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Topic: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: oykie
Posted 2012-10-15 12:32:39 and read 10317 times.

In a longer article Flightglobal looks into the Next generation Long range strike-bomber LRS-B.

In a short summary of the article the major news is that it gets increased funding next year (2013).

It might cost up to 60 billion dollars to develop.

Target price is 550 million USD.

Initially the USAF wants 80-100 LRS-B
Needs 155 to fill 10 squadrons.
Needs 200 to replace the entire fleet of B-52, B2 and B1.

The B-52 is unable to penetrate enemy air defences.
The B-1B is capable, but with only 60, cannot penetrate.
The B-1B is "de-nuclearised"

Only the B-2A fleet has the ability to operate inside enemy air defences
Only the B-2 will survive until 2040 so the Air Force cannot delay the new LRS-B airplane if the U.S wants to stay relevant in the next millennium.


Read everything here: http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...s-long-range-strike-bomber-377597/

Excellent written article. Dave Majumbar writes very well!

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: flyingturtle
Posted 2012-10-15 12:42:19 and read 10322 times.

I hope it will get as iconic as the B-52 or the B-2...   



David

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: Oroka
Posted 2012-10-16 18:55:27 and read 9938 times.

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 1):
I hope it will get as iconic as the B-52 or the B-2...

USAF will ask for a ton of gold, manufacturer will promise a mountain diamonds. They will burn money like crazy, not be able to meet requirements, deliver a (small) sack of rocks (based on current military procurement trends).


They need a bomber with as many off the shelf items as possible, get creative with the airframe... the rest should be in production on other aircraft. So much these days is software... slap the gear in, tweek the code, dont aim for the moon.

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: AWACSooner
Posted 2012-10-16 19:36:53 and read 9915 times.

Quoting oykie (Thread starter):
if the U.S wants to stay relevant in the next millennium.

Jeez, if this is an effort to keep us relevant that long, I am worried that we are in big trouble!

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: BMI727
Posted 2012-10-16 22:27:28 and read 9839 times.

I think that the USAF strategic bombing capability needs to be addressed with a two pronged strategy.

The first is the high tech, high speed, low observable aircraft. I'd envision this more as a stealthy B-1 than a straightforward B-2 successor. The reason being that for all the leaps forward in low observable aircraft, the radar people have been making progress too. The B-2 and F-117 before it are not especially maneuverable and generally fly at medium to high altitudes at subsonic speeds. If they are detected, they'd largely be sitting ducks. I think a low observable aircraft with low level penetrating ability like the B-1 is a better direction for the future. After all, speed and stealth in some respects come down to the same thing in the end, which is time. A plane that flies twice as fast but can be detected at twice the range should work just as well as a stealthier but slower counterpart.

The second aircraft (which should probably be developed first, given the available technology and age of the B-52 fleet) would be a subsonic, medium to high altitude heavy hauler designed with as many off-the-shelf components as possible. The emphasis here should be on payload and cost, both development/production and maintenance/operation.

Two airframes is really the only way I see the necessary capability being both available and affordable in the future. Attempting to fulfill the entire strategic bombing mission with a single airframe would likely result in a design that lacks either capability against technologically advanced opponents or the affordability to be acquired in enough quantity, and possible both.

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: cosmofly
Posted 2012-10-16 22:59:26 and read 9828 times.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 4):
a two pronged strategy

The first one is an edited F-22.
The second one is an edited 787.

Rest are UAVs

  

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: bigjku
Posted 2012-10-17 06:02:50 and read 9678 times.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 4):
I think that the USAF strategic bombing capability needs to be addressed with a two pronged strategy.

I think that makes sense to some degree but I think low level penetration has, rightly, gone the way of the dodo. It brings too many defensive weapons back into play. I do like a two platformed approach though for the USAF. I think they need one platform that is a bomb, and more importantly a cruise missile, truck. They need another that can penetrate high value airspace and deliver a blow.

The problem is two airframes cost money. What I would personally prefer to see is one airframe that has the capability to have pylons hung on it to give it an external carriage capacity for JASSM's, JDAM's and SDB's. If you want to penetrate you leave the pylons off. If you want to bring a bunch of ordinance to the party you can put pylons on it and do so.

As far as specs I would suspect you will see something that operates in the high sub-sonic range and might have a sprint capability in the mach 1.2 to mach 1.5 range assuming they can find a way to use burners on it.

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: Oroka
Posted 2012-10-17 06:12:23 and read 9671 times.

Quoting bigjku (Reply 6):
If you want to penetrate you leave the pylons off. If you want to bring a bunch of ordinance to the party you can put pylons on it and do so.

So... a higher capacity F-35?

Enlarge the airframe, give it 2 (or more) PW F119s, same guts as the F-35. Large internal storage, huge external storage.

The Russians have the right idea using the SU-27 as the basis for many different variants... you get proven capacity and cost savings.

[Edited 2012-10-17 06:18:10]

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: bigjku
Posted 2012-10-17 06:48:38 and read 9645 times.

Quoting Oroka (Reply 7):
So... a higher capacity F-35?

No, I think it has to be significantly bigger than that. You can't enlarge a fighter and call it a bomber. And strategic bombers are incredibly useful things to have as tools. They give you a long and heavy reach that an SU-27 just can't scale up to.

I would guess what you get will be very much, from an airframe perspective, a lot like the B-2, RQ-170 shape. It is really about the idea form for a bomber. The wing gives you great range and payload lift ability and is naturally stealthy to a good degree. Unless they decide to sell out for speed, and I don't think they will, you will see a flying wing in this role I would guess.


Quoting Oroka (Reply 7):
The Russians have the right idea using the SU-27 as the basis for many different variants... you get proven capacity and cost savings.

I think this is a gross overstatement. The Russians have used the SU-27 as the basis for many things because they had no other options really. The MIG-29 just didn't have growth options really built into it and when things went to crap for them the best thing they had to work from was the SU-27. But it can no more replace a B-1 or B-52 than an F-15E can. They are not in the same ballpark really.

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: AirRyan
Posted 2012-10-17 08:06:43 and read 9594 times.

A recent article I read about stealth, how just in the last ten years it has become less of an advantage than what it used to be. New ways of using existing detection equipment, combined with new technologies in detection equipment, make for less and less of an overall advantage. As of yet, I've yet to hear where this new long range bomber will do anything much different than the existing B-2; why R&D something to reinvent the wheel? Does this new platform need to fly higher, farther, and or carry more payload? Bang to buck ratio, here.

