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‘Black’ Bomber Underway? New hangar at Groom

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posted on Dec, 27 2009 @ 06:21 AM
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The $2-billion question in development of a new bomber is whether a major black-world demonstration program is already underway, with Northrop Grumman as the contractor.

This hypothesis makes sense of a series of clues that have appeared since 2005. In that year, Scott Winship, program manager for Northrop Grumman’s X-47 unmanned combat aircraft system (UCAS), mentioned that the company—responding to a U.S. Air Force interest in a bigger version of the then-ongoing Joint UCAS project—had proposed an X-47C with very long endurance, a 10,000-lb.-plus weapon load and a 172-ft. wingspan, the same as a B-2. The idea was to match extreme endurance with a “deep magazine”—a large and diverse weapon load for multiple attacks on different types of target. Soon after, in the Fiscal 2007 budget, the J-UCAS program was terminated. While the Navy continued with the X-47B—now undergoing tests before a first flight in early 2010—it was reported that USAF funds were transferred into a classified program. The service also introduced a budget line-item for a Next Generation Bomber (NGB), but the program had no visible funds for Fiscal 2008-10.

During 2007, Northrop Grumman leaders hinted that the company expected to win a major restricted program. A financial report in early 2008 then disclosed a $2-billion surge in backlog at the company’s Integrated Systems division—just after Boeing and Lockheed Martin agreed to join forces on an NGB proposal.

Since that time, sources in Washington and elsewhere have reported that the company did win a demonstrator program for a large stealthy platform, and that the program has survived the budget cuts announced in April 2009.

A possibly related development is the construction of a large new hangar at the USAF’s flight-test center at Groom Lake, Nev. Unlike other buildings on the secluded site, it is screened from the closest public viewing point by a specially constructed berm.
www.aviationweek.com.../aw st_xml/2009/12/21/AW_12_21_2009_p26-191933.xml&headline=Classified+Bomber+Projects+Are+Under+Consideration


The platform could also be the basis for a future recce bird and may have the option of being manned or unmanned.




posted on Dec, 27 2009 @ 06:45 AM
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Another partial or full anti grav platform perhaps too? Wolf in sheeps clothing...?



posted on Dec, 27 2009 @ 06:55 AM
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reply to post by GhostR1der
 


Would they really put something like that in a hanger (albeit a secretive one) a hanger in Groom Lake? Surely something like that would be in an ultra ultra secret place if it ever existed at all? - Everyone and their dog expects something like that to be at Groom Lake.

A massive UAV with an incredible range, stealth capabilities and the ability to carry a wide range of weapons sounds about right... Maybe something that can stay up for days (a week?) at a time...

Maybe a jet bomber that can reconfigure into a massive high altitude glider? That could be cool!



posted on Dec, 27 2009 @ 04:44 PM
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My source at Nothrop is telling me they are working on something big that is going to be unmanned but thats all he said. He said he will tell me as much as possible in April when I see him I know thats a long time away but this is a great source that has his hands on the drawing board.



posted on Dec, 27 2009 @ 07:16 PM
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Something like this has to be done in secrecy, cause congress would kill it in a heartbeat.

@Now_Then - Just because everyone knows where groom lake is doesn't mean anything. The site is still VERY remote.



posted on Jan, 15 2010 @ 02:49 AM
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This is actually scary to read.

First off:
Everyone knows that Groom lake (Area 51) has the worlds longest airstrip.
So testing any plane here is idealy due to the extrem remote location and the strong gard points around that place.

second: a B2 version of a UCAV, I'm thinking "Global bomber"...Think a fleet of these, allways airborn, with air fuel capability...thats some scary # right there..

I'm thinking sci-fi action here, i know, but it's stil scary to think that US might have a fleet of planes, we can't spot or see, circling the earth, never to land exept for rearment.

