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B-2 Upgrades Proposed

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posted on Nov, 29 2006 @ 10:35 PM
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The USAF's B-2 fleet is not getting any younger, equipped with 1980's analog electronics, ancient radar and limited bandwidth comm systems, and to that end, David Mazur, Northrop Grumman’s VP of LRS initiatives, has proposed upgrades to the B-2 to keep moss from growing on it's north side.

The proposals call for the B-2's older electronics systems to be replaced with an upgraded radar similar to the Raptor's APG-77 and a comm upgrade to Link 16 which will enable the B-2s to share data with other planes, ground stations, vehicles or ships as well as enabling extremely high frequency satellite communications.

Stealth upgrades include replacing the old RAM coatings with newer “Alternative high frequency materials” which require far less maintenance and will eliminate the need for radar-absorbing tape that currently covers access panels and fasteners on the B-2’s wings.
Using “Alternative high frequency materials” will also eliminate the required 36+ hours for application and curing the stealth coating in use now.

Weapons upgrades consists the ability to carry and deliver 80 independently-targeted 500-pound smart bombs. Currently, each B-2 can only accommodate 16 smart bombs.
Another upgrade will enable the B-2 to carry two 30,000-pound conventional bunker buster bombs, able to punch through over 60 feet of reinforced concrete.
Small diameter bombs with the ability to glide 60 miles to target as well as long range A2A systems are also planned.

I guess it remains to be seen if the US congress has the stomach to pay for these upgrades, but if the plane is to remain flying it would be nice to update it's electronics and other capabilities.

Source: USAF, Northrop Have 40-Year Plan for B-2; Defense News.Com - November 29, 2006




posted on Nov, 29 2006 @ 10:41 PM
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Wow, that sounds great. 80 different targets in one pass.....thats like guided carpet bombing

DOWNSIDE TIME! The B-2 is the most expensive aircaft ever built. Upgrades will only increase the cost per unit, although the lower maintenence materials will probably cancel out some of that. These are getting to be too expensive to risk in combat.



posted on Nov, 29 2006 @ 11:17 PM
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All I can say is nice.


A more stealthy highly lethal B-2 that spends less time in the LO shop and one that has advanced avionics as well as A2A capability sounds too good to be true. Lets hope the USAF and Northrop pull all the stops in he lobbing campaign.


I'm curious, how many SDB's would a single B-2 be able to carry?


Originally posted by BlackWidow23
These are getting to be too expensive to risk in combat.


They are already too expensive and in limited numbers but have been used in combat, they offer such a great capability it's hard not to use them.

[edit on 30-11-2006 by WestPoint23]



posted on Nov, 29 2006 @ 11:49 PM
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Good stuff.

I had a boss that worked on the B-1 tail gun.
It was conveniently cancelled so he could be my boss most likely.

I was confused but I found out but it was radar controlled and such
so I was impressed.

The assembly most likely went to another company.



posted on Nov, 30 2006 @ 12:04 AM
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Originally posted by WestPoint23
I'm curious, how many SDB's would a single B-2 be bale to carry?

I think it's 80, but I'm not positive.



posted on Nov, 30 2006 @ 11:40 AM
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to use long range aam surely the b2 would need long range radar which would give away its presence. is there a way round this?

justin



posted on Nov, 30 2006 @ 12:15 PM
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Originally posted by justin_barton3
to use long range aam surely the b2 would need long range radar which would give away its presence. is there a way round this?

justin

the Raptor-like radar they spoke of, a somewhat stealthy radar as far as such systems go.



posted on Nov, 30 2006 @ 12:30 PM
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If they are talking about a modified AN/APG-77 then it will have plenty of range and it is an LPI radar but perhaps they will try to make it even less detectable.



posted on Nov, 30 2006 @ 01:05 PM
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IG,

