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USAF: Long-Range Strike Options Considered

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posted on Oct, 11 2005 @ 01:30 PM
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Originally posted by xmotex
To all those commenting that the B-1 is an "aging airframe" - ever hear of the B-52? There is no particular reason that airframe age should preclude the B-1R's development. And leveraging an existing airframe means huge devlopment and production cost savings. The rebuild will allow the USAF to address the well-understood shortcomings of the existing B-1, making it a far more effective aircraft.


I know the AF has had reports that state that they will have the B-52 until somewhere around 2037...But It wont be in service that long, I highly doubt there will be any operational military B-52's past 2030.
I dont think the B-52 really has a role anymore these days.


and Zion, I think the FALCON is completely different, and the AF is building up to it, there doing phases to gets the technology more mature, and that craft would not be participating in the FB arena.




posted on Oct, 11 2005 @ 02:10 PM
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Originally posted by Zion Mainframe

I'm surprised they didnt mention the FALCON project, are they going to cancel that, or do they want to use existing technology as much as possible (kind of like NASA does with its Moon project)?



FALCON is still very much alive but most concepts have it as a small hypersonic delivery vehicle not a hypersonic bomb truck hauling tons of ordinance halfway around the globe.

I'm relatively sure that as you eluded, existing technology is seen as being the quickest to field - therefore don't count on hypersonic bombers just yet.

Even if the FALCON did come to fruition as a deployable weapon system, I would not anticipate it being ready to go into full production by 2015 which is when the winning "interim strike/regional strike/global strike" concepts are slated to go into production. (FALCON is not supposed to be viable until 2025 anyway I think)

I'm inclined to think that the FALCON project will end up being a technology demonstrator as opposed to seeing fruition as a weapon delivery system on it's own... but that is just my opinion.

[edit on 11-10-2005 by intelgurl]



posted on Oct, 11 2005 @ 03:11 PM
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I dont think the B-52 really has a role anymore these days.


It seemed to be pretty effective in Afghanistan, if you recall.
A penetration bomber it's not, but it can deliver lots of ordnance a very long way with great acccuracy. I wouldn't be suprised to see them in use beyond 2037 actually. There is nothing inherently wrong with the airframe, old or not, it still does its job very well.



posted on Oct, 11 2005 @ 03:36 PM
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Originally posted by xmotex



I dont think the B-52 really has a role anymore these days.


It seemed to be pretty effective in Afghanistan, if you recall.
A penetration bomber it's not, but it can deliver lots of ordnance a very long way with great acccuracy. I wouldn't be suprised to see them in use beyond 2037 actually. There is nothing inherently wrong with the airframe, old or not, it still does its job very well.


Yes it was...but the point I was trying to make is that whatever it did...could have being done by something else.
And its ordinance Accuracy has nothing to do with the aircraft, its the GPS guided bombs. Theres no need for that old slow large payload bomber. A B-1 could handle its tasks, or even a F-15E.



posted on Oct, 11 2005 @ 03:51 PM
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If there's no need for it why are they keeping them in service?
Nostalgia?


And yes, GPS guided munitions make the aircraft irrelevant to accuracy.
Which is IMHO a point for the B-52, not against it.

My point is that while the B-52 may not be the most exciting gee-whiz aircraft, it still performs it's assigned mission very effectively, thus there is no reason to reitre/replace it. The aiframes themselves seem like they'll have no problem lasting until their planned retirement date (or longer).



posted on Oct, 11 2005 @ 05:29 PM
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The problem I have with using a B-1 is that you are essentially buying a bunch of new aircraft for the AF that don't give the AF new capabilities.

Like I said before, if the AF is serious about getting a new bomber, they need to go all out and not half arse it. There is really no reason to buy a bunch of modified B-1's in my opinion. It just doesn't make sense.

The USAF has those same capabilities right now. They already have the B-1. If they need a new strike aircraft, but want to base it off of an existing platform, they should go with the F/b-22 or F/B-23. At least that way they are getting stealth with their money, which would increase the AFs capabilities and further build up the all stealth fleet that the AF seems to want.



posted on Oct, 11 2005 @ 05:36 PM
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In my fullest of opinions, I believe that the FB-23 would be the best choice for a new Long-Range capable option.

Shattered OUT...



posted on Oct, 11 2005 @ 08:58 PM
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Originally posted by Char2c35t
The x=47 and the Lockheed Long Range Strike UCAV Concept look to be on the right track the boing x-45d seems to be the weakest.

