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Black Budget Impact

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posted on Aug, 3 2011 @ 10:11 PM
With the United States in the recession over the past few years, there's been cuts to many projects and agencies across the board. These include the Blackswift (SR-72) Program, at least publicly, which was cancelled in 2007-2008 and at the very least went into hiding in the depths of the Black Budget, either renamed or otherwise. I proceed to quote a very valuble thread in regards to the Blackswift program:

Source: SR-72 Confirmed: Mach 6 Project Blackswift

Yes, the Blackswift is now cancelled, if you know anything about the pattern of events that take place when a project goes from public to "black" then you can see that the Blackswift project followed the very same template.

At the time of Blackswifts cancellation, the F-35 would've been either near production or have entered production, the B-3 would've been at least on the planning board, and the X-51 would have been in it's early prototype phase.

With increasing demand for UCAV, and a next generation bomber to replace the B-52 as a heavy weight bomber, at least a project to replace these two aspects must be in the works. Furthermore, replacements for the F-18, and F-16 should be underway in the next few years as well. Surely there has to be at least something laying around as a lead to what's going on in the world of black budgeting today?

Is the heartbeat of these projects still as strong as it was in 2004? What projects are on the backway today?

I think it safe to assume by this point with the progression of technology, and Russia's stride to work towards fifth generation aircraft that Aurora may have finally taken it's last breath on a drawing board somewhere, in some re-re-remockup as well?

posted on Aug, 3 2011 @ 10:20 PM
Are you kidding me?!?!?!!
Why are you making a thread about another thread?

The link you provided is SO beyond bogus it's hilarious.

The OP made up a complete bs story and posted two pictures. One is a lifting body design that will never be operational. The other is the design alleged to be for a new shuttle, Aurora, and several other craft.

Thanks for linking me to that and making me rage OP.

posted on Aug, 3 2011 @ 10:23 PM
No, I'm not discussing another thread. I'm discussing about potential future projects, and the status of what the US's black budget is now. The Blackswift thread was just a for instance.

Furthermore, I may add that intelgurl's thread is certainly not bogus if you've read anything into the project. Please keep the flaming out of the thread and discuss the topic, instead of bantering towards a thread used as an example.

posted on Aug, 3 2011 @ 11:39 PM
I would think that these type of aircraft projects have been dying off for the last few years. If there is any black project that is still in the back of the minds of the United States military. Just remember, it wasn't that long ago when they said that the B-2 bomber was going to be the replacement for the B-1 Lancer. That time has came and went and the B-1 Lancers are still in service. Same thing went when it came to the F-117A Nighthawks and the F-22 Raptors and the now cancelled F-35 Lightning II's. Since the F-35 project had been cancelled, the F-117As were placed in to "recalled for service" storage at the Tonopah Test Range in Nevada.

What amazed me with the F-35 is this one little tiny abbreviation... STVOL
That was one of the variants of the F-35 that the United States military wanted and had intended on purchasing. The STVOL, or short take-off and vertical landing, variant was to be the replacement McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier Jet. This way it would have made it easier for the aircraft to have been brought into some places where the runways may not have been long enough for a normal land based or carrier based fighter to get into and out of safely without crashing. With the STVOL capability, it would have made it easier for Air Force or Air National Guard bases to have fighter jets without the necessity of a longer runway.

As for the B-3 bomber and what is happening to the plans for that craft. I would say that the plans are still in a safe place at the Pentagon for when the time arises that a new bomber would be needed. It would have to be the replacement for the B52 Stratofortress. The B52, the newest ones, are getting close to 50 to 55 years old and they need a replacement. Once, you done outsourced parts from the other B52s setting in the boneyard at Davis Montham Air Force Base. Then that is it, you won't be able to find the parts to keep them flying. In that case, we would be better off going ahead with the development of the B-3 bomber so that we would have the replacements in service and ready to go when the time arises.
edit on 3-8-2011 by gimmefootball400 because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 3 2011 @ 11:44 PM
What gets me about the B-52, is that the initial idea behind the B-1 was for it to be a replacement for the B-52's. The fact that the aircraft is nearing 60 years of service begs the question of WHEN, instead of IF. Based on the knowledge of how close the B-52 is to being retired, as it was originally called for 2015, I believe...the B-3 should be entering at least a market phase?