>>
The USAF's B-2 fleet is not getting any younger, equipped with 1980's analog electronics, ancient radar and limited bandwidth comm systems, and to that end, David Mazur, Northrop Grumman’s VP of LRS initiatives, has proposed upgrades to the B-2 to keep moss from growing on it's north side.
>>

Except that all of the named upgrades have already been individually proven and applied as Block 30 baseline. Either the USAF is doing the "Yeah it works! Now pay for it all..." developmental show casing and followon zeroed production funding (requiring Congress to save the program in joint-conference, NorGrumman being 'all about New York'). Or they are rah-rah-mareeca talking about finished work on a slow newsday and the 'real money' will in fact go to a slush fund for something else. Can't /deny/ funding for something that 'Americans Can All Be Proud Of'. Past Tense.

>>
The proposals call for the B-2's older electronics systems to be replaced with an upgraded radar similar to the Raptor's APG-77
>>

www.is.northropgrumman.com...

Yawn. I remember reading an article from almost 2 years ago about how the APQ-181 was already _just finishing up_ a mod to it's antenna group 'to prevent an RFI conflict with civillian commo traffic' or some such nonsense.

Indeed, the APG-77 is old hat now, why not the APG-81? Why in fact /X-Band/ if you wish to remain covert? The Ku transmission window is tiny much beyond 20nm and nobody is gonna hear nothin' if you tweak it down to min power and pencil beam. Is this a defacto admission that Stealth is once more not as important as standoff? Or has the APQ-181 technology base itself been compromised ala APG-65 so that it's 'singular signature characteristic' ESM value must be buried amongst a clutter of other-band as much as waveform emulation?

>>
and a comm upgrade to Link 16 which will enable the B-2s to share data with other planes, ground stations, vehicles or ships as well as enabling extremely high frequency satellite communications.
>>

Link 16 is also ancient history. TTNT or something even later would be the followon standard now. Though why you would want to play talkee-talkee with other assets in theater when the missions are almost certainly preplanned is ridiculous. I mean, look at the French and the F-117. If the B-2 had been in the local theater commanders taskable asset list they might well have 'demanded a phone call' that put a 2 billion dollar asset into the weeds.

>>
Stealth upgrades include replacing the old RAM coatings with newer “Alternative high frequency materials” which require far less maintenance and will eliminate the need for radar-absorbing tape that currently covers access panels and fasteners on the B-2’s wings.
>>

Giggle.

>
B-2 Gets New Stealth Coating

The Air Force this summer received the first B-2 bomber modified with an updated stealth coating. With B-2s being modified at a rate of three aircraft per year, the entire B-2 inventory will receive the upgrade by 2011.

Northrop Grumman applied its specially developed Alternate High Frequency Material (AHFM) low observable coating to Spirit of Washington when the bomber went through programmed depot maintenance at the company’s Palmdale, Calif., facility. The rest of USAF’s 21-aircraft B-2 fleet will receive the AHFM coating during regularly scheduled depot overhauls.

The new coating, which is applied via a robotic spray paint system to areas where routine base-level maintenance is performed, significantly reduces the maintenance time needed to get the stealth bomber ready for combat. Originally, the B-2 was designed to have specially formulated tapes and caulks applied to the surfaces near maintenance access panels. Each time routine maintenance was performed, the ground crews had to remove the tapes and caulks, then reapply them and let them cure before returning the aircraft to operational status.

AHFM will replace about 3,000 feet of tape and reduce maintenance time from several days to several hours, said Northrop Grumman.
>

www.afa.org...

Check the damn date. Indeed, I remember reading something out of AvLeak around 2000. Once More: Old News looking for New Money.

>>
Using “Alternative high frequency materials” will also eliminate the required 36+ hours for application and curing the stealth coating in use now.
>>

Duuuuh.