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: oykie
Posted 2012-10-17 09:46:23 and read 9523 times.

Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 3):
Jeez, if this is an effort to keep us relevant that long, I am worried that we are in big trouble!

Peace through strength might not be such a bad idea. And if the U.S does not want to be the strong one, someone else will fill this space. And I rather want the U.S. to be the dominant player, than some other, non democratic nation. I for one have gotten used to the freedom of living in a peaceful democracy where I can express my opinion and believe in whatever I want to believe in. Courtesy of NATO and the U.S being 70% of that force. I know that a lot of soldiers have died, so I can live in peace. Remember those 11 aircraft carriers around the world and the F-22 flying nearby Iran and North-Korea sends a powerful message: Don't even think about it.

quote=BMI727,reply=4]I think that the USAF strategic bombing capability needs to be addressed with a two pronged strategy. [/quote]

If they can afford it. But what is the better option? The number of planes, or their speed? The B-52 is still feared in many corners of the world.

Quoting bigjku (Reply 6):
As far as specs I would suspect you will see something that operates in the high sub-sonic range and might have a sprint capability in the mach 1.2 to mach 1.5 range assuming they can find a way to use burners on it.

That would put its speed in the same corner as the B-1 Lancer. How many times have they been used in supersonic missions?

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 4):
The reason being that for all the leaps forward in low observable aircraft, the radar people have been making progress too.
Quoting AirRyan (Reply 9):
A recent article I read about stealth, how just in the last ten years it has become less of an advantage than what it used to be. New ways of using existing detection equipment, combined with new technologies in detection equipment, make for less and less of an overall advantage.

This is something I have thought about. The stealth capabilities are adopting, but so is tracking devices. The cost is incredibly high. And is it worth reducing the inventory to get Stealth? I am fascinated by the active camouflage that Boeing used on the Bird of prey, but that technology does still not make it completely invisible.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_Bird_of_Prey

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: BMI727
Posted 2012-10-17 10:58:29 and read 9469 times.

Quoting bigjku (Reply 6):
I think that makes sense to some degree but I think low level penetration has, rightly, gone the way of the dodo.

My belief is that it's going to have to make a return to some degree as radars become more capable of detecting low observable targets. In the future stealth will be important, but I doubt that you can have just stealth and get away with it.

Quoting oykie (Reply 10):
But what is the better option? The number of planes, or their speed?

They'll need both. There needs to be a low observable, highly capable bomber but there is no way that such an aircraft would be cheap enough that it could be bought in enough quantity to make up the entire force. The cheaper bomber would never be able to offer the capability the USAF will need. Attempting to cover the entire mission with a single airframe would likely result in something that is neither cheap nor able to penetrate against a well equipped enemy.

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: bigjku
Posted 2012-10-17 11:11:58 and read 9460 times.

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 9):
A recent article I read about stealth, how just in the last ten years it has become less of an advantage than what it used to be. New ways of using existing detection equipment, combined with new technologies in detection equipment, make for less and less of an overall advantage. As of yet, I've yet to hear where this new long range bomber will do anything much different than the existing B-2; why R&D something to reinvent the wheel? Does this new platform need to fly higher, farther, and or carry more payload? Bang to buck ratio, here.

My guess is that the platform would be very similar to the B-2 but would probably get new F-35 like skin and be built much more around the conventional ordinance missions rather than the nuclear mission that the B-2 was originally built for. The F-35 skin is a game changer for stealth. It makes it much more maintainable.

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: bigjku
Posted 2012-10-17 11:26:03 and read 9443 times.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 11):
My belief is that it's going to have to make a return to some degree as radars become more capable of detecting low observable targets. In the future stealth will be important, but I doubt that you can have just stealth and get away with it.

I tend to think rather than going low the answer is going to be more active electronic countermeasures for penetrating aircraft. Early stealth planes did not really have this but the F-35 will and I think future bombers will have a robust electronic warfare capability.

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: 135mech
Posted 2012-10-17 13:10:10 and read 9390 times.

The B-1B is not going anywhere/away soon. We are getting a glass cockpit upgrade and MANY other internal and structural upgrades in the near future to keep it "in-play" for many more years.

Last year, Lybia proved we still need it (when we can get it off the ground). High-speed, low-level, and a powerful arsenal/payload was the key to that success; as is it has been well more utilized in the everyday "mission" over in that theater.

Quoting bigjku (Reply 6):
The problem is two airframes cost money. What I would personally prefer to see is one airframe that has the capability to have pylons hung on it to give it an external carriage capacity for JASSM's, JDAM's and SDB's. If you want to penetrate you leave the pylons off. If you want to bring a bunch of ordinance to the party you can put pylons on it and do so.

Respectively...should they go with the "one-size-fits-all" then we are back to the ungodly delays and cost overruns of the F-35 that is being heavily scrutinized now.

Regards,
135 Mech

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: 135mech
Posted 2012-10-17 13:27:06 and read 9381 times.

Quoting oykie (Reply 10):
That would put its speed in the same corner as the B-1 Lancer. How many times have they been used in supersonic missions?

With Afghanistan, that "need" has and is being used quite regularly in the last several years. Also see my above post about Lybia.

Quoting oykie (Reply 10):
Peace through strength might not be such a bad idea. And if the U.S does not want to be the strong one, someone else will fill this space. And I rather want the U.S. to be the dominant player, than some other, non democratic nation. I for one have gotten used to the freedom of living in a peaceful democracy where I can express my opinion and believe in whatever I want to believe in. Courtesy of NATO and the U.S being 70% of that force. I know that a lot of soldiers have died, so I can live in peace. Remember those 11 aircraft carriers around the world and the F-22 flying nearby Iran and North-Korea sends a powerful message: Don't even think about it.

WOW... that was incredibly well said. I have been deployed (Air Force) many, many times...but very fortunate to have stayed relatively safe (most of the time) and greatly appreciative of our freedoms because of it!

Thank you for what you wrote, very uplifting!

Regards,
135Mech
(USAF 23 yrs)

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: bigjku
Posted 2012-10-17 15:20:48 and read 9354 times.