Would this then mean that the US is limiting it's budget to only press on projects which need imminent replacement? Seeing that Dryden's project page seems to be cut back quite a bit since the early 2000's, it almost looks as if that's the case, although I am aware that is not really an accurate representation of what is going on in the Black World.

It's simply one or the other, either the government is cutting back on expenses as I suspect, and that you have pointed out as a possability as well, or people are to the point where they don't really care where their money goes, as long as they don't know about it.

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 12:04 AM
I would guess missles can do the job of b-52's now and I would imagine alot of their money is going into uav's as that is the future. Not sure they have to spend the percentage they used to on military aircraft. From what i've read on here the new fighters aren't really worth the amount of money they cost.

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 12:10 AM
Not so sure how much I agree on missiles doing what the B-52's can. They can't deliver any kind of concentrated payload. As much as I'd like to believe that UAV's are going to be the future, I personally would venture to believe that there will always be piloted aircraft. I will agree however, that most projects developed lately have been testbeds, there have been very few actual proposed fighter, attacker, or bomber concepts which have been for serious game. Thus why I think we're a little overdue.

Another thing with missles, is that they're TOO predictable. A manned aircraft can cause all sorts of problems for an enemy, but a missile is at least 5x easier to predict and plan for.

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 12:15 AM
reply to post by Shugo

Well i'm no expert on the technology but missles are a hell of a lot faster than a plane and can be just as accurate from what I understand. Probably cheaper to use too depending on how many you have to fire off. Uav's probably are quite a ways off from replacing piloted aircraft but their role is becoming larger with every conflict and they are proving themselves as a reliable tool.

I see no reason though why missles could not replace bomber aircraft other than perhaps the platform to launch them from so maybe someone who knows more about this can chime in.

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 12:19 AM
Stand alone missiles require a platform, be it stationary on land, from sea, or air...they require a platform. Firing from land to another location is predictable as stated, it doesn't matter how fast they are if a country has it's own defense system be it a ballistic counter measure system, or high-speed interceptors, there's a way to evade missiles from afar. Ships require water to be in range, not all locations are accessible to launch from the water. However, wherever there is air, can be a platform with a bomber. Thus the reason the role of a B-3 continues to be plausable.

posted on Aug, 4 2011 @ 08:06 AM
reply to post by SpringHeeledJack
Err.. SpringHeeledJack

I share your sentiment for people making bogus threads here for no real reason at all but you DO realise exactly who intelgurl is DONT YOU? She is probably the foremost expert on these subjects on all of ATS as she actually works on them (these projects that is). And has proven over many years to be both highly reliable, articulate and extremely accurate. She is as they say, the real deal. If she has posted a particular picture it is because there is a reason. In fact I remember debating this whole Groom Lake new hangar story with her at least a couple of years ago. Most people on ATS are enthusiasts, Natalie (intelgurl) is an actual professional.


posted on Aug, 5 2011 @ 07:46 PM
The difference between "look at our new jet!" and "what the hell was that!?" is really one of the practicality of deployment, production, and operation.

The F-117 and B-2 are some of the better examples - the technology was -very- expensive, at the time, to build these aircraft. In many cases - the materials and solutions were refined, if not developed, specifically for this project. You're talking about prioritizing design ideals over practicality - it CANNOT be a normal aluminum strut - it HAS to be a composite one - if you have to redesign half the internal structure and develop a new field of composite materials to do so.

Money is secondary to the capability of the design.

These are special access programs - many times restricted to only a single specialized squadron - and rarely do they ever see more prominent/mainstream use (such as the F-117 and B-2). Many recon and special warfare support units fall into this category. They have an obstacle and have virtually unlimited funding to figure out how to overcome it with what is available or can be made to be available.

Then you get to the 'normal' military. Here, things take on a more cost/effectiveness approach. Our uniforms are not made of the best materials money can buy. We don't pick them up at the salvation army - but I am just dying to find some Stafford undershirts in the right colors (or find some very good dyes that will take to the standard white ones so I can use them) to go with my uniforms. The issued ones are just scratchy and the collar stretches too easily. Our fabric is sewn with cotton threading instead of stronger and more reliable nylon - which is another design issue, in my opinion.