>>
Weapons upgrades consists the ability to carry and deliver 80 independently-targeted 500-pound smart bombs. Currently, each B-2 can only accommodate 16 smart bombs.
>>

>
Northrop Grumman Completes Deliveries of ``Smart'' Bomb Rack that Enhances Weapons Payload of B-2 Stealth Bomber
PALMDALE, Calif., March 28, 2006 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has completed an upgrade of the U.S. Air Force's B-2 stealth bomber that allows the aircraft to deliver five times its previous capacity of independently targeted, "smart" (GPS-guided) weapons.


The company delivered the 54th and final smart bomb rack assembly (SBRA) earlier this month to the Air Force's 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., home of the B-2 fleet. A SBRA-equipped stealth bomber can deliver 80 500-pound smart weapons, each targeted against a different aimpoint.
...
>

www.irconnect.com...

NEEXXXXXT!

>>
Another upgrade will enable the B-2 to carry two 30,000-pound conventional bunker buster bombs, able to punch through over 60 feet of reinforced concrete.
>>

Ho Boyee the return of Grand Slam! Sigh. Earthquake Effect folks. Strata Coupling and 'will it reach' the 400ft or greater depths to which Korea, Libya and all the other major buyers of large-bore tunneling machines are now burrowing like freakin' gophers.

I think not.

If you want realistic digger capabilities _for contemporary threats_ you should be talking about a followon to the B53. Or a super-alloy + 'air drill' on an 8-12,000mph RV.

And y'all just can't wrap your minds around the downwind effects of 10MT and a ballistic option to killing crazed midgets playing whackamole from beneath multistory manhole covers. Can you?

>>
Small diameter bombs with the ability to glide 60 miles to target...
>>

Oooooooh, now you've done it. Because the only way they've yet shown GBU-39 uploaded on a B-2 is with a BRU-61 mount to the rotaries-

kr.img.blog.yahoo.com...

i.e. 4 bombs on one rack on each of eight stations = 64 bombs. Every 40 hours, at best.

Compared to at least 8 on ANY other jet, say an F-15/16/18 or, gasp, A-47, every 8-10 hours for 1/20th the gas. 40/8= 5 sorties, 5X 8 = 40. 20 equivalent airframes for equal fuel X40 bombs = 800 aimpoints serviced.

Rendering the B-2 into a complete joke of "Did I miss the war?" pride force.

Again, don't even -attempt- to connote 'how much better a HEAVY bomber is' when you cannot even match payload rates with the STANDOFF weapon which suggests that that bomber is not survivable without escort anywar.

>>
as well as long range A2A systems are also planned.
>>



posted on Nov, 30 2006 @ 01:08 PM
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Yeah and I have some primo swampland in Florida for sale too. Have they opened up and weaponized the old outboard bays for the CSFA? Have they seek-eagled the entire envelope with a likely candidate weapon FROM that bay? How many of those weapons will fit? Indeed, what /is/ a likely weapon when in fact these bays are only about 9ft long?

Gee, uhhh do ya suh-pose they could be suggesting a turbo-AAM might actually be useful? Or are they planning on 'dogfighting' with AIM-9X and a helmet sight?

The sad part being that if the jet is configured with an MPRL as just about the only alternative, full-length, weapon rack for 'real missiles' in one of it's bays (and I've read reports which say that the B-2 cannot, in fact, be assymetrically loaded with BRA and Rotaries), then all of a sudden your magic '80 bombs in one mission' ideal is already out the window.

Of course it could be made to work. If the new radar is X-Band and/or you are using some kind of longrange (RQ-4) ADAAM alternative. But the likelihood that the Batarang will /ever/ be risked as a 'national asset' hood ornament for America in an unsupported, non-SIOP, mission is _zero_. So why pretend that it's better to go teeth to teeth when a UCAV can do as well or better for a 100th the cost while mosaic-ISR covering a VASTLY greater area of sanitized target volume.

Of course The Farce knows this as surely as I type it and it will be a cold day in hell before tacair lets the heavies have anything bigger than a water pistol for self defense.

