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Pentagon wants new AF Bomber!

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posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 12:19 AM
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Just when you though you have figured out what the Future USAF will be...they change it all up.


A couple days ago they (AF) announced that there retiring 40% of the B-52's, all F-117's, all U-2's, half of its C-21's, in order to scrounge up more mulla for the F-22 Raptor.

Now the J-UCAS has gotten the axe. For those of you unaware of what that is, its the X-45 & the X-47.

And the Pentagon is saying it wants a new (possibly manned) bomber. Beginning in 2006 they will begin work on the next-generation long-range strike aircraft. It will have Global Strike Capability, and begin its operational life in 2015.



Three capabilities are expected to be essential for the Next Generation Long Range Strike Aircraft program: the ability to remain airborne for many, many hours; the means to fly very long distances; and the ability to carry significant numbers of bombs. The importance of these factors is expected to make the case for an unmanned system.

Killer Drone, Dead; New Bomber Lives



Its very early on...So i'm not yet sure if this will use FALCON related R&D or not.

and heres the link for Inside Defense, but you need to be registered to view.

Mod Edit: New External Source Tags – Please Review This Link.


[edit on 13/1/2006 by Mirthful Me]




posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 12:38 AM
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It's interesting news, especiallly the emphasis on range and payload.

I don't think any of the proposals we've seen recently (FB-23, FB-22, B-1R) are likely to meet the range and payload requirements.



posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 01:24 AM
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The J-UCAS program may have been canceled but who knows, the services might still buy some UCAS'. And what about the Interim Bomber, are they going ahead with that? As for this new bomber, my guess is either unmanned hypersonic or manned supercruise stealth.

[edit on 13-1-2006 by NWguy83]



posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 03:10 AM
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My guess is the Fighter Mafia will have it killed within two years. We don't need heavy bombers! We have the F-22!



posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 04:10 AM
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To be honest, I don't think anyone knows what the USAF wants or will look like in the future, as the USAF doesn't know what it wants or will look like in the future



posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 04:15 AM
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As long as the Fighter Mafia is around I know exactly what the USAF will look like. All the most advanced fighters, and screw the rest. Don't have enough tankers? That's ok, let's sell some of the older ones to buy more fighters, and we'll reengine the ones we have. Bombers? What good are bombers if we don't have enough fighters to take air superiority, so let's cut the bombers, to get more fighters. We don't need that much airlift. What are we the Army?



posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 05:23 AM
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OMG?! They're cancelling the J-UCAS program??!!
WTF?!

Does anyone have another source, Inside defense seems to be the only website reporting on this...


(click to expand)



posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 06:32 AM
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Well, it's about time! Let's see here, the B-52 is 50 somthing years old. The B-1 is a peice of sh*t (If you don't believe me, go pull last year's news article about the problems with the wings). The B-2 is Great, but there are only 21 in existance. I'd say we need a new bomber, wouldn't you?

What they should look at is a heavy bomber design to carry 40'000 or more of the latest PGM's and air to ground weapons. This time, the Pentagon and the Air Force need to get it right!

Tim



posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 08:37 AM
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Originally posted by Zaphod58
As long as the Fighter Mafia is around I know exactly what the USAF will look like.


I might be a liitle slow on the uptake here but i am not familiar with the "Fighter Mafia". Could someone please explain



posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 09:12 AM
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Originally posted by zoso28
I might be a liitle slow on the uptake here but i am not familiar with the "Fighter Mafia". Could someone please explain


I assume it means most/all of the top generals in the airforce (the decision makers in other words) are all ex-fighter pilots. Thus the airforce is being run by people that only thing in terms of fighter aircraft.




Interestingly, I know for a fact their closed-mindedness extends beyond the allocation of resources for fighter/bomber/support aircraft research/procurement etc. But also how weapons are designed for fighters (could be bombers too, but fighters I know of for sure).

Extensive work (including actual testing I think) has been carried out on SMA based deployment of control surfaces, to enable the F-22 to carry a much, much heavier (and more numerous) bomb load internally than is possible with conventional cylinderical JDAMs etc with their extruding control surfaces taking up volume. Despite the impressive results of the tests etc and the general in charge of the research being very enthusiastic about it (he is apparently from the weapons side of the AF) the ex-figher-pilots insist on using wing pylons to bring up the bomb load instead, "as that is the done thing". Since there is more ex-fighter-pilots around than anyone else, their decision is final. They are the fighter mafia.



posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 09:17 AM
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Strange that they are retiring the B-52... A couple of years ago they were still suppsoed to "live" 25 years longer...



posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 10:47 AM
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Originally posted by Figher Master FIN
Strange that they are retiring the B-52... A couple of years ago they were still suppsoed to "live" 25 years longer...


That one didn't suprise me much. Its an old old bird.

but yeah, I remember a couple years ago when they talked about there Bomber Roadmap, and that they wouldn't need a new bomber until 2037. I guess I missed the fine print that said: give or take a couple decades.


