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New LRS Bomber Fleet Given $5 Billion Down Payment

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posted on Aug, 27 2006 @ 11:57 AM
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Originally posted by RedMatt
I hope this project dies before it vacuums up too much cash.

Looking at the stated requirements of this aircraft and comments on Global Security, this bomber is being built to fullfill only one roll: nuclear first strike against China.

Consider the requirements of this aircraft: long range (CONUS to china), high speed (hit them before they hit you), loitering capability (circle around to find China's mobile launchers), nuclear capable (weapon of choice), and stealthy (so no one shoots at you in the process). It's a replay of the B-2 mission over cold-war Russia: preemptive destruction of the enemy's nuclear arsenal.

It's definitly not about deterrance: SLBMs, ICBMs, ACMs... we've got that covered. And then some.

And while this jet might expand into conventional roles like the B-2 did, claiming this (likely massively expensive) project is needed/intended for conventional bombing runs when we already have literally thousands of jets capable of such roles... it's a bit of a stretch.

The technology associated with this program does sound really cool, but like Planeman said, we've already got plenty of conventional bombers. This is a massive waste of cash on "cold-war strategy" type weapons... something we don't really need.
I don't know if I agree 100% but I think credit is due for an insightful post that raises some very relevant and uncomfortable questions.


Looking at technology application, what can this bomber do that upgraded existing aircraft won't be able to do in 2020? There is already work on a high-supersonic cruise missile. This requirement merely duplicates existing capabilities in real terms, regardless of bells and whistles and sexy technolgy.




posted on Aug, 27 2006 @ 12:02 PM
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Personally I think this is going to take the shape of a B-1, one that we don't really need. Long range, high speed, etc. It'll probably be better in most areas (maybe not in sexiness
), but otherwise unncecessary.

BTW, First Strike? What happened to do not fire until fired upon? This really doesn't help Bush look any less trigger-happy.



posted on Aug, 30 2006 @ 05:41 AM
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Originally posted by Darkpr0
BTW, First Strike? What happened to do not fire until fired upon? This really doesn't help Bush look any less trigger-happy.


Bush happened! After 9/11 he began using pre-emptive first strikes.

Tim



posted on Aug, 30 2006 @ 08:15 AM
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Originally posted by Darkpr0
Personally I think this is going to take the shape of a B-1, one that we don't really need. Long range, high speed, etc. It'll probably be better in most areas (maybe not in sexiness
), but otherwise unncecessary.


i agree that it will be a simillar shape and style to the b-1 but it will be 3-4 times faster, fly far higher and probably be more stealthy.


BTW, First Strike? What happened to do not fire until fired upon? This really doesn't help Bush look any less trigger-happy.


Prevetion is better than cure i would far rather my country were called trigger happy hooligans/terrorists than i was dead and my country got revenge and sympathy from other countries. In the cold war neither the americans nor the russians wanted to die so MAD was effective, as we have seen with the modern trend towards muslim states and suicide bombers they no longer seem to care about living as long as the enemy dies so MAD wont work and we have to get in the first shot and pulverise any chance of nuclear retaliation. (yes i understand that not all muslims are terrorists)

justin

[edit on 30-8-2006 by justin_barton3]



posted on Aug, 30 2006 @ 05:56 PM
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You have voted justin_barton3 for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have two more votes this month.

Very well put.


We need a quick first strike, and to be able to hit the other side of the world within the shortest amount of time possible. Terrorist are a tricky to kill enemy. Since we cant threaten there country...since they have no land. But what we need to do more of is be more strict on any country that harbors them. Which is why we need to go to war with Iran. But I suspect that this wont happen until the US has a vast mojority of troops out of Iraq...Which will likely be around 2 years.



posted on Aug, 30 2006 @ 07:39 PM
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Originally posted by Murcielago


You have voted justin_barton3 for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have two more votes this month.

Very well put.


We need a quick first strike, and to be able to hit the other side of the world within the shortest amount of time possible. Terrorist are a tricky to kill enemy. Since we cant threaten there country...since they have no land. But what we need to do more of is be more strict on any country that harbors them. Which is why we need to go to war with Iran. But I suspect that this wont happen until the US has a vast mojority of troops out of Iraq...Which will likely be around 2 years.