And i guess that they are even designing a UCAV-airfueler aswell, imagine, crews need's to be replaced on ground only, and the plane, if the engine is of high enough standard, could be up indefinetly...scary #..

gives the name "Global hawk" a hole new meaning....



posted on Jan, 15 2010 @ 01:48 PM
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Originally posted by Phoebus
This is actually scary to read.

First off:
Everyone knows that Groom lake (Area 51) has the worlds longest airstrip.
So testing any plane here is idealy due to the extrem remote location and the strong gard points around that place.


Both Edwards and Nellis AFB have longer runways, significantly longer at that -

Groom Lake 23,270ft
Nellis AFB 24,085ft
Edwards AFB 39,097ft (yes, not a typo)



posted on Jan, 15 2010 @ 01:54 PM
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Actually, most of that stuff is not secret:

en.wikipedia.org...

Visit Jane's to keep up to date on this sort of thing.

That said, I certainly don't like this trend: it makes for too much power in too few hands, under the control of too few minds.



posted on Jan, 16 2010 @ 08:54 AM
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reply to post by lspilot6946
 

There should be more than one project ongoing in the new hangar at Groom.

Northrop is definitely working on the interim bomber/NGB, all you gotta do is follow the money trail. The most notable conjecture says that it will be manned as it will be able to drop nukes and it is arguably politically necessary to have a manned platform for delivery of such weaponry.

Of course the other project I believe ongoing at Groom is the hypersonic low orbit attack/isr aircraft project by Lockheed.



posted on Jan, 16 2010 @ 02:59 PM
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Originally posted by intelgurl
Of course the other project I believe ongoing at Groom is the hypersonic low orbit attack/isr aircraft project by Lockheed.


The one thats been booming the Northwest USA perhaps?

Just a thought



posted on Jan, 16 2010 @ 03:09 PM
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reply to post by RichardPrice
 


Didn't I read recently of activity in one or more remote overseas or remote island base(s) regarding expansion of facilities (Pacific/Indian Ocean?).

I think it may have also been inferred that it may have been seeing recent test program or at least (unusually) highly secretive activity as well?
I wonder whether there may be any similar correlations regarding non-mainland US sites?



posted on Jan, 16 2010 @ 03:11 PM
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reply to post by intelgurl
 


I'm not so convinced, how, if they decided it has been politically OK to fly/deliver nukes on guided missiles for years, can it all of a sudden not be politically OK to fly/deliver them on a guided jet plane with a slightly different delivery/release mechanism?

This level of concern about overseas PR delicacies from a military/intel service that was allegedly OK with Guantanamo and invisible rendition of suspects for torture in black ops sites, and with a black bomber project they are successfully keeping secret for years anyway (i.e. like they managed to with F117 etc...)

Anyway, as ATS is disclosing more and more, pilots in planes was not guaranteed to prevent nuke-loaded bomber crashes, or mishaps, anyway

[edit on 16-1-2010 by curioustype]

[edit on 16-1-2010 by curioustype]

[edit on 16-1-2010 by curioustype]



posted on Jan, 17 2010 @ 07:39 PM
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Originally posted by curioustype
reply to post by intelgurl
 


I'm not so convinced, how, if they decided it has been politically OK to fly/deliver nukes on guided missiles for years, can it all of a sudden not be politically OK to fly/deliver them on a guided jet plane with a slightly different delivery/release mechanism?



A few things to speak into this...

USAF officials understand that there are obvious drawbacks to unmanned aircraft, among which is their vulnerability to interruption or disruption in electronic links between an aircraft and its controller. Another is the remote pilot’s relative lack of situational awareness, caused by limitations of aircraft sensors.

Although hijacking via hacking a control signal is virtually imposible, jamming a signal is possible. No one wants an out of control nuclear bomber flying around.
ICBM's are autonomous with a hardcoded trajectory and target.
Unmanned aircraft so far are not.



posted on Jan, 17 2010 @ 07:48 PM
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reply to post by Now_Then
 


You know there are plenty of "Islands" in the Pacific. That are 1000's of miles away from the nearest glass of beer that the US just so happens to control.