But it doesn't run me $800 for a blouse.

With anything intended to replace the B-52 - you are going to see a rather open competition for the spot. Nothing that replaces it is going to come from the special access programs - not directly, at least. It is going to be a solid, effective, and relatively 'cheap' replacement. I am sure we will see a number of avionics upgrades as well as structural materials improved - but you have to keep your mission in mind. The main reason the B-52 is being retired in 2025 is because they are old airframes with a huge amount of flight time on them. Simply ordering a re-run of the airframe would see the B-52 remain in service for another three generations.

The F-18 is being replaced by the E and F models of the same. The F-16 was planned to be replaced by the F-35, but that is a pipe dream that will never happen - so we might even see the F-18 slip in to replace aging F-16 airframes.

With the way the economy is, as well as the types of wars we are getting involved in and the general status of various countries and military forces, the current emphasis is not on development of costly fighters and bombers - it is on special operations forces and tactics. We want to be able to get in to the most secure of locations unnoticed, do what we came there to do, and get out before anyone can figure out exactly what just happened. Whether that be in some village in South America that parallels us with the wrath of the gods, or in the heart of Beijing - no one is unreachable.

posted on Aug, 5 2011 @ 11:02 PM
reply to post by Aim64C

That's a concept I can't say I've thought of before. This would explain the retiring of the F-111, and the F-14 in more recent times with the F-4. I was unaware that the military looked at design and airframe over technology and metrics.

Am I reading that correctly?

If this is the case, wouldn't the B-1 be the proper replacement to the B-52...possibly an updated/modified version?

posted on Aug, 5 2011 @ 11:33 PM
reply to post by Shugo

It really kind of depends upon the application. There are special commands (which have been getting a lot more attention lately - Naval Special Warfare Development Group has grown immensely over the past six years) that are the "black projects." They build few-of-a-kind systems that rarely ever see real production. For example - they take a Predator drone and modify the living hell out of it to get it to do what they need it to do - or take an airframe that is in the prototype/concept stage with a defense contractor and pay them to make a few (then modify the hell out of them).

The idea is, honestly, to have 'ninjas' - in a sense. Rather than try and beat back the hordes of T-72s and Su-27s, we simply tweak the climate in our favor. Our special forces guys are deployed a -lot- more than you will ever hear about. They are usually 'gone' more than 200 days out of the year - every single one of those deployments classified. It could be operations such as recovering an informant whose cover got blown, sabotage, espionage, or assassinations.

While that may sound a bit objectionable to some - many would agree that people like Hitler are better off six feet under. In either case - the idea is to use covert resources to undermine war efforts and capability - if not preventing a war or conflict all together. (Though I am sure some here would go the other direction and say that they could be used to instigate warfare - which is a leap of logic I'm not going to debate).

As for the B-1 - that's not necessarily the case. Remember - cost-effectiveness is what we are looking for in terms of your 'grunt' military. The B-1 suffers from the fact that it is a rather complex variable geometry airframe. I am not sure if the airframes are costing nearly as much as the B-52 to maintain, in terms of parts, they are likely making up for it in man-hour requirements and a lower mission ready status.

For example - we've got one bird down right now for inspections that have been going on for a while. The Air Framers are taking their sweet time with the thing. We've got another one that is having problems - one of the engines/props won't de-feather and restart once airborne (Both are C-130s) - which is part of the Op-check. So far, everyone is still scratching their heads as to what the problem could be - and the plane isn't mission-ready until that engine can be fixed.

The more moving parts, the more nuts and bolts have to be turned, and the more safety wire consumed (longest part of pretty much any re-assembly procedure - trying to safety-wire stuff at impossible angles and tight spaces) - the more man-hours get chewed up and the more expensive everything becomes.

The B-1 has a lot of things that can break.

It also has a lot of things it can do that the B-52 cannot. But it's not really all that great of a replacement for the B-52, which is basically placed into a high orbital flight pattern to drop JDAM-on-demand in support of ground forces. The B-1 is something you send into higher threat environments, capitalizing on its terrain following radar, high-adrenaline engines, and tactical considerations built into the airframe. It's the big brother to the F/B-111 - in terms of combat role (don't believe the two are even remotely related in terms of origins).

I hope that kind of clarifies.

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