Can I ask why a multibillion dollar nuclear armed supersonic stealth bomber is needed to take out a terrorist? Hezbollah is the best armed and best trained terrorist orginization in existance, by a broad margin, and their air defence capabilities consist of MANPADs that couldn't hit a C-130 on a clear day, as long as it stayed above 10k feet. Radar proofing your aircraft against an enemy that doesn't have radar is a waste of resources.

Pitting high tech equipment agaisnt low tech enemies rarely works very well. The USAF is moving constantly towards smaller numbers of vastly more expensive aircraft. Without enough planes, you can't be sure you'll have a plane in the right place at the right time. Precision strike isn't possible without adequate surveilance. It doesn't matter how fast you can fly, if you don't know when or where to show up, or can't find the target when you get there, your just wasting time and money.

The ideal anti-terrorist tool is a low-cost HALE (High Altitude, Long Endurance) UAV like Predator or GlobalHawk, that can keep a lookout for potential targets for nearly two days at a time. And they need to be affordable so you can field lots of them to keep an eye out anywhere your enemy might show up.

A great example of this came up several months ago in Iraq. A Predator UAV spotted suspicious persons, loitered overhead long enough to determine that they were setting up an IED, then attacked with a Hellfire.

That's not something our uberbomber would be able to do: we couldn't afford enough for that kind of "eye in the sky" capability. The $5 billion *downpayment* alone would buy some 1,000 Predator UAVs, enough aircraft to easily watch over all of Iraq with aircraft that could Hellfire anyone partaking in "terrorist activities."

[edit on 30-8-2006 by RedMatt]



posted on Aug, 30 2006 @ 10:24 PM
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Redmatt

What about Iran...North Korea...Syria...Or any other potential threat in the near future???

I said terrorist harboring countries...I wasn't referring to 5 guys with AK-47's hiding in caves.

BTW, virtually any plane can carry nuclear weapons.

Also...Why do you constantly have this urge to do comparisons? You can get "this many" aircraft with the amount you spent on "that plane".
I could care less.

different planes...different missions.



posted on Aug, 31 2006 @ 12:12 AM
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Well although I like the idea of a new strategic, high-speed bomber, I think that it's going to be unnecessary. The Defense Department should start looking into putting funds into defense. Remember the Laser Defense Program? It's not quite dead. People like Bob Yamamoto (involved in solid state lasers) and Northrop Grumman (more solid-state lasers) are looking into creating laser defense systems. Yamamoto has gotten to the stage where he may get a grant to construct a 100 kW solid-state laser. Enough to blow out mortars from a mile away. Can lasers strong enough to blow nuclear-warhead bearing aircraft from 100 miles away be that far? I think not. (other info- DOD is looking into free-electron lasers as well).

That particular rant was just to show that there are things better suited to defense than blowing the enemy up first. If your enemy can't hit you, then you've already won, bomber or no.

[edit on 8/31/2006 by Darkpr0]



posted on Aug, 31 2006 @ 07:50 AM
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Originally posted by Murcielago
Redmatt

What about Iran...North Korea...Syria...Or any other potential threat in the near future???

I said terrorist harboring countries...I wasn't referring to 5 guys with AK-47's hiding in caves.

Okay, you lost me here.

If we're attacking a specific target in a country, the fun of precision weapons is that one weapon carried by one aircraft is all you need to score a hit. Raptor with 8 SDBs can pick off 8 targets in one run, and head home again. There's no need for large bomb loads, if N. Korea tries to put another warhead on another obsolete liquid propelllant rocket, we'd destroy the launchpad with a single sortie long before they would be able to finish fueling it.

I'm all for buying more Raptors, they're excellent platforms for flying in unnanounced and undetected, hitting your target, and heading home before anyone figures out what happened. Why spend more money to design a different aircraft to match a capability we already have?

But if we're going after individuals... I think there are better tools than tactical bombers.


BTW, virtually any plane can carry nuclear weapons.

It's more complicated than this, but I honestly don't understand how or why. I will hazard two guesses:

[A] Certification: all USAF/USN aircraft must be certified to carry specific weapons. This means ensuring the weapon doesn't interfere with aerodynamics (external carraige) and can be released without risking damage to the aircraft (internal or external storage).

[B] Weapons Safety: there's a number of steps one must take to arm a nuclear warhead. I'm guessing an aircraft would need coom systems to keep in touch with the president's Nuclear Football. You'd also need electronics to interface with the weapon and deactivate whatever encription system and/or safety systems are built in to keep the weapon from being unintentionally detonated.