[edit on 13-1-2006 by Murcielago]



posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 01:15 PM
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Im curious to get Intelgirls input on this, as I was under the impression she worked/works on this (I may be wrong)


But I dont think this is huge, both of these projects have yielded a HUGE amount of tech and data. We also need to consider the results of the tests on these aircraft may not have yielded what they wanted, better to drop now than go on and waste more money. Take the lessons learned and make something better with that cash. And think about it: They expect a manned plane to be operational by 2015, thats only 9 years from now. Who's to say that the X-45 and X47 would have been operational by then either?

Bummer, but not so terrible news.

[edit on 13-1-2006 by skippytjc]



posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 05:02 PM
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Originally posted by skippytjc
Im curious to get Intelgirls input on this, as I was under the impression she worked/works on this (I may be wrong)


I am actually not surprised by this, there are so many UCAV projects ongoing right now it's mindboggling. The USAF has not given up on unmanned aircraft - quite the opposite really, as UAV's are still a huge part of USAF doctrine in spite of the "fighter mafia".
If the X-45 and 47 are cancelled it has not been a waste, we have learned a lot about ucavs through the J-UCAS program.

The biggest need right now for UCAVs is the "area denial" mission, and that requires long loiter times (endurance) of which the X-45 & 47 are ill-suited.
Of course there is nothing sexy about a slow moving, long endurance, high altitude, hunter-killer drone but that is where the need is.

Such MALE & HALE UCAVs can be fitted to handle both ISR and ground attack missions simultaneously, thus blending the links of the "kill chain" and allowing for a shorter amount of time from target-sighted to package delivery and assessment.

Should the US enter into a conflict that requires the functionality of the X-45 or 47 there is no doubt that these x-planes can be prepped to go into production rather quickly.

Regarding the proposed "Global Strike" system, I would not expect it to be an FB-22 or FB-23, although I personally think the FB-23 would come closer to meeting the payload need as it is conceptually a much larger airframe than the original YF-23 and F-22.

These 2 systems (FB-22 & FB-23) are already being considered for the regional bomber concept, if they are not considered for the "Global Strike" project then I think we may be looking at something a bit more exotic, perhaps a hypersonic aircraft utilizing dual stage propulsion methods (aka: Combined Cycle Engine); one for low/transonic speeds (turbofan) and the other for hypersonic speeds (scramjet).

Incidently, I do not work on J-UCAS, but rather on a variety of HALE and MALE UCAVs, hence my prejudice.


[edit on 1-14-2006 by intelgurl]



posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 05:11 PM
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ask and ye shall recieve!


Haven't been keeping close eyes on the Airforce. (Note: USAF is the second largest user of aircraft in the US Military) The last thing I'd heard was last summer the proposals to buy another 20 B-2s. (and at a discount price even!)

40% is a lot, but it's still a long ways from taking the B-52s out of service. While the B-2 can carry more bombs, the B-52s strong suites are a very long loiter time, and apparently being next to impossible to knock out of the sky. They proved EXACTLY what they are useful for during the heavy fighting in Afganistan. Take 51 smart bombs, and hang out over the battlefeild.

As for the fighter Mafia, even they are probrably aware that the ABL is a higher priority than they are, or else they get left out of Ballistic missile defence.



posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 07:22 PM
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I remember reading a couple of years ago that the USAF was after something that could go hypersonic and pretty much skim around the top of the earths atmophere and drop some precision munitions and return to base, probably flying on around the world as it would be quicker than turning around the return to base


A true global strike vehicle.



posted on Jan, 13 2006 @ 09:57 PM
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Originally posted by R988
I remember reading a couple of years ago that the USAF was after something that could go hypersonic and pretty much skim around the top of the earths atmophere and drop some precision munitions and return to base, probably flying on around the world as it would be quicker than turning around the return to base


A true global strike vehicle.


Yeah, that was Hypersoar, which got renamed to FALCON.

I dont think we will see a vehicle like that until 2030.



posted on Jan, 14 2006 @ 12:30 AM
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Originally posted by zoso28

Originally posted by Zaphod58
As long as the Fighter Mafia is around I know exactly what the USAF will look like.


I might be a liitle slow on the uptake here but i am not familiar with the "Fighter Mafia". Could someone please explain


Pre-Nam Generals who favored bombers ran the Air Force. Post-Nam Generals who favor fighters run the Air Force. Personally I think it should be 60% fighter Generals and 40% bomber Generals.



posted on Jan, 14 2006 @ 12:32 AM
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Here is InsideDefense's article on Military.Com

Link



posted on Jan, 14 2006 @ 02:31 AM
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NWguy83 - Thanks for finding a non-subscribing article.


It looks like all hope of an F/B-22 is lost. and maybe the F/B-23 as well, since I know it would be better for the role then the Raptor would be, it just seems like they want a much quicker vehicle then either of the two has to offer.

and with the speeding up of the new bomber...I dont see them making an interium bomber.

I wish they would at least just throw out some numbers...on speed and range and stuff..........I guess, always leave them wanting more comes into play.



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