Quoting 135mech (Reply 14):
Respectively...should they go with the "one-size-fits-all" then we are back to the ungodly delays and cost overruns of the F-35 that is being heavily scrutinized now.

I would not even say a one size fits all. My view is that you won't get funding for two bombers. That means the one you build is likely to be the high end one. I generally like the idea of having the option to go max speed and stealth by carrying everything inside or to load up with ordinance on pylons if I need to.

I think were the F-35 went "wrong" (not really wrong but gets expensive I should say) is trying to work the B into everything else. I don't think you would have that with a bomber. Basically what I am describing is a B-2 with some under wing access panels that would let you mount a pylon to the thing and carry some more ordinance externally when and if you needed to. When you need to go clean you just leave the pylons off.

The only other realistic option I can see is basically converting something else (new cargo plane, P-8 ect) to carry more cruise missiles on its wings for those type of missions. I just don't think you have any chance of getting funding for both a B-2 replacement and a B-52 type replacement. You are either going to have to combine the platform as I described or you are going to just get a B-2 replacement and figure out something else to lug a bunch of JASSM's into combat when you need to.

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: BMI727
Posted 2012-10-17 15:59:42 and read 9322 times.

Quoting bigjku (Reply 13):
I tend to think rather than going low the answer is going to be more active electronic countermeasures for penetrating aircraft. Early stealth planes did not really have this but the F-35 will and I think future bombers will have a robust electronic warfare capability.

Future bombers should have a full suite of electronic goodies, but as with many things, people figure out a way to beat them. Flying low and fast will always help you. I think that in order to have the necessary striking ability, the USAF will have to combine the electronic warfare suites with low observables and high performance.

Quoting 135mech (Reply 14):
Respectively...should they go with the "one-size-fits-all" then we are back to the ungodly delays and cost overruns of the F-35 that is being heavily scrutinized now.

No they shouldn't. Any result of a single program will likely be either long on cost or short on capability. Possibly both.

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: cosmofly
Posted 2012-10-17 16:55:29 and read 9296 times.

We are entering the new age of commercial space programs where small launches cost may be in the millions only. It would be much easier to hit strategic targets from space, even just with kinetic weapons, so why even bother with new long range bombers. They are expensive to develop, to maintain, to man, to operate, to protect .......

Once asymmetry is achieved, all we need is something that flies a long way to the enemgy and drop smart bombs. Modified commercial assets may just do the trick at a much lower cost. Just build a small penetrating force based on our state of the art fighter technolgies may be good enough for smaller scale deterance as well as rapid reactions.

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: Zkpilot
Posted 2012-10-17 18:15:52 and read 9251 times.

I see them going for a high end bomber B-1B size. Nuclear capable and capable of carrying a wide range of weapons. It would be super-sonic capable (perhaps even super-cruise). It would have a range of LO tech incorporated and since this has moved on in the past 20+ years I'd say it would be as good as the B-2 if not better in this area. Cost-wise you'd be wanting to bring it down (given the advances made and lessons learned from the F-22 and F-35 programs and the fact that it wouldn't need to be as high-tech as those fighters) and have it come in at $250-300m a pop with 150 produced.

No need for a smaller option as these can be done using cruise missiles, UAVs, and fighters like the F-35.
Missile tech is improving... it won't be long before they have cruise missiles which are hypersonic able to hit anywhere in the world from existing US territories reducing the risk to assets and personale and costing a whole lot less.

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: BMI727
Posted 2012-10-17 18:36:39 and read 9237 times.

Quoting cosmofly (Reply 18):

We are entering the new age of commercial space programs where small launches cost may be in the millions only. It would be much easier to hit strategic targets from space, even just with kinetic weapons, so why even bother with new long range bombers. They are expensive to develop, to maintain, to man, to operate, to protect ......

There are issues with satellites too. They aren't the most responsive weapons out there: you may not have a satellite in an orbit where it can hit a target and have to launch one. And, according to Wikipedia so take this with a grain of salt, a kinetic space weapon wouldn't be much lighter than TNT, that is the power of a projectile dropped from space would have about the same power as a similar mass of explosives.

Overall, the concept merits development, but isn't going to be useful in the relatively near term.

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 19):
No need for a smaller option as these can be done using cruise missiles, UAVs, and fighters like the F-35.

UAVs aren't quite there yet. Either way, I think that aircraft systems of that generation will be set up with UAVs in mind: with the ability to interface with and maybe control them at the low end and system architecture with the potential for unmanned variants at the high end of the continuum. (I want to say Boeing had a future fighter concept that included that)

The F-35, and for that matter the various F-22 and F-23 concepts that have popped up over the years, will lack the range and payload to fulfill the strategic bombing role, even with the advent of smaller and smarter weapons. Such aircraft could do nicely as replacements for the F-15E and the like, but won't do so well in place of B-1s or B-2s.

Cruise missiles pose the exact same problems they've posed since they were invented, namely the inability to loiter in an area.

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 19):
Missile tech is improving... it won't be long before they have cruise missiles which are hypersonic able to hit anywhere in the world from existing US territories reducing the risk to assets and personale and costing a whole lot less.

It depends on your definition of "not long" but the struggles of the X-51 would seem to indicate that hypersonic weapons are still some distance off. Far enough to not be an alternative to a new strategic bomber anyway.

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: kanban
Posted 2012-10-17 21:31:04 and read 9170 times.

What we need is a slow high altitude sow.. with the advances in engines and wings, coupled with a slightly larger B-52 body then run that down our current manufacturing advances and you've got a fearsome workhorse for another 60 years and a reasonable expense.

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: oykie
Posted 2012-10-18 00:46:23 and read 9125 times.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 11):
Attempting to cover the entire mission with a single airframe would likely result in something that is neither cheap nor able to penetrate against a well equipped enemy.

In other words keep the B1 and B2 for now. Focus on the B-52 replacement.

Quoting bigjku (Reply 12):
The F-35 skin is a game changer for stealth.

It would be cool to see that skin on the LRS-B!

Quoting 135mech (Reply 15):
With Afghanistan, that "need" has and is being used quite regularly in the last several years. Also see my above post about Lybia.

Do they use the B-1 as a fly low and fast approach, and leave the high altidude flying to the B-2 and B-52?

Quoting 135mech (Reply 15):

WOW... that was incredibly well said. I have been deployed (Air Force) many, many times...but very fortunate to have stayed relatively safe (most of the time) and greatly appreciative of our freedoms because of it!