"Nucelar capabile" is in any case not something always included in aircraft designs, but is often mentioned in connection with LRS. An example of the distinction is the Mirage 2000N:


The Dassault-Breguet Mirage 2000N is a variant of the Mirage 2000 designed for nuclear strike. It forms the core of the French land-based tactical nuclear deterrent. The Dassault-Breguet Mirage 2000D is its conventional attack counterpart.


I thought I remembered a proposal to build additional B-2 spirits without nuclear weapons carraige ablity as a cost savings measure. But I can't for the life of me find that article, so I can't be sure I'm remembering it correctly.


Also...Why do you constantly have this urge to do comparisons? You can get "this many" aircraft with the amount you spent on "that plane".
I could care less.

different planes...different missions.

I thought I was suggesting different aircraft from a similar mission: tracking the "landless" terorists you mentioned in the previous post; I assume that meant they lacked the support of the country they were staying in. If you've got a different role/mission in mind, then I'll agree the comparison is probably a poor one.



posted on Aug, 31 2006 @ 08:25 AM
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I think the biggest problem that keeps coming up in the whole heavy/stratgic Bomber debate is that people think of the bomber in terms of it's Cold War role: Deterrence and the Nuclear Triad! This Idea, more then anything else is handicapping the modern bomber. People won't let their concept grow beyond the Cold War, which ended over a decade ago!

With the Evolution of war itself, come and evolution of weapons. Today's bomber is an efficient, flexable, platform with a large variety of weapons and sensors. It's more of a huge strike aircraft then the cold war bombers. We need to look at the bomber in this light. I think what we need is a large flying wing, like the B-2 but without all the cutting edge stealth technology. We can use some stealthy features but we don't have to push it to the extreem limits of science and technology like we did with the B-2. Instead focus more on maintainability, reliability, flexability, and lower operational costs!

Let's try a new way of thinging about the basic mission of the modern bomber and see if that might help solve some of the challenges.

When people say modern fighter we don't think in terms of F-102's and F-4 Phantoms over the jungle of Viet Nam, do we? Why is everyone's image of a modern bomber a B-52 flying airborn alert for SAC?

We need to start thinking modern! Now, let's see what we come up with!

Tim


[edit on 31-8-2006 by ghost]



posted on Aug, 31 2006 @ 08:31 AM
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Originally posted by intelgurl

Originally posted by Murcielago

I was thinking they would want something that could hold a LOT of bombs. And the FB-23 would likely have a supercruise speed of around mach 1.6.

I guess I just want the future bomber to have a little more cutting edge tech in it.
I like the FB-23...but I'd like it more if they would put PDE's in it instead of jet engines.......or maybe put one jet engine in it...so it can takeoff without shattering windows. A couple PD Engines and it could be a excellent hypersonic bomber.

the vision for the FB-23 is a larger airframe than the F-23. More payload, two crew in side-by-side seating arrangement, etc. This is not just an F-23 with bombing avionics and software. We had a discussion a few months back here on ATS, I'll try to dig it up.




www.geocities.com...
FB-23 Black Widow II
Rapid Theater Attack
8 Oct 2005
The YF-23 Black Widow II is widely regarded as the greatest fighter never built. According to media accounts, the YF-23 was faster, stealthier, and more maneuverable than the YF-22 which eventually went into production. The factors weighing against Northrop were the cost overruns on the B-2 program, concerns over the YF-23's missile launcher (which was never demonstrated during the flyoff,) and the YF-22's thrust vectoring capabilities.

By 1995, there were rumors of a secret "A-17," based on the YF-23 but with swing wings. By 2000, the rumor had evolved into "Switchblade" with forward-sweeping swing wings. While Northrop Grumman did apply for a patent on the Switchblade concept, there exists little evidence to substantiate a resurrected YF-23 aside from the wishful thinking of aviation enthusiasts.

The US Air Force's interim bomber project gave Northrop a reason to bring back the YF-23. While Lockheed Martin was busy designing an FB-22 from the F/A-22, Northrop Grumman paralleled that effort by studying strike derivatives of the YF-23.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You have a U2U

[edit on 31-8-2006 by masqua]

[edit on 31-8-2006 by masqua]



posted on Aug, 31 2006 @ 11:59 AM
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Murcielago,

First Off, Red Matt, way to go. I agree on nearly every point. Good Job.

