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Washington: The United States will very likely field a next-generation sub-sonic bomber by 2018, a top Air Force general said Wednesday. He also said that he was confident that development of the bomber would take place within this tight schedule. Typically, development of new aircraft takes, at the very least, a decade.
"We have technologies we can exploit quickly," said Lt Gen Robert Elder Jr, the commander of the 8th Air Force, Barksdale Air Force Base, La., and Joint Functional Component commander for Global Strike and Integration at the US Strategic Command. "There's been a lot of technology development that can be plowed back into this airplane ... (which allows us) to be able to do the types of things that drive you to a subsonic bomber. But it achieves what you are looking for."
To penetrate and persist in the presence of integrated air defences "the next-generation bomber will have signature reduction well below the F-22 and F-35," says Muellner. He adds: "They are good at shooter frequencies, but not at low frequencies. The B-2 is good at low frequencies, but not at shooter frequencies. The next-generation bomber will be really good at all frequencies."
Originally posted by BlackWidow23
Uh-oh...this could be a very bad idea....
I doubt we will see traditional control surfaces on it, I bet anything that it will rely on 3d TVC.
The problem is...that we are relying too much on stealth again. I think that by 2018 there will be significant improvements in anti-stealth systems.
Sounds like it cant hurt though.
Originally posted by The Winged Wombat
And by 2030, as you point out, the B-1 and B-2 will also need to be replaced. Why is it that I can't see that being achieved?
Originally posted by thebozeian
And this is not so much the next generation bomber as the interim one. It is not designed to replace the B-52, infact it is nowhere near it in terms of range and payload class regardless of the current mantra concerning PGM's, mini weapons and consequently smaller payloads.
[edit on 17-6-2007 by thebozeian]
While Western allies are operating on peacetime economies, the fact is that the military is using assets at a wartime rate and it would be extremely difficult to convince any Western population that military budgets would have to be increased to wartime standards. The inevitable outcome must be an unacceptable attrition rate (in capabilities, or airframe life) in relation to a peacetime budget.
This problem is magnified, in my view, by the fact that, worldwide, it is taking in excess of 20 years to take a design from concept to operational readiness.
In my mind, at least, the figures just don't add up, and the USA and others will end up suffering from the lack of ongoing commitment to a B-52 replacement during the 80s and 90s. This in turn will put further pressure upon medium bomber assets (F-15E / Tornado, etc) through increased usage and the value of which is partly dependent upon 'in theatre' or at least 'near theatre' basing to be effective without massive tanker support (which itself has been at crisis point due to aged airframes for more than 20 years).
Originally posted by WestPoint23
Also, with China emerging as the premier threat in the 21st century the US knows it cannot afford to wast any time. By leveraging "off the shelf" technology and current systems as well as building a relatively conservative design it is possible to reach IOC within a decade, as long as congress does not screw it up that is...
Originally posted by WestPoint23
Umm... you can call it an "interim"all you want, along with the USAF and defense lobbyists who are using that term to dumb down congress... But the fact still remains that this bomber will be procured in large numbers and serve for decades to come.