posted on Jan, 29 2008 @ 06:21 PM
No, this is old news, so to speak, predating this Russian concept submission. The USAF will introduce in service by 2018 a new (likely) medium bomber,
also know as the "Interim Bomber". However I hesitate to use that phrase for various reasons. Anyway I suggest reading the following threads below
to get more of an insight on the topic.
USAF: Next Bomber
Pentagon New Bomber
New Bomber: 2018
Other External Sources
New Bomber For USAF
Next Generation Bomber
In a nut shell this will be a very low visibility airframe with medium performance specifications in range and payload. Utilizing advanced sensors and
technology, mostly off the shelf systems and others in high TRL's. It will be procured in large quantities and will not directly replace any current
US bomber per se. It will merely add on capability, the BUFF, Bone and Spirit will continue to serve for more decades to come. Some of our current
bombers will be directly and finally replaced in 2037-2038 when a new exotic heavy bomber is stated to enter service.
For more information about these bombers I refer you to the following link.
The Air Force has already dialed down some of the initial expectations for the new plane. What was once expected to be a supersonic,
super-stealthy, long-range bomber is now looking more like a manned, subsonic aircraft with a range of 2,500 nautical miles— attainable even with
the nuclear payload Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne recently said he wants to see as a requirement.
Sources say the service plans to buy only about 100 of the stop-gap planes while exploring other options for future bombers, which may also hold down
the amount the Air Force will have to invest in building planes while working on the next next-generation bomber — the so-called "2037 bomber."
It seems the 2018 bomber's initial range estimates were off, now we have a quoted un-refueled combat range in the ~2,875 statue mile vicinity. And a
suggested procurement of 100 airframes. Interesting developments…
Also, I don't think this means that Boeing and Lockmart will definitely build the new bomber simply that they will combine assets and partner up for
a joint proposal. Since the USAF has yet to issue a precise requirement and award a contract it's too early to rule out the other players. Namely
Northrop and perhaps other foreign companies, BAE for example… But perhaps Intelgurl can shed some more light for us on what’s going on in the
[edit on 29-1-2008 by WestPoint23]