Second (and yes, you may laugh in the peanut gallery) the only reason the LRS is in the running and J-UCAS is not is because the former is so big, so heavy and _so much_ ($$$) that it 'might as well be manned'. Whether the Air Farce ever gets around to buying more than 2 prototypes or not.

The J-UCAS was unmanned and so it was anathema, even though every other SMART nation on the planet is going to be buying them and _not_ the JSF. The Air Farce burns UCAVs at the stake.

>>
What about Iran...North Korea...Syria...Or any other potential threat in the near future???

I said terrorist harboring countries...I wasn't referring to 5 guys with AK-47's hiding in caves.
>>

The problem with this is that the media consistently portrays the Terrorists AS 'the people'. Never the driving political cause. This gets them all kinds of kudos from the mooing masses who fail to realize that ever 'fight of the little man' has been a manipulation by BIG POWER, from the American Revolution to the Russian One.

And so terrorism has a face but not a motive and without motive, no money-trail source for paying for it.

>>
BTW, virtually any plane can carry nuclear weapons.
>>

Yes but can any plane get to the scene of the crime on a reactive basis before the threat can go through the countdown to get their birds away? In this, I disagree with RedMatt because while nukes are undoubtedly 'mentioned' to put the fear of god into anyone who might otherwise 'forget' the 10-12,000 nukes we STILL have in the stockpiles, I think the desired if foolhardy solution may remain conventional counterforce.

After all, if you destroy ten 3-MIRV missiles in their launch silos, you have effectively killed the equivalent of three single-warhead missiles in-flight. And you'd better believe that advanced decoys and MIRV/MARV technology are next on the plate for countries like Iran and Norkia looking to rapidly build a credible threat force. Just as they were for U.S..

In this, the difference is still minimal, IMO, because a depressed trajectory SLBM or even aeroballistic cruise can still reach a sufficient distance in country to ANY of the top 5 potential nuclear threat states to do the job, far quicker.

But if the targets are mobile. And/or buried within a continental landmass, you may have to go in and stand on their TELs/Silo Modes. And the ability to do so rapidly from 'forward bases' in the IO or Mediterranean is likely seen to be a good idea because your finger on the trigger is faster than their's is ONLY so long as your munition time of flight is shorter.

Whether you can literally put an airframe 5,000 miles downrange as a FOBS/TAV (hypersonic anyway) system and then remain for 12-72hrs with sufficient loiter performance and stealth to remain viable is something I am less sure of.

I do know that the supersonic equivalent is probably not worth beans in the nuclear decap role. It just can't get there quick enough, from far enough away, not to be a 'part of the problem' inherent to it's own basing mode vulnerability and speed of response.

>>
Also...Why do you constantly have this urge to do comparisons? You can get "this many" aircraft with the amount you spent on "that plane".
I could care less.
>>

Because a force should always configure itself to WIN the majority of the wars it fights. And that standard of battle is and always has been massively weighted towards LOIC/COIN/OOTW conflicts more than the high intensity mission.

1. Small wars tend to blow up into bigger ones when somebody thinks they have gained enough strength or become so desparate financially that the only route forward is through more or expanded violence. Iraq, the Falklands and almost every ME war as casepoints. If you don't have the ability to nip these damn things in the bud EARLY, you end up paying MORE later on as a function of fighting an arrogant dictator or self righteous religious nutcase who has gained popularity by virtue of having no one disagree with him using a rolled up newspaper approach to humiliation psychology. Angry children grow up to be arrogant adolescents.

2. Even the high intensity mission set is about to become so dangerous with DEW proliferation potentially /far/ more deadly than stealth or nukes (because they can allow a pissant country to stand upon 'sovereign rights' while exporting terror elsewhere) such that it makes more sense to invest in LOW VALUE (high saturation) systems which we can afford to crunch all we like of.

3. The definition of warfighting has always been defined by 'get thar fustest with de mostest' as a function of logistics over tactics. This may or may not remain true if airpower takes a dive as the king of all warfighter modes. But even if it doesn't, there will HAVE TO be at least two further modifiers given to the above saw which I define as 'Longest For The Leastest.'

Because if you have ten assets and only two are forward while the others are in transit (coming or going) or back at base, then the amount of area which you can 'preemptively suppress' from acts of violence is only about a 50 mile globe around each airframe.