Thank you for what you wrote, very uplifting!
Quoting 135mech (Reply 15):
Regards,
135Mech
(USAF 23 yrs)

I am very greatful for the work you are doing! My grandfather was working for the during WW2 and his ship was torpedoed by an Italian sub near the Aden bay. He taught me never to take for granted the freedom my generation might take for granted. He always appreciated the effort by the U.S during WW2.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 20):
It depends on your definition of "not long" but the struggles of the X-51 would seem to indicate that hypersonic weapons are still some distance off. Far enough to not be an alternative to a new strategic bomber anyway.

The X-51 has had its problems, but the potential in that technology is amazing. If they succeed that weapon will also be sort of peace through strength. I agree that it is at experimental stage for now, and in the meantime the USAF will need a new bomber.

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: 135mech
Posted 2012-10-18 10:03:33 and read 8975 times.

Quoting bigjku (Reply 16):
I would not even say a one size fits all. My view is that you won't get funding for two bombers. That means the one you build is likely to be the high end one. I generally like the idea of having the option to go max speed and stealth by carrying everything inside or to load up with ordinance on pylons if I need to

Cool, very interesting! The F-22 has those "if needed" mounts that they use for long range fuel tanks when crossing the pond, could be a great concept for a new bomber. Very much the thought of "added" pylons when needed like the B-52, is a smart concept!

It's funny, because one of the thoughts of the B-1B was as a B-52 replacement at the time...but the old bird soldiers on! LOL

Thanks!

135Mech

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: 135mech
Posted 2012-10-18 10:15:27 and read 8963 times.

Quoting cosmofly (Reply 18):
Once asymmetry is achieved, all we need is something that flies a long way to the enemgy and drop smart bombs. Modified commercial assets may just do the trick at a much lower cost. Just build a small penetrating force based on our state of the art fighter technolgies may be good enough for smaller scale deterance as well as rapid reactions.

While that is a good concept... there comes to mind KAL-007. Once you start using "commercial airliners" as weapons; then the opposing (or annoyed) forces start getting paranoid and shoot down 400 passengers and never apologize! That's a tricky option.

Regards,
135Mech

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: 135mech
Posted 2012-10-18 10:23:28 and read 9081 times.

Quoting oykie (Reply 22):
Do they use the B-1 as a fly low and fast approach, and leave the high altidude flying to the B-2 and B-52?

It is being used for high and low...fast and slow... it loiters well, and then races in to hit very well. It has truly become the "multi-role" bomber...problem is reliabilty and cost $$$...

Quoting oykie (Reply 22):
I am very greatful for the work you are doing! My grandfather was working for the during WW2 and his ship was torpedoed by an Italian sub near the Aden bay. He taught me never to take for granted the freedom my generation might take for granted. He always appreciated the effort by the U.S during WW2.

 
135Mech

[Edited 2012-10-18 10:24:43]

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: BMI727
Posted 2012-10-18 10:31:11 and read 9062 times.

Quoting oykie (Reply 22):
In other words keep the B1 and B2 for now. Focus on the B-52 replacement.

In the short term, that's what should happen. The slow, cheap B-52 replacement should be the first design up followed by the fast, stealthy B-1 and B-2 replacement.

Quoting 135mech (Reply 24):
While that is a good concept... there comes to mind KAL-007. Once you start using "commercial airliners" as weapons; then the opposing (or annoyed) forces start getting paranoid and shoot down 400 passengers and never apologize! That's a tricky option.

Any future bomber will be a dedicated design. The benefits from crossover with commercial programs would be in underlying research and components: engines, materials, manufacturing techniques, maybe a few avionics bits, etc. The design could draw a lot of COTS parts but still look nothing like an airliner.

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: bikerthai
Posted 2012-10-18 11:16:39 and read 9214 times.

Quoting 135mech (Reply 24):
Once you start using "commercial airliners" as weapons;

We already crossed that bridge.

The P-8A (737 derivative) can carry bombs and missiles and from 5 miles out, it looks just like any other 737.

bt

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: bikerthai
Posted 2012-10-18 11:23:43 and read 9196 times.

Quoting cosmofly (Reply 18):
Modified commercial assets may just do the trick at a much lower cost.

Yes, but the trick is to have a weapon delivery system that can handle the shifting CG's as you drop you ordinance. With a dedicated bomber, you can design around bomb bay. With a commercial frame, you'll have to design the bomb bay around the wing box.

Time to get out your thinking caps . . .   

bt

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: neutrino
Posted 2012-10-18 11:31:21 and read 9187 times.

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 28):
as you drop you ordinance.

Pardon me but I believe its ordnance that you mean to say.  

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: 135mech
Posted 2012-10-18 12:15:15 and read 9161 times.

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 27):
Quoting 135mech (Reply 24):
Once you start using "commercial airliners" as weapons;

We already crossed that bridge.

The P-8A (737 derivative) can carry bombs and missiles and from 5 miles out, it looks just like any other 737.

bt

Yes, I was thinking that as i wrote it. I was just thinking that producing airliner to military variants on a greater scale would most likely turn out to be a bad thing, especially for those ultra-long-haul out in the middle of the pacific ocean 777LR's etc.

135Mech

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: cosmofly
Posted 2012-10-18 15:02:56 and read 9121 times.

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 28):
With a commercial frame, you'll have to design the bomb bay around the wing box.

At least one can focus on this  

Didn't Boeing mention that they have to deliberately increase the 787 RCS so that it can be an airliner?

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: rwessel
Posted 2012-10-18 16:03:35 and read 9089 times.

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 27):
We already crossed that bridge.

The P-8A (737 derivative) can carry bombs and missiles and from 5 miles out, it looks just like any other 737.

And the P-3 is an Electra. Although the MAD boom is fairly distinguishing, and if you look really closely, the front sections is shortened a bit. And many of the xC-135s look a heck of a lot like 707s. Of course there aren’t many examples of the civilian versions of either of those flying anymore.

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: bigjku
Posted 2012-10-18 16:58:29 and read 9063 times.

Quoting 135mech (Reply 23):
Cool, very interesting! The F-22 has those "if needed" mounts that they use for long range fuel tanks when crossing the pond, could be a great concept for a new bomber. Very much the thought of "added" pylons when needed like the B-52, is a smart concept!