>>
I guess it remains to be seen if the US congress has the stomach to pay for these upgrades, but if the plane is to remain flying it would be nice to update it's electronics and other capabilities.
>>

Oh please, it's _exactly_ like the buy out as Vietnam effort ground down. Or the changeout in model years at a car dealer. Everybody wants to sell off excess factory inventory. Everybody wants to multi-year insure their 'hi tech will win next time!' effort so that nobody in Congress can change their minds in the inevitable backlash against the worthless, self-whoring, military. Spin this. Wag that. Export death abroad. And we'll all get to retirement on the backs and blood of the ignorant yammering masses of 'our fellow Americans'. /Right/.

As shown, it's all based on LIES.

Indeed, I think Fleetwood Mac said it best...


KPl.



posted on Nov, 30 2006 @ 02:38 PM
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Originally posted by ch1466
As shown, it's all based on LIES.

Indeed, I think Fleetwood Mac said it best...

KPl.

Must've been a slow news day...
I knew FM did a song called "Rumors", but I'm not familiar with "Lies"... "oh Well".



posted on Nov, 30 2006 @ 03:18 PM
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Originally posted by ch1466
Indeed, the APG-77 is old hat now, why not the APG-81?


"Old" compared to what? The APG-77 is bigger than the APG-81 and offers greater range, as well significant passive data gathering capabilities. The AN/APG-77(v)1 is not old by any means, although the APG-81 still offers significantly better A2G capability.


[edit on 30-11-2006 by WestPoint23]



posted on Nov, 30 2006 @ 03:38 PM
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Hi

Thought that all would like to see this B-2 Dropping 80 JDAMS from 40,000 feet onto a simulated airfield

B-2 BOMB RUN



posted on Nov, 30 2006 @ 03:56 PM
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Thanks for the video, that was impressive, 80 independently targeted 500lb JDAM's. What was also impressive as the accuracy of the weapons, had those been real warheads instead of inert ones there would have been nothing left.



posted on Nov, 30 2006 @ 04:08 PM
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Will SprayLAT have any effect on preserving the RAM material on existing aircraft? Also with the B-2 upgrades, will they upgrade the MILBUS to fiber?



posted on Nov, 30 2006 @ 05:33 PM
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Iggy,

'Being a defense industry professional' I'm sure you are aware of many instances where Little White World Lie$ have successfully covered a billion here and there.

Oh, don't worry, I won't ask you to admit to anything...

>>
Tell me lies
Tell me sweet little lies
(tell me lies, tell me, tell me lies)
Oh, no, no you can't disguise
(you cant disguise, no you can't disguise)
Tell me lies
Tell me sweet little lies
>>

www.lyricsfreak.com...

Of course being the 'great little researcher' you are, I'm sure you already knew this...


KPl.


WestPoint23,

>>
"Old" compared to what? The APG-77 is bigger than the APG-81 and offers greater range, as well significant passive data gathering capabilities. The AN/APG-77(v)1 is not old by any means, although the APG-81 still offers significantly better A2G capability.
>>

The architecture is one of tiles vs. buttons with imbedded vs. backplane based preprocessing and thus the ability to control waveforms and particularly phase matching ever more precisely within a denser overall array to give SAR->InSAR precision upgrade. SAR being coarse because it is based on a 'rising aria' of doppler in a synthesized series of pulse trains which are correlated for range and azimuth. It degrades at greater range with restrictions in the available PRF as pulsewidth and squint angles vs. pseudo-array sizes you can attempt to use.

OTOH, interferometric SAR relies on phase changes which are more tightly definable within a given layering of pulse:pulse overlaps from within the array itself (mixing and matching waveforms on the fly). This can image from distances compatible with standoff munitions like GBU-39. The duty cycle goes way up, your cooling requirements double and you HAVE TO do some processing on-module so that you don't lose signal:noise and/or bottle neck the primary radar data processor. But the level of imagery improvement is fantastic.

That said, if they want to be truly honest, they should probably reference the MP-RTIP program efforts since that is the latest 'standardized module' effort to create a baseline DTRM that is 'stackable' to meet whatever mission array requirement you need to.

