common military needs at the right price.

Instead they got an overly expensive short-legged strike bomber with great ground-targeting computers, but which compromised the non-VSTOL dynamics versions because of trying to merge the B in one airframe. OK for USA which has F-22, but not so great for others.

Suppose Honda changed the next generation Civic into an automatic driving delivery truck? F-35 is a logical upgrade of F-117B not F-16.

I'm guessing the market woudl have wanted a Rafale with lower RCS. ("Rafale Noir")

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posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 05:35 PM
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a reply to: mbkennel

And if I were Dassault, I'd be burning the midnight oil to make that reduced-RCS Rafale happen. There could be a pretty big market for it.

Ironically, the country that could benefit the most from an F-35 purchase (After Japan deciding to weld ski jumps onto the Izumo's), India, is now the Rafale's biggest customer.

If I were India right now, given China's territorial aspirations, a fleet of 3-6 improved Kievs carrying hypersonic anti-ship missiles and an airwing of F-35B's would look mighty tempting as a way of quickly building some MAJOR power projection ability.
edit on 28-10-2015 by Barnalby because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 05:42 PM
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a reply to: Barnalby

The RCS of both aircraft was very nearly identical.



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 05:47 PM
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a reply to: Barnalby

That's entirely possible give India's growing disdain with the Russians and their equipment. I'll bet there are some LM boys over there now buying dinners for some big wigs.
They need to streamline their procurement process though.



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 06:00 PM
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a reply to: Barnalby

Yes I love that render too. But that was a very early proposal for a different iteration of the competition. Once Boeing got involved that planform changed drastically. Related, though, certainly.



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 06:34 PM
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a reply to: Sammamishman

Actually, India has been putting in a request to get the F-35 for over 5 years. The State Department & DOD ignores it.

The Indians will want to have the tech from the F-35 as an offset. That's not going to happen and there's no point discussing it. They still ask though. India'd love the A and B. Possibly even the C.



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 07:17 PM
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a reply to: anzha

Strange, that's not what I read, at least back in 2012:

in.mobile.reuters.com...

"The U.S. Defense Department on Tuesday repeated its willingness to share information about the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jet if the Indian government expressed interest in buying the stealthy new, multinational fighter plane. "

Sorry, can't quote properly while I'm mobile.



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 07:46 PM
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India has a really good tech base but s manufacturing is still very primitive compared to Israel or Japan.With corruption in its political circles its lucky it gets anything done..Culturally they are a third world country but with a Space division they can play with the big boys.
LOL for a long time I thought the LocBo bird was the Green Lady or Sr-72..



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 09:22 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Just like how Lockheed/Boeing was a shoe in to win?



posted on Oct, 28 2015 @ 11:10 PM
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a reply to: Sammamishman

Interesting. I've heard what I posted both from DOD folks and Indian. Very interesting.



posted on Oct, 29 2015 @ 02:31 AM
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a reply to: mbkennel


I can't exactly blame the foreign operators. Other than UK who needed the B to replace harriers

Italy will also operate the F-35B.


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.

Do you have any evidence that this is the case at all?

The Canadian decision was by politics, my understanding was the RCAF preferred the F-35. In Australia the RAAF sticks with the F-35 claiming that it is the only aircraft that meets requirements, and in fact in many cases it leads the doctrine of the ADF. In Australia the only controversy the F-35 generates is by politicians and journalists, who don't know much about defense.

I wouldn't call people like Justin Trudeau an operator, they're politicians trying to get votes.


a reply to: Barnalby

Reduced RCS Rafale will still not approach the F-35 in terms of stealth or avionics.

Why?

Because the Rafale tends to rely on external weapons and external fuel tanks. Which cause the RCS to skyrocket. Integrating everything a 4th generation fighter carries internally, into a stealthy aircraft, will always lead to something closer to the F-35. Putting holes inside an aircraft to carry fuel and weapons makes it fat.

Even if the F-35B never existed, the F-35 would have always ended up similar to how it is, unless the range was reduced or the aircraft was made larger and much more expensive.

The F-35 is also cheaper than Rafale in terms of unit cost.

The real problem with the F-35 is it is innately extremely complex. An extreme amount of technology is integrated together very tightly, across 3 different variants. If a part is redesigned that means regression testing must occur, across all variants to differing requirements. And often a redesigned part will require other parts to be redesigned as well. You get the picture.

That's not necessarily the fault of Lockheed, although perhaps they screwed up as well. That's the fault of the US Government for creating the JSF program that way. They seem to be stressing affordability for LRS-B and risk mitigation, so clearly they've learned from JSF. Example:


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.

www.defensenews.com...



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.

aviationweek.com...



(the F-35 is extremely sensitive to production rate).
edit on 29/10/15 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 29 2015 @ 04:59 AM
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a reply to: C0bzz



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.

That could either mean basing in Australia or flyins I expect..Maybe it could lead to future sales as we do need a long range strategic bomber replacement for the F111.



posted on Oct, 29 2015 @ 12:57 PM
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a reply to: Sammamishman

8 years from what date?

The IOC date doesnt mean its being sent to combat. And even so, 1 mission here and there maybe to knock a SAM site, so they can cheer backhome in the Creech bunker or some darkened room in the pentagon, but the LRS-b wont be on station, loitering, waiting for the air support call.

Its going to be so new and shinny they wont want to use it. History as a guide.




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