Yeah, and I would guess that the B-2's payload is limited by what you can stuff into the internal bay rather than by what the thing is capable of lifting from an aerodynamic perspective. It should in theory be a very efficient generator of lift. If you put the structure inside of it to carry ordinance on the wings I would think you would be able to carry a fair amount.

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: BMI727
Posted 2012-10-18 17:03:15 and read 9065 times.

Quoting 135mech (Reply 30):
Yes, I was thinking that as i wrote it. I was just thinking that producing airliner to military variants on a greater scale would most likely turn out to be a bad thing, especially for those ultra-long-haul out in the middle of the pacific ocean 777LR's etc.

An airliner type airframe will not lend itself nearly as well to a bomber as it will to a patrol aircraft.

First is the issue of space: a bomber and patrol plane need space, but different types and in different places. The patrol plane needs space for sensors, although less than before, but more importantly it needs space for the crew and their equipment. The P-8 has a crew of 9, while the B-1 has a crew of only 4. Airliners, conveniently enough, have plenty of this space readily available.

Contrast that to bombers, which carry a smaller crew with less in the way equipment for them to use but do need one or more massive bomb bays to carry their payloads. The passenger space of an airliner is useless for this since you can't just rip the floor out of an airliner.

There's also the matter of external weapons. The P-8 can carry up to six SLAM-ER missiles externally, although I'm not sure all of them are on the wings. Anyway, six of them is about 9,000 lbs or so, not counting extra wiring, pylons, etc. For a slow moving bomb truck that doesn't give a rat's ass about stealth, you'd want to hang a hell of a lot more than that off the wings. A B-52 can carry six AGM-129s on each wing, which is over 20,000 lbs. per wing. No airliner wing could carry that sort of load without a major redesign.

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: FSXJunkie
Posted 2012-10-18 20:00:47 and read 9002 times.

Quoting oykie (Thread starter):
Quoting oykie (Thread starter):

The B-52 is unable to penetrate enemy air defenses.

The B-52H is since it has always been optimized for standoff missions, The B-52G was the go to bird for penetration, they got gutted by START and the few survivors are rusting in Davis-Monthan and are prohibited from reentering service.

Quote:
The B-1B is capable, but with only 60, cannot penetrate.
The B-1B is "de-nuclearised"

...and...The B-1B is prohibited from carrying its full potential payload due to START Restrictions, without any restrictions the Bone can carry three times what a "Doomsday Loadout" B-52G can carry

Quote:
Only the B-2A fleet has the ability to operate inside enemy air defences

Problem with the B-2 is that radar systems a becoming more and more refined with each passing year, focusing on fine tuning the filters to sort out "stealthy" aircraft is relatively cheap compared to the reinvention of air defense technolgy as a whole that the B-52 and B-1 forced when they entered service.


[/quote]Only the B-2 will survive until 2040 so the Air Force cannot delay the new LRS-B airplane if the U.S wants to stay relevant in the next millennium.[/quote]

By 2030 the B-2 force will be gone, as time progresses hostile airspace will become too 'hot' to risk any of the 20 aircraft and the immense maintenance costs in combination with that inevitability will make the planes more trouble than they're worth

With regard to the B-52, the fact the aircraft have survived this long is a testament to how well the Strategic Air Command took care of them during it's tenure. Unfortunately the gross and shortsighted self attrition of the force have placed increased stress on the few remaining in service and less than stellar Air Combat Command maintenance practices have taken their toll. The B-52H can make it to 2040, but it'll be flying lazily (no more MITO's or bomb trucking) and will be limited to launching ALCM's

As for the B-1B, it's production line is in storage and restartable, additionally the airframe is capable of high altitude Mach 2 performance if properly outfitted. The big problem though is START, it's not worth it to invest in a B-1C if it can only carry a fraction of it's potential into combat and is outrightly prohibited from carrying a nuclear device

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: EagleBoy
Posted 2012-10-18 20:00:57 and read 9005 times.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 4):
Two airframes is really the only way I see the necessary capability being both available and affordable in the future. Attempting to fulfill the entire strategic bombing mission with a single airframe would likely result in a design that lacks either capability against technologically advanced opponents or the affordability to be acquired in enough quantity, and possible both.

I think this idea is spot on. Looking at the uses of the B-52 over the last 10 years, lots of business coming its way as a heavy hauler, able to carry a lot of precision munitions. No point having a diamond plated penetration bomber carrying out these missions in 2040 when they could design a simple airframe to cover this part of the strategic bombing spectrum.

As I read in a great article about 'multi-role' aircraft......the aircraft may be able to do 2 roles but not at the same time in 2 places!!

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: FSXJunkie
Posted 2012-10-18 21:34:36 and read 8972 times.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 4):
I
The first is the high tech, high speed, low observable aircraft. I'd envision this more as a stealthy B-1 than a straightforward B-2 successor.

Problem is that at supersonic speeds stealth is useless, the best you can do with stealth is to mute an egregious return, the B-70 Valkyrie was to have RAM paint applied to it's canards since without RAM they generated double the return of a B-52 and would give Soviet Air Defense twice as much advance warning, with the RAM paint applied that just reduced the return to be on par with a B-52.

Moral of the story is the faster you go the harder it is to hide

Quote:
The reason being that for all the leaps forward in low observable aircraft, the radar people have been making progress too.

Agreed, with the B-52 the Soviets had to develop not only longer ranged radar but also new planes and missiles to intercept it. The B-2 operates within the same altitude and speed regimes as the B-52 so all those missiles and planes are still valid to handle it, radar is the only problem to solve and adversaries can throw more money at it since their current fighters and missiles are sufficient.

...oh and bonous points for the radar guys are that stealth is fixed, everytime a Soviet based Air Defense System faces a B-2, all operators of said technology are a bit closer to filtering the bomber out (and guess what, most of the places that hate us use Soviet based Air Defense Systems)

Electronic Countermeasure (ECM) equipment...which the B-2 completely lacks, is organic, each sortie it's used it's alien to the defenders, more to it on each bomber a specialist is fine tuning the equipment to counter the defenders attempts to break through.

Quote:
The B-2 and F-117 before it are not especially maneuverable and generally fly at medium to high altitudes at subsonic speeds. If they are detected, they'd largely be sitting ducks.