You just never know.



posted on Jan, 17 2010 @ 09:16 PM
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Originally posted by intelgurl
ICBM's are autonomous with a hardcoded trajectory and target.
Unmanned aircraft so far are not.


Oddly enough, this is one area where we've worked backwards: from completely autonomous "drones" to "remotely-piloted" (or "unmanned-" as in vogue now) aircraft.



posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 12:44 AM
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Originally posted by _Del_

Originally posted by intelgurl
ICBM's are autonomous with a hardcoded trajectory and target.
Unmanned aircraft so far are not.


Oddly enough, this is one area where we've worked backwards: from completely autonomous "drones" to "remotely-piloted" (or "unmanned-" as in vogue now) aircraft.

Well, sort of but not really. Remember the D-21 drone that launched from SR-71's was autonomous - i'm sure thats what you were referring to.
But today, remotely piloted vehicles as well as piloted vehicles are advantgeous where nukes are concerned because you can call them off at a moments notice.



posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 07:38 AM
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Actually, I was referring to some of Ryan's old beasts. I'm not sure I'd trust weapon delivery (special-, or otherwise) to what was little more than a gyro-compass and a wristwatch in those days.



posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 01:47 PM
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reply to post by intelgurl
 


Good points. Makes me wonder though, what happens if the comm's and/or navigation links to manned delivery aircraft/platform get blocked in midst of mission at critical moment(s)? *edit* I mean, wouldn't you then lose operational effectiveness just like the blocking with an unmanned vehicle, except perhaps not lose nukes due to pilot error. Plus, surely it is possible with modern technology to build in programs/engineering to return an unmanned 'bird' to some kind of 'safe; altitude/trajectory/ditching/re-connecting position some distance from the theatre/blocking zone, via internal (satellite/gps free?) systems - like an advanced auto pilot?

[edit on 18-1-2010 by curioustype]



posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 02:18 PM
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reply to post by intelgurl
 


Also, thinking about it, some of the largest unmanned (USAF) vehicles, that I have seen on the web, are already pretty big - say fighter jet size, so if hostile jamming and crashing of such vehicles is recognised by the USAF as a real threat in their operation of such vehicles, shouldn't we also be concerned about what happens if one of the other non-nuke laden vehicles suffers from being jammed and crashing in for instance a populated area, school, or hospital, or worse in some form of hazardous environment think oil/gas storage, nuclear plant, or into other nuclear laden aircraft? It could still make quite a nasty bang and impact on PR - no?

*edit* My point is - you say 'nobody wants an oout-of control nuclear bomber flying around' - surely nobody wants any kind of USAF jet plane flying around out-of-control - how can that be desirable?

[edit on 18-1-2010 by curioustype]



posted on Jan, 18 2010 @ 02:40 PM
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reply to post by intelgurl
 


Another thought whilst I'm here, I would love to know, what the real reason is for not using another delivery option for such a nuke strike? I mean why use any/this type of plane at all when you have various different (missile) delivery options?

Is it time sensitive - in what scenario could it take too long to relay/reload co-ordinates into a missile - is it really problematic/that slow in this day and age? Would you need to deploy a nuke based on chatter between a pilot and remote commander - why? You can't use ICBMs - perhaps due to fear of retaliatory measures/enemy scanning/defence sensitivity (thinking of recent discussion re: Russian monitoring/counter-measure reliability concerns), so why not use a more local (sub/ship) cruise missile? Can anyone explain?

*edit* Could it be something about an envisaged scenario where both ICBMs (possibly for reasons stated above) are ruled out, as are cruise missiles due to inability to get navy close enough, or to missile counter-measure threat, so therefore stealthy air strike/patrol incursions are last resort - I wonder?
[edit on 18-1-2010 by curioustype]

[edit on 18-1-2010 by curioustype]




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