posted on Sep, 23 2006 @ 03:42 PM
DISCLAIMER:This post is PURE Speculation, but is base on my interpratation of known facts. I lay claim to ALL Oppinions stated here in and make
no effort to confuse the facts with my oppinions! I use facts to support my points, but try to keep them seprate.
Back in Febuary 2000, Popular Science ran a cover story called B-3 and Beyond. In it they mentioned that the US Air Force
was conducting the Future Strike Aircraft study. The objective of the program is to define a new long range bomber to replace the aging B-52 and
other bomber as they age.
Here on ATS, there have been many discussions about future bombers and what they might be like. What if one of these new black project is the next US
Why the secracy? Here's what I think:
The New bomber will be better design for a new strategy that has evolved since 2001. Until now, bombers were thought of and design as weapons to fly
the SIOP as part of the nuclear deterrance fleet. After 2001, the military realized that SIOP and Nuclear Deterrance were left over from the cold
war, and of much less use when faced with the current threat: Terrorism and Rouge States.
So, to make the bomber viable today, it needs to be equiped for this new threat. Here's what I think that might require:
* Long Range and Endurance- The next bomber won't be handed a pre-planned mission like today's aircraft. Commanders in the feild will need
something that can be called on at a moment's notice like they did with A-10's and other CAS aircraft. however, they will need range and payload
well beyond the stike fighters now in use.
* Payload- A large B-52 like payload will be built around new Smart Weapons. I see these new bomber being used to flush out terrorists in operations
like Enduring Freedom and Anaconda. They will need smaller weapons but more of them.
* Stealth- B-2 like stealth isn't nessacary, but some LO features will be an asset to the mission. Visual and Acustic stealth would aid in loitering
if attainable. Also, some penetrating capibility would allow the US to keep countries like NK, China, Iran, etc. in their places.
* Improved Sensors- the new types of targes require an aircraft with the ability to find and track much smaller and more mobil objects. Now, instead
of a building or a bridge, you will be looking for caves, small groups traveling in horses or camels, or in vehicles, and small out posts in the
mountains. This aircraft might even have some reconnassance capibility.
Base on all of this, I personally think the new bomber might be a stealthy flying wing design for high altitude flight. It might use extreemly quiet
props possiblly solar/electric powered to boost range and endurance. I also see the plane carrying a very large payload of Small Diameter Bombs with
improved capiblity for all weater precision. the Stealth will be more focused in the visual/acustic area, but still cover traditional areas for
stealth (radar, IR, etc.) It may look simular to the concept for the unmanned Recon platform on page 76, but probable has a crew on board.