Clay Pigeons, like that F-117 the Serbs brought down in '99, literally they used their SAM battery as a skeet shooter.

Quote:
I think a low observable aircraft with low level penetrating ability like the B-1 is a better direction for the future.

It's not, anything that travels within current altitude regimes fighters can handily manage (0 to 50,000ft) can be easily interdicted, a state of the art ECM suite and specialists that know how to use it can make the defenders life Hell but the threat is still manageable.

Very high altitude and very fast performance is the future, the B-1R proposal Boeing's made follows this approach, by flying at high altitude at Mach 2 the bomber can out run the defenses marshalled against it. SAM's will expend most of their fuel in the climb to reach altitutde and won't have enough for the chase, fighters have to fight a stall to climb to the bombers altitude which will slow them down enough that by the time the fighter can engage the Bomber is hopelessly out of range.




Quote:
After all, speed and stealth in some respects come down to the same thing in the end, which is time. A plane that flies twice as fast but can be detected at twice the range should work just as well as a stealthier but slower counterpart.

The biggest sin stealth tech has is maintenance, the F-22's have the performance characteristics you're looking for and maintaining their stealth capability is a very costly endeavor, the stresses of supersonic flight as well as the elements on the flight-line means the planes have to be repainted and thoroughly inspected far more frequently than their non-stealthy equivalents.

Quote:
The second aircraft (which should probably be developed first, given the available technology and age of the B-52 fleet) would be a subsonic, medium to high altitude heavy hauler designed with as many off-the-shelf components as possible. The emphasis here should be on payload and cost, both development/production and maintenance/operation.

A simple bomb truck?

It's a very sane and reasonable approach, problem is it's not "edgy". Stealth like digital camo is the "In" thing and justifying a bomber conversion of say a C-17 is just going to be rejected because it's so mundane.

The US Air Force is stuck in the "do more with less" mindset, in terms of bombers the B-2 is their poster child. The B-1 and B-52 require an ECM operator and a bombardier, the B-2 only requires a pilot and copilot (since it completely lacks an ECM suite and ordinance management is automated.) The USAF's direction of preference is stealth dependency, because it on paper it requires less manpower and the Northrop salesman claims that fewer stealthy aircraft can do the job better than a larger number of non-stealthy aircraft.

Bottom lining it, if you had the choice between 20 stealthy bombers that cost $2.2 Billion each and who's predecessors have a history of being high maintenance hanger queens, or 58 conventional bombers (something like the B-52) that cost $750 million each and who's predecessors have a history of being adaptable and capable beyond expectations and design...and as a result will more than pay for themselves over the course of their service, which would you choose?

If you're the USAF spending your $44 Billion on the stealthy plane is the better buy, after all you get less that can do less than the alternative, and will have a far shorter shelf life than the alternative aswell.

Quote:

Two airframes is really the only way I see the necessary capability being both available and affordable in the future. Attempting to fulfill the entire strategic bombing mission with a single airframe would likely result in a design that lacks either capability against technologically advanced opponents or the affordability to be acquired in enough quantity, and possible both.

I agree two airframes are required for the primary strategic mission but I disagree with your design suggestions

In my view we need a dedicated intercontinental range bomber, this aircraft will be capable of mach 3 at ~70,000ft and can hit any target in the world from it's CONUS base. The second Bomber is an uncastrated B-1 that is capable of Mach 2 performance and will serve as a regional bomber, the B-1C would be deployed to hotspots to deter a conflict from either starting or escalating and can promptly hit targets from their forward base.

In addition to those I'll throw in in a third, a UCAV bomber to serve purely as a conventional bomb truck, it would only be utilized after hostile airspace has been sanitized and secured, the UCAV bomber would be controlled from an airborne command post in theater to prevent remaining opposition from compromising the UCAV signals. The advantage of the UCAV bomber is that it can loiter over airspace almost indefinitely making it the holy grail of Close Air Support platforms.

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: BMI727
Posted 2012-10-18 22:01:19 and read 8958 times.

Quoting FSXJunkie (Reply 37):
Moral of the story is the faster you go the harder it is to hide

The F-22 manages to do alright. Granted, smaller planes are always easier to hide, but modern technology can give a low observable plane with the ability to go fast.

Quoting FSXJunkie (Reply 37):
Very high altitude and very fast performance is the future, the B-1R proposal Boeing's made follows this approach, by flying at high altitude at Mach 2 the bomber can out run the defenses marshalled against it.

That could work, but it might be a more expensive proposition.

Quoting FSXJunkie (Reply 37):
It's a very sane and reasonable approach, problem is it's not "edgy". Stealth like digital camo is the "In" thing and justifying a bomber conversion of say a C-17 is just going to be rejected because it's so mundane.

Mundane is going to be the new "in" thing for a while. I think it would help the Air Force to be able to show the politicians and bureaucrats that they are concerned about cost and use the cheap bomber as a shield to protect the more capable one. Just say that they want to do the job efficiently, but they're going to need however many of the more expensive bomber to do the job at all. It would be useful for them to sell it as "we can do the super cheap and efficient bomber, but we'll need some of these too."

Quoting FSXJunkie (Reply 37):
The USAF's direction of preference is stealth dependency, because it on paper it requires less manpower

How far that direction can take you is sometimes a dicey thing. It's okay to be dependent on stealth until someone figures out how to beat it. At that point, you better figure out how to get it back or you're going to have a bad day.

Quoting FSXJunkie (Reply 37):
the Northrop salesman claims that fewer stealthy aircraft can do the job better than a larger number of non-stealthy aircraft.

Depends on the job. Even the stealthiest plane cannot be in two places at once.

Quoting FSXJunkie (Reply 37):
The second Bomber is an uncastrated B-1 that is capable of Mach 2 performance and will serve as a regional bomber, the B-1C would be deployed to hotspots to deter a conflict from either starting or escalating and can promptly hit targets from their forward base.

That's probably not a great idea. First, the B-1 is already used as a worldwide bomber, rather than just a regional bomber. Beyond that, deploying strategic bombers as an asset to deal with crises isn't a particularly effective strategy since you need a place to put them (with a fairly long runway) and their not insignificant amount of support infrastructure. It's not something you can do overnight.

Strategic bombers are all best used to give the capability to strike anywhere in the world from their home bases, it's just a matter of how quick they'll be, how stealthy they'll be about doing it, how much they'll carry, and how much it will cost.

