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The Arsenal Plane: Here comes the newest buff for the BUFF

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posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 04:38 PM
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SecDef Carter just gave a briefing/talk on the latest DOD budget. There were a number of interesting bits. The Navy's railguns are getting funded strongly. The US Army is getting into the swarming UAV/missile game. The one that matters to this forum is the 'arsenal plane.' This is going to be the latest upgrade to the B-52, at least as presented.

Back in the 1990s, before Adm Boorda committed suicide (partially over the medal flap driven by Hackworth), he was pushing for the arsenal ship. It was effectively a modern battleship, really, built into the hull of a oil tanker. The plan was for over 500 VLS cells in the ship and to park it off the coast of a nation as a statement. The project was beset by critics immediately - no small part because just the cost of filling that many cells would be crazy at a time when destroyers were sailing with many cells unfilled - and its role was partially filled by the recycled Ohio class SSGNs. The final nail was when Boorda, a surface admiral and primary advocate, died.

The arsenal plane takes some cues from its floating cousin. The idea is to network an enhanced B-52 with an increased capacity to the fifth gen fighters. The B-52s would act as huge missile magazines for the 5th gen fighters. I suspect, based on what I read, it sounds like they will be introducing something like a VLS system for the B-52. That would be...interesting. Add in either Tomahawks, JASSM or some other long range missile, it would be...rather interesting. It might make the B-52 unmanned as well.

The flip side is the nuclear potential. If a AP BUFF carried 64 cells, then - potentially! - the BUFF could carry 64 nuclear cruise missiles. Just one BUFF could destroy a country. It would give huge import to developing new interceptors with long, long ranges and likewise networked long range, hypersonic AAMs.

I'd think a new airframe might be wise, but given the combat availability of the BUFF over the other bombers, they might be onto something. Also, it should be noted, the B-2 has a better readiness than the B-1 (~55% vs 47%) and given the exotic nature of the B-2, that's pretty damning: so actual data to support the anecdotes from Zaphod now.




posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 04:52 PM
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a reply to: anzha

One would think the Boeing offering of the B-1R would address Zaphod's concerns with being a bitch to maintain.


Upgraded with F-119 engines or even F-135s, their speed/super-cruise capabilities would be a huge asset. Conversely, Buffs are damned slow. It would slow a strike package down or even telegraph it's intent by having to depart sooner that the fast movers.


Pretty hard to reduce the RCS of a BUFF as well....



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 05:06 PM
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a reply to: nwtrucker

The problem is the B-1R will be a direct competitor to the LRS-B in the budget and the remanufactured B-1R is going to be really expensive. Never believe a defense contractor's quote for price.

The AP BUFF (should we call it the BUFF AS? heh) will have better payload than any variant of the B-1. Likewise, any advantages of the Boner will be useless in the role the BUFF will have under this plan: the BUFF would linger at extreme standoff range and pop off its munitions as the 5th gens call in attacks. There's no need for the high speed and low rcs. In fact, it would be better to have a high rcs because it'd drown out anyone flying with you (like the Russians did in Syria) and also it'd be a statement, showing up and being very visible...



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 05:10 PM
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originally posted by: anzha
a reply to: nwtrucker

The problem is the B-1R will be a direct competitor to the LRS-B in the budget and the remanufactured B-1R is going to be really expensive. Never believe a defense contractor's quote for price.

The AP BUFF (should we call it the BUFF AS? heh) will have better payload than any variant of the B-1. Likewise, any advantages of the Boner will be useless in the role the BUFF will have under this plan: the BUFF would linger at extreme standoff range and pop off its munitions as the 5th gens call in attacks. There's no need for the high speed and low rcs. In fact, it would be better to have a high rcs because it'd drown out anyone flying with you (like the Russians did in Syria) and also it'd be a statement, showing up and being very visible...


visible? Where you gonna find the pilots....LOL



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 05:24 PM
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a reply to: nwtrucker

???

It might be unmanned.


But I don't think that's the point you're getting at.



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 05:24 PM
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originally posted by: anzha
a reply to: nwtrucker



The AP BUFF (should we call it the BUFF AS? heh) will have better payload than any variant of the B-1.


How do you manage that? The B-1b still has a larger payload than the B-52 by roughly 5k lbs. Unless you re-engine as well as re-engineer and rebuild the wing roots I don't see that changing.



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 05:31 PM
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a reply to: nwtrucker

What makes you think they'll have to get in range of anyone? The fifth gen units will pick targets for them. Most of their weapons will be air to ground to help kick the door down.



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 05:39 PM
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a reply to: anzha

LOL No it wasn't. I'd assume the other side will have long range missile systems as well.



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 05:42 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Air to ground? OK.


Long range air to ground. The other guys have pretty good radar as well, not bad missiles either. Hey, what do I know?



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 05:42 PM
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a reply to: nwtrucker

A 250 mile missile isn't going to do you a damn bit of good if I can launch from 300 miles out. And the farther out my aircraft are, the lower your Pk.
edit on 2/2/2016 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 05:44 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Oh, now I get it, control via the 5th gens...their sensor package targeting.



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 05:50 PM
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a reply to: nwtrucker

Long range in anti air and air to air missiles looks great, on paper. The longer the missile travels (no matter who we're talking about) the faster your Pk numbers drop. Something like 5-10% of BVR missiles fired in Desert Storm resulted in even damaging the target aircraft. Missiles have improved a lot since then, but it still holds true. You'll get more long range hits n, but you're still going to watch your Pk drop like a waterfall at extreme range.



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 05:51 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Then a huge factor is range of missiles. There's Vs ours. A general question based on ignorance. Which has the better range, top of the line missiles or top of the line detection systems?



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 06:01 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

OK, got it. Bottom line, for the foreseeable future long range BUFFs are fairly safe. Now, if say a 5th gen taking control of a missile fired from those BUFFS
, is the PK improved?



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 06:01 PM
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a reply to: nwtrucker

Detection. An AWACS radar can see in excess of 300 miles.



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 06:04 PM
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a reply to: nwtrucker

Yes and no. If it can get better information on the way in before the terminal phase it can refine the targeting better. But you're still going to have a missile low on fuel burning in as it enters the terminal phase. It's also at max speed which puts more stress if it has to maneuver.



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 06:12 PM
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a reply to: Sammamishman

Aren't the external hardpoints disabled these days due to treaty restrictions?



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 06:14 PM
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a reply to: anzha

On the BUFF or the B-1?



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 06:16 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

B-1.



posted on Feb, 2 2016 @ 06:27 PM
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a reply to: anzha

They are under START II, but they hated them anyway so it wasn't a big loss.
edit on 2/2/2016 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)




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