4. x-45d- seem to be better as a recon plane
1. x-47 - a mini uav b2


- I'm a little confused about what you said.
You realize that the only major difference between the to is that the X-47B was made for the carriers, and its wings can fold.
I dont see why you think the X-45D would be a good recon plane, thats what the Global Hawk is for, it fits the bill with its long wings.



posted on Oct, 11 2005 @ 09:04 PM
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American Mad Man, Im very surprised to hear you say that you dont like the B-1. Besides being one of my top 3 favorite planes of all time, it is an invaluable asset to the AF which even they are just beginning to realize.

To the people who say its an aging airframe, I highly disagree. If youve ever seen the inside of the airframe, you will notice it is in pristine condition and very well manufactured. The reason for all the initial problems was because it was such a highly innovative aircraft and some technologies hadnt been fully worked out upon completion.

Let me sum up the B-1's capabilities and maybe you'll see that it can do what others cannot.

This aircraft was developed as a low altitude, high speed attack bomber. Its goal was to penetrate BELOW radar, not by being invisible to it, but pretty close. It has terrain following capabilites which essentially can place the aircraft at 50 feet off the ground at 900 mph for a dam near invisible and silent approach to a target. It would skim the ground until its target approched and then would obliterate its objective and continue on its way, all the time, never climbing to altitude.

This plane is also extremely agile for a bomber, essentially pulling moves like a fighter. It carries almost two times the payload as a b-52 and can house 82 500 pound gps or laser guided bombs, among many many other types of munitions. This plane is very dangerous to the enemy.

There simply is not any other plane on earth that can compare with its capabilites. Already an astonding bomber, the upgrades would make this baby, unreal, cruising at mach 2.2 and inhancing its electronic capabilities and upgrading stealth features would make it an even more impressive airframe. Aging and obsolete, ha, I highy dont think so.

Train



posted on Oct, 11 2005 @ 09:31 PM
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Last i heared the B-1 was designed for high level high speed attacks and they adapted the airframe etc for low level attacks. The swing wing has been rendered more useless now because to be able to manuvere any where close to agile the wings are swept forward therefore slowing down the plane.
Dont get me wrong i love the plane and it does a ok job but its lacking enough generator power is a big problem. There is some hope for the B-1b but the AF and Gov really screwed it up good.



posted on Oct, 11 2005 @ 09:36 PM
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The problem I have with using a B-1 is that you are essentially buying a bunch of new aircraft for the AF that don't give the AF new capabilities.


A low observable (not so much as a F-22 or B-2, but the B-1B is a somewhat stealthy aircraft already) Mach 2.2 aircraft that carries twice the warload of a B-52 and can take out intercepting fighters from beyond visible range would be an entirely new capability. At far less cost than developing a brand new aircraft.

I expect the inadequate generating capacity would be among the issues dealt with in the upgrade, if it's something that's proven to be a problem in the past. It'd be necessary anyway to power the proposed radar.

[edit on 10/11/05 by xmotex]



posted on Oct, 11 2005 @ 10:06 PM
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*head spins*

This is really mixing up a variety of airframes.
Some of these are no more than stealthy cruise missiles.

First we have to pick:
1. Stealth strike
2. Deep strike
3. Loiter strike
4. Stand-off strike
5. Support strike
6. or a combination of the above

Then juggle cost versus advanced capabilities.

And pick an actual prefered combat scenario for it to accomplish.

Moderated with a ton of advancements in stealth, propulsion, and weaponry. Some of which are certainly not matured yet.

I have to think of the "80% of the ordnance was dropped by the B-1B's 20% of the sorties." Loiter strike/support strike is good. Versus the new need for a stealthy fast deep strike requirement of the future.

In all probabilty, it might be a manned fast stealthy deep strike aircraft, perhaps accompanied by smaller un-manned airframes of the same capabilities. It needs to carry a lot of electronics, light on ordnance.
And it will probably be none of these...



posted on Oct, 11 2005 @ 11:34 PM
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Originally posted by Canada_EH
Last i heared the B-1 was designed for high level high speed attacks and they adapted the airframe etc for low level attacks. The swing wing has been rendered more useless now because to be able to manuvere any where close to agile the wings are swept forward therefore slowing down the plane.
Dont get me wrong i love the plane and it does a ok job but its lacking enough generator power is a big problem. There is some hope for the B-1b but the AF and Gov really screwed it up good.


Not entirely true. The wings and fuselage are both acting as lift surfaces with the wings swept. The plane is able to manuver just fine with the wings swept, I've seen them do an aileron roll while climbing with the wings at about 60 degrees. The reason the wings sweep forward is for low speed flight. The slower you go, the less angle you have to have on the wings, thus creating more lift. You COULD land with them swept, one did at Edwards with them at 55 degrees, but it REALLY wasn't pretty and caused a lot of damage. Melted brakes, blown tires, etc.

