a reply to: BigTrain
Using a faster aircraft will involve a trade-off in terms of cost, complexity, payload, and signature, or some combination thereof.
Example: From an IR standpoint, going faster than high subsonic actually increases the warning time
(measured in minutes) to the enemy due to
thermal heating. This does not include the effect afterburners have. Supersonic cruise also uses significant amounts of fuel (reducing range),
generates a sonic boom, and requires greater wing sweep reducing cruise efficiency. Alternatively swing-wings could be used but these impact weight,
complexity, cost, and possibly RCS.
Therefore, a large amount of the question is: Is it harder for the adversary to concentrate on detecting a large number of extremely stealthy aircraft
compared to a reduced number of less stealthy but faster aircraft? Or some variation on this question depending in the tradeoffs I mentioned above. I
don't definitively know the answer. But I do know that much of your logic is massively flawed and the answer would also depend on how the LRS-B is
actually intended to be used or how you think it should be used. More on that later in this post.
You will NEVER fly these birds into an active air combat scenario with enemy fighters lurking.
LRS as a high level system is not entirely known, however it will include or operate in conjunction with:
- Space assets (possibly including X-37B) for ISR and communications
- ISR assets such as RQ-180
- AEW&C assets such as E-7A or E-2D
Generally speaking, the great range of such a longer range bomber would allow it to fly around the highest threat environments remaining undetected
allow it to strike its targets, using the previously mentioned assets to find the target, the threats to avoid, and communicate this to the B-21. It's
pretty unlikely that you're going to fly any heavy bomber into the highest threat environments like an "active air combat scenario with enemy
fighters", supersonic or not. This isn't Rambo. If that's needed then use stand-off munitions.
Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) (they receive most of their funding from DOD) investigated ways to offset "China" and they
termed it AirSea Battle. Note that AirSea battle was actually part of the doctrine of the US military before it was renamed. I'm not sure how big the
difference is between CSBA and the "official" version. My guess would be that they are similar. AirSea Battle also has similarities to AirLand Battle,
which was the doctrine the US would have used to defend Europe from a massive Soviet invasion. AirLand Battle was also used in the first Gulf War.
The AirSea Battle campaign has two stages. The initial stage, commencing with the outbreak of hostilities, comprises four distinct lines of
>>Withstanding the initial attack and limiting damage to US and allied forces and bases;
>>Executing a blinding campaign against PLA battle networks;
>>Executing a suppression campaign against PLA long-range ISR and strike systems;
>>Seizing and sustaining the initiative in the air, sea, space and cyber domains
If US forces possessed a significant long-range strike capability, thereby enabling them to penetrate China’s borders from all directions, then PLA
air defenders would be compelled to either thin out their defenses in the Western Pacific, divert substantial resources to defending other regions, or
accept significantly greater vulnerability along undefended areas
LRS-B is for deep-strike, not a replacement for tactical fighters. In a war against China (or Russia for that matter) the "sneak attack" part is
. The adversary can be attacked from all directions, at a time and place "we" choose, after having studied their vulnerabilities. If they
decide to defend themselves by moving their forces around, then they simply open up more holes in their defenses and are vulnerable to more "sneak"
attacks. Eventually their battle networks will be so degraded and ISR and strike systems destroyed, that the US Navy and tactical fighters can move in
closer to the mainland.
Of course, that's the idea, whether it works is a whole different story.
I think you read more about AirLand Battle or AirSea Battle and how the US intends to counter China or Russia. For China at least, you have no hope of
trying to beat them head-on it has
to be asymmetric.
subsonic dies in a real war
Both the F-117 and B-2 have been successfully used in real wars.
So again, we are back to the B-1b flying the majority of the bomb truck missions in 2020-2040.
B-1B wouldn't come close in capability to the B-21 in such a high-end scenario, too easily detectable. B-1B would still be useful though, just not
"behind enemy lines" so to speak.
Also the B-1B is limited to Mach 0.95 at low altitude and 1.25 and high altitude, the speed advantage over subsonic aircraft isn't that great. Main
reason it's used is it's the cheapest strategic bomber per flight hour, it's also a conventional bomber (nuclear has been deactivated), it can operate
from relatively short or hot and high runways, and SNIPER pod has been added. The B-2 meanwhile is extremely expensive to operate, nuclear capable,
extremely stealthy, and given only 20 are in service with production ended, it would be rather silly to waste them on missions where their
capabilities are not strictly needed. This is the same reason it would be daft to waste the F-22 on CAS. Thus if the LRS-B program is successful in
delivering 100 aircraft at an "affordable" cost there is no reason it cannot completely supplant the B-1B.
End of story.
Start of story.
edit on 19/3/17 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)