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: rwessel
Posted 2012-10-18 23:42:27 and read 8909 times.

Quoting FSXJunkie (Reply 37):
Problem is that at supersonic speeds stealth is useless, the best you can do with stealth is to mute an egregious return, the B-70 Valkyrie was to have RAM paint applied to it's canards since without RAM they generated double the return of a B-52 and would give Soviet Air Defense twice as much advance warning, with the RAM paint applied that just reduced the return to be on par with a B-52.

Radar returns are an inverse fourth-power effect. To double the effective range of a given radar, you'd need to increase the radar return of an aircraft 16-fold.

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: BigJKU
Posted 2012-10-19 05:48:41 and read 8824 times.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 38):
Strategic bombers are all best used to give the capability to strike anywhere in the world from their home bases, it's just a matter of how quick they'll be, how stealthy they'll be about doing it, how much they'll carry, and how much it will cost.

On this I fully agree. The main benefit of these bombers is their ability to base out of home bases close to large supplies of bombs and munitions and bring those a long way to the party. I see the role of the strategic bomber for the US being that they will play a major role in hauling enough weapons into a major conflict to help overwhelm any state of the art air defense system. Eventually you will want to overfly targets and hit them with much cheaper bombs but on day one a B-1 that can carry 24 JASSM's or eventually loft 96 to 144 SDB's from around 60 miles away is a tremendous asset that lets you give the defender a pretty crappy set of decisions to deal with. You just can't easily create that level of difficulty for the defense without those strategic bomber assets.

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: bikerthai
Posted 2012-10-19 06:15:10 and read 8823 times.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 34):
The P-8 can carry up to six SLAM-ER missiles externally, although I'm not sure all of them are on the wings.

Diagrams I've seen shows 4 wing hard points (2 on each wing). So the other 2 SLAM-ER may be center line fuselage mount. Don't know if the SLAM-ER will fit in the bomb bay.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 34):

Contrast that to bombers, which carry a smaller crew with less in the way equipment for them to use but do need one or more massive bomb bays to carry their payloads.

The design of the P-8 bomb bay is a little more complex because you want to maintain a pressurized fuselage. If you can limit the pressurization just to the 41 section (forward fuselage) like what was done to the Dream Lifter, then you may have more lea way in designing a bomb bay(s) that will fill in to the main deck.

For any commercial airframe conversion, you'll probably need two bays, one in front and one behind the wing box.
You'll need to penetrate the floor beams in order to take advantage of main deck volume.

If the purpose of the bomb truck is to loiter and attack at target of opportunity, then you'll most likely not require anything bigger than a 500lb JDAM. You'll just need to carry a bunch of the smaller JADMS and SBD's, and maybe some missiles that can get to the target quicker.

For hardened targets that requires a 2000 lb jobs, you'll probably need more planning and would use your regular bomber anyway.

bt

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: bikerthai
Posted 2012-10-19 06:24:54 and read 8825 times.

Now, here's a thought.

What if you take the P-8. Take out the electronics, put in a main deck cargo door and strengthen the floor?

You'll get a 737 cargo transport and when needed . . . a poor man's bomber.
  

bt

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: Stitch
Posted 2012-10-19 07:42:53 and read 8809 times.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 34):
Contrast that to bombers, which carry a smaller crew with less in the way equipment for them to use but do need one or more massive bomb bays to carry their payloads. The passenger space of an airliner is useless for this since you can't just rip the floor out of an airliner.

SAC did a study about using the 747-200 airframe as a cruise missile warehouse...  

Boeing 747-200 ALCM Launch Vehicle

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: SSTeve
Posted 2012-10-19 11:05:38 and read 8703 times.

Is there any chance that in the quest to take things off the shelf that they'll choose a militarized engine and try to build a bomber around it? Like 4 F119s or something?

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: BMI727
Posted 2012-10-19 13:57:28 and read 8621 times.

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 40):
On this I fully agree. The main benefit of these bombers is their ability to base out of home bases close to large supplies of bombs and munitions and bring those a long way to the party.

If you need an asset to flex some muscle and prove that we mean business, strategic bombers are not the best choice. Carrier battle groups are far more effective since bombers, and many USAF assets really, require far too much in the way of personnel and infrastructure. Even if you have a local base with a sufficient runway, it may not be possible to house all of the support aircraft (tankes & AWACS), manpower, and equipment.

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 41):
Diagrams I've seen shows 4 wing hard points (2 on each wing).

I've only ever seen two as well. My point is that an airliner wing probably won't be that useful for a bomber since a bomber will want to hang tons of weapons off of it, requiring enough redesign to probably be an effectively different wing.

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 41):
You'll need to penetrate the floor beams in order to take advantage of main deck volume.

My guess is that by the time you've figured out a way to do this, plus not needing as much other structure if it's to be depressurized, will probably make the design diverge enough to seriously water down the benefits of commonality.

Quoting SSTeve (Reply 44):
Is there any chance that in the quest to take things off the shelf that they'll choose a militarized engine and try to build a bomber around it? Like 4 F119s or something?

For the cheap off-the-shelf bomber, I think you'd more likely look at something like two GEnx/Trent 1000s or four LEAP-X/PW1000G engines. Four F119s (or an uprated F135 derivative) might work nicely for the low level penetrator though.

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: ThePointblank
Posted 2012-10-19 17:46:59 and read 8566 times.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 38):

That could work, but it might be a more expensive proposition.

The lower you are the closer you have to get to launch a weapon and you can be seen/heard by people on the ground.

The higher you are the harder you are to see or hear, and likewise the easier it is to detect and geolocate emissions on the ground from a further distance. You can adjust your mission plan accordingly to fly around such emitters.

The USAF abandoned the low level dash concept in the 1980s because the predicted survival rates of aircraft on low altitude missions was extremely low. That was validated by the experience of Tornado pilots in the Gulf War. If anything the odds are now far far worse against aircraft as MANPADS and low altitude SAMs are ubiquitous. Low altitude also takes more power and increases friction on an aircraft, making them easier targets to hit. Supersonic dash at medium to high altitude is much more preferable.