While if you can keep 8 of ten assets forward, you have gone from 100 to 400nm of coverage and again, for most smaller threat nations, that is actually quite good.

The problem then being that a B-52 can indeed sustain this kind of action but only at the cost of 500,000lbs or more of JP-8. At 100-120 dollars per barrel which it is predicted that ANY action with Iraq will provoke the other OPEC naitons in supporting a permanent price hike to, that kind of expenditure for just one assets /operational/ costs is just not practical.

OTOH, the BUFF may have to come from 1,200-1,500nm away (England or Diego) even if it is performing as a 'theater' asset. What happens if you send 20 UCAVs off a carrier from 800nm out? It will take them two instead of 3.5 hours to make the trip. And they will stay on station for 4.5 hours instead of the 2 that they would at maximum radius (1,100nm). What's more, those 20 UCAVs, each with 14,000lbs of fuel, will use only HALF the gas that the BUFF does. Even if it can stay a full 9hrs once it arrives.

This last is important because if you replace those 20 UCAVs 4 hours later, you have CONSTANTLY COVERED a 20X50nm area of battlespace (1000 square nautical miles) instead of a 50nm one. With the same amount of expended operational cost.

Thus, even though the Buff LOOKS more intimidating. Has a nominally MUCH higher total payload capacity. It is **Not** doing as much work.

Not present to see a 'terrrorist' fly under it's sensor coverage.

Not actually carrying as many _bombs_ (20 X8 = 160 GBU-39 vs. only about 60 for a BUFF using conventional clip loading).

And certainly not able to endure the risk from flash-of-light DEWS weapons which may, by 2015, begin to take out aircraft on near-random basis.

>>
Different planes...different missions.
>>

No. Because the small glide IAM has introduced an ability to kill multiple kinds of target class with virtually no difference in delivery platform performance or vulnerability.

In any case, where you have limited funds, you must rate the importance of missions by the commonality of their occurence (SIOP is a vestigial legacy and was so even before the end of the Cold War) and the cost of their execution. A B-52 is probably a 60,000 dollar per hour airframe to run. The A-45 is likely to be around 1,200 dollars per hour. Again, the more of a given mission set you can DO WELL as a function of dedicated numbers of sorties to it's accomplishment, the more likely that that mission is going to effect the outcome of the war in general.


KPl.



posted on Aug, 31 2006 @ 01:01 PM
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Umm… lets be serious here, does anyone think this new bomber is for countries like NK, Syria and Iran? No, it's for countries like Russia, China and any other wannabe global power likely to emerge as the US's immediate rival in the decades to come. The Cold War never ended, it just got colder that's all.

The Pentagon wants rapid global strike capability combined with advanced technology to ensure that we can deliver enough firepower until our sustained forces can mount a larger permanent offensive. Today we can't do this on a large enough scale to take on advanced counterparts without going nuclear or suffering significant first wave casualties. This is why the DoD wants conventional ICBM's, hypersonic strike platforms along with (in the future) space based weapons, they effectively reduce our response time while increasing our immediate force projection and reach.


"A primary effect of Global Strike is to gain battlespace access for follow-on persistent operations. When faced with a significant anti-access scenario, forces tailored to "knock down the door" will employ force application focused on gaining access for persistent operations. The Global Strike concept is to rapidly respond with long-range anti-access forces and create an opening for persistent forces to deploy to the theater."



Interesting Read



posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 08:03 AM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
Umm… lets be serious here, does anyone think this new bomber is for countries like NK, Syria and Iran? No, it's for countries like Russia, China and any other wannabe global power likely to emerge as the US's immediate rival in the decades to come. The Cold War never ended, it just got colder that's all.


Actually, I was thinking it was for ALL OF THEE ABOVE: Russia, China, NK, Syria Iran, etc. The US has political and Strategic intrests in keeping the world relitivly stable and peaceful. Iran, which is in the middle east is close enough to threaten the oil supply to the west. The US, and many of our Allies depend on oil for our industry-based economy. Also, in Asia, we have critial trade parteners like Japan and Tiwan who we reliy on. So Keeping NK and Iran in their respective places is just as important in some ways as keeping the Russian and Chinese quite!

Never forget the importance of stability, and how quickly a small upstart with a big mouth can become a problem. Saddam proved that back in 1990-91 when he invaided Quwait. He was a small country but he caused a big problem.

Tim


[edit on 7-9-2006 by ghost]



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