As is, it sounds like they are trying to jump on the bandwagon of one touted-as-new stealth airframe in justifying upgrades to another, older, one. In point of truth, the URR and associated prototype technology bed efforts for the APG-77 go back to the early 80s and so it's just not valid to say that your midlife improvement effort is going to be better because it's 'based on F-22 technology'.

The latest blk.20 mods to the Raptor itself proving this with the retrofitting of 'APG-81' level technology inserts to part of the older APG-77 in order to -add- SAR mode options.


KPl.



posted on Nov, 30 2006 @ 06:46 PM
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Kurt, am I getting this right, you are defending a central component of the F-35? I can hardly believe my eyes.

But I believe this development in the AESA (AN/APG-77) arena holds promise for the future.


An experimental technology soon may allow U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor pilots to use the fighter’s radar as a high-bandwidth communications system. This capability would enable F-22s and other platforms to transmit in near real time imagery and other files too large for rapid dissemination by current datalinks. The application could greatly enhance the U.S. Defense Department’s network-centric warfare capabilities by turning tactical aircraft into reconnaissance and surveillance platforms.

The technology demonstrator features a Northrop Grumman-manufactured AN/APG-77 AESA radar system and a 274-megabit-per-second common datalink modem emulator to send and receive high-bandwidth communications. The prototype system provided line-of-sight connectivity for both air-to-air and air-to-ground applications and successfully demonstrated communications at two to four times the modem’s speed of 274 megabits per second. The team also developed a hardware card that was interfaced into the radar and wrote new software code for the system.

Link



The latest blk.20 mods to the Raptor itself proving this with the retrofitting of 'APG-81' level technology inserts to part of the older APG-77 in order to -add- SAR mode options.


Where do you think the AESA baseline technology for the APG-81 came from? Dare I say that 80's APG-77 design. It was envisioned that APG-77 technology would contribute to the APG-81 design which in turn would be the basis for future Raptor upgrades. The F-22 and APG-77 were originally designed for A2A, and the F-35 and APG-81 have nothing on it in that realm. This SAR stuff is just a way to expand the Raptors capabilities, not a way to make it a dedicated strike fighter, though it may end up being that too.

[edit on 30-11-2006 by WestPoint23]



posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 12:21 AM
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Originally posted by ch1466
Of course being the 'great little researcher' you are, I'm sure you already knew this...

Kurt or Chris or whatever, Actually no, i didn't do any searches... Stevie Nicks sounds like a sheep blatting to me.

Must be a blonde rivalry thing~

Since you refer to me as Iggy I suppose I can admit I like Iggy Pop though.

Regarding my researching skills and the fact that you seldom waste irony without meaning, and all that crap - I must say that no one can hold a candle to your infinite research abilities- the kind only a retired old man or an unemployed geek fanboy would ever have time for, and no professional i know in the industry would last long writing multiple 10,000 word posts daily on everything from ATS to aircraft modelling sites and still have time to do your assigned tasks. Not and hold a real job, that is...
Not that I'm saying that about you - just a little observation about great researchers and all...

Yes, you are the consummate master researcher, to whom I simply cannot hope to compare.
Somebody hold me, I feel faint in the presense of such greatness.







[edit on 12-1-2006 by intelgurl]



posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 12:42 AM
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Originally posted by TeslaandLyne
Good stuff.

I had a boss that worked on the B-1 tail gun.
It was conveniently cancelled so he could be my boss most likely.

I was confused but I found out but it was radar controlled and such
so I was impressed.

The assembly most likely went to another company.


B-1 tail gun??



posted on Dec, 1 2006 @ 04:44 AM
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Originally posted by intelgurl

I think it's 80, but I'm not positive.


I would think it would be more. All of the books I have state that the B-2 can currently carry 80, 500lbs. JDAM's. I heard the SDB is smaller than a 500 lbs. bomb. Is this not correct?

Tim



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