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: BigJKU
Posted 2012-10-19 19:24:07 and read 8552 times.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 45):
If you need an asset to flex some muscle and prove that we mean business, strategic bombers are not the best choice. Carrier battle groups are far more effective since bombers, and many USAF assets really, require far too much in the way of personnel and infrastructure. Even if you have a local base with a sufficient runway, it may not be possible to house all of the support aircraft (tankes & AWACS), manpower, and equipment.

Honestly I see the two systems as complimentary. And I am not talking about flexing muscle. I am talking about their utility in an honest to god shooting war with either a near peer or well equipped nation. Long-range bombers will play a huge role in helping kick in the door and allow carriers the access they really need to do their work. The early stages of any major operation against an IADS is going to really necessitate a large number of weapons being brought to bear at once. Strategic bombers are a pretty efficient way to bring a lot of standoff weapons to the game. A single squadron of B-1's can bring nearly 300 cruise missiles to the fight if you needed them to. That is a huge boost to what a carrier battle group can do.

I don't see the two systems as being in competition at all really.

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: BMI727
Posted 2012-10-19 19:35:06 and read 8553 times.

Quoting ThePointblank (Reply 46):
Supersonic dash at medium to high altitude is much more preferable.

But how much is that going to cost? Furthermore, an aircraft able to operate at low altitudes could also operate at medium altitudes without too much problem, just like the B-1. We've seen multiple low level attack aircraft, but high altitude, high speed bombers have been comparatively rare and unsuccessful.

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: bikerthai
Posted 2012-10-21 11:21:16 and read 8163 times.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 45):
requiring enough redesign to probably be an effectively different wing.

Yes if you want to maximize your bomb load. For a loiter and attack mission, it is unlikely that you'll need to carpet bomb.

The hardpoint on the P-8 may be able to take on 4 SBD each. Times 4 hard points that's 16 bombs on the wing.

If you take the 767 tanker wing with the two wing fuel pod, and convert it to hard points, you can probably do something with that wing also.

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 45):
will probably make the design diverge enough to seriously water down the benefits of commonality.

Yes, the initial cost of the design will be more. But structural re-design are relatively easy compared to the system integration that's being done on the P-8. A new P-8 bomber would probably be lower cost to develop than a P-8 MMA.

Remember, commonality include in service support. You can get enough commonality from the engines and cockpit to make life time product support much cheaper than a straight up bomber.

bt

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: KC135TopBoom
Posted 2012-10-22 06:07:35 and read 7980 times.

There are several different approaches here, depending on what the defined mission will be. If it is a cruise missile or C-UAV platform, then a stand off non-stealth airplane is all you will need. If you need to penetrate over the target and drop something, then you will need advanced stealth.

The $550M cost per airplane is a serious problem that is not achievable. In today's world a pax A-380 or B-747-8I costs about 2/3s that price. The F-35 wil come in around 40% to 50% that price, all in today's dollars. I think a realistic cost per airplane is in the B-2 bomber price range, about $800M to $1B per airplane, depending on which price you believe. This makes the costs of 155 airplanes, plus developement in the $225B + range, which spread out over 20 year, or so isn't that bad. Remember we are talking about the first deployment of the first airplane in the 2030s, about 20 years from now. By then the B-52H and B-1B will have been retired, and the B-2A retirement is less than 10 years away. The B-2s will be pushing 50 years of age by the mid 2040s.

There are many emirging technologies of today that could possible be used, such as Scram Jet or HyTech engines, as well as other technologies from the X-43 program. With these type engines, other defensives systems may not be needed. After all, "speed is life".

Currently, we don't know if stealth technology will even be a player in the 2030s. So a bigger F-22 or F-35 may not work well at all.

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: wvsuperhornet
Posted 2012-11-01 21:55:51 and read 6961 times.

So... a higher capacity F-35?

Enlarge the airframe, give it 2 (or more) PW F119s, same guts as the F-35. Large internal storage, huge external storage.

The Russians have the right idea using the SU-27 as the basis for many different variants... you get proven capacity and cost savings.[/quote]


Are you serious the F-35 hasn't been perfected enough to be fully produced as a fighter yet, let alone a heavy long range bomber in the future.

The US needs a true long range bomber and the they're only 2 ways to do this.
1. Upgrade and modernize a current bomber in the fleet preferably the B-1 or B-2.
2. Start from scratch and design a new one.

Suggesting that an F-35 or even an F-22 could be made into this is ridiculous at best.

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: Stitch
Posted 2012-11-02 07:08:38 and read 6892 times.

Forget the F-22 and F-35 - scale up the Y-23!  Popular Mechanics once postulated back in the early 2000's that the USAF had recycled the YF-23 design to create the "A-17" to replace the F-111.

The YF-23 was a stealthier design than the F-22 and scaled up I would think it would make a good missile/bomb-sled.

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: Oroka
Posted 2012-11-02 07:24:24 and read 6867 times.

Quoting wvsuperhornet (Reply 51):
Are you serious the F-35 hasn't been perfected enough to be fully produced as a fighter yet, let alone a heavy long range bomber in the future.

lol it would be about as much a F-35 as the Super Hornet is a F/A-18D, probably less.


I think the concept that new aircraft have to be new designs. Larger low cycle aircraft are out living their pilots...

A stealth optimized B-1 based bomber would be a good start. Keep the basic elements, use or upgrade as much as possible.

No need to redesign the blade, just make it sharper.

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: oykie
Posted 2012-11-02 15:06:54 and read 6779 times.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 52):
Forget the F-22 and F-35 - scale up the Y-23!  Popular Mechanics once postulated back in the early 2000's that the USAF had recycled the YF-23 design to create the "A-17" to replace the F-111.

Do you have any picture for that recycld YF-23? IMO being used to see the F-22, the UF-23 looks weired. Cool from behind, but the UFO shape is unusual.  

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: bikerthai
Posted 2012-11-05 05:57:53 and read 6429 times.

If you are going to design a long range bomber with pilots, you better ask the pilot how it feels to sit in a chair for 20+ hours. Even if those guys and gals are fit enough to endure the flight sitting in one spot and do their duties in diapers.

Any maned bomber will need a minimum of two pilots to rotate duties and at least some leg room to stretch out on the way to and from the target.

A two seat fighter isn't going to cut it.

bt

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: BigJKU
Posted 2012-11-05 07:03:59 and read 6431 times.

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 55):

A two seat fighter isn't going to cut it.

I tend to agree. You need something bigger for the Pacific theater in particular. An evolved F-111 of F-15 