[edit on 10/11/2005 by Zaphod58]



posted on Oct, 11 2005 @ 11:39 PM
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Originally posted by Murcielago
I know the AF has had reports that state that they will have the B-52 until somewhere around 2037...But It wont be in service that long, I highly doubt there will be any operational military B-52's past 2030.
I dont think the B-52 really has a role anymore these days.


The newest role for the BUFF is after they upgrade it to the J model in the next few years. They're rewriting the USAF jamming doctrine, and are converting them to stand off jamming platforms, with a bombing capability. They'll be paired up with MC-130 Combat Talons, with EF-18s and EA-6Bs going in with the strike packages.



posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 12:01 AM
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Originally posted by BigTrain
American Mad Man, Im very surprised to hear you say that you dont like the B-1. Besides being one of my top 3 favorite planes of all time, it is an invaluable asset to the AF which even they are just beginning to realize.

To the people who say its an aging airframe, I highly disagree. If youve ever seen the inside of the airframe, you will notice it is in pristine condition and very well manufactured. The reason for all the initial problems was because it was such a highly innovative aircraft and some technologies hadnt been fully worked out upon completion.

Let me sum up the B-1's capabilities and maybe you'll see that it can do what others cannot.

This aircraft was developed as a low altitude, high speed attack bomber. Its goal was to penetrate BELOW radar, not by being invisible to it, but pretty close. It has terrain following capabilites which essentially can place the aircraft at 50 feet off the ground at 900 mph for a dam near invisible and silent approach to a target. It would skim the ground until its target approched and then would obliterate its objective and continue on its way, all the time, never climbing to altitude.

This plane is also extremely agile for a bomber, essentially pulling moves like a fighter. It carries almost two times the payload as a b-52 and can house 82 500 pound gps or laser guided bombs, among many many other types of munitions. This plane is very dangerous to the enemy.

There simply is not any other plane on earth that can compare with its capabilites. Already an astonding bomber, the upgrades would make this baby, unreal, cruising at mach 2.2 and inhancing its electronic capabilities and upgrading stealth features would make it an even more impressive airframe. Aging and obsolete, ha, I highy dont think so.

Train


It's not so much that I don't like the B-1, it's just that the USAF already has it, and I wouldn't want more money invested into it.

I do understand what it brings to the table, it's just that, IMHO, it won't have a place in the mid/long term future. The USAF is going to be building a brand new bomber within the next 15-20 years that should be faster flying AND more stealty. So why buy a bunch of B-1's that are going to be obsolete in a decade and a half anyway? IMO, it's better to spend that money elsewhere - like on a NEW bomber, or buiding MORE Raptors.

My opinion is that NO money should go towards this project. But IF they are going to spend it, it should be spent on the F/B-23.



posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 10:51 PM
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X-47B update

Lockheed Martin has finished their first round of testing the X-47B RCS, work will continue threw 2006.

Lockheed X-47B RCS

The site has a couple hi-res shots of it.





posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 11:04 PM
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That x-47b is one Bad A$$ Mo fo. That facility is so highly advanced, i got goosebumps looking at that.

Train



posted on Oct, 13 2005 @ 05:15 PM
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How about flying tht baby over the rose bowl this yr and not telling anybody what it is, except that its not the b-2, 99% of the people there would be like, wtf!?!?!

hahahah

Train



posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 02:24 PM
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what will replace the b52? thats a hard choice the flexiblity of the BUFF is huge they should start making them agian or try to make a stealth version.

the 45 doesnt look like a bomber it looks like a recon plane while the 47b looks like a mini b-2 BOMBER!

the BUFF is the greatest BOMBER ever made bar none!

We need to move pasted B1 70's tech it has too many problems it was good for its time but its time is passed, it lacks the flexiblity of the BUFF thus we should explore new things.



posted on Oct, 14 2005 @ 02:57 PM
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Originally posted by Char2c35t
what will replace the b52? thats a hard choice the flexiblity of the BUFF is huge they should start making them agian or try to make a stealth version.

the 45 doesnt look like a bomber it looks like a recon plane while the 47b looks like a mini b-2 BOMBER!

the BUFF is the greatest BOMBER ever made bar none!

We need to move pasted B1 70's tech it has too many problems it was good for its time but its time is passed, it lacks the flexiblity of the BUFF thus we should explore new things.


The B-2 will be phased out over the next quarter century, and IMO, it will be replaced with a mixture of aircraft ranging from UCAVs to the PHALCON to the soon to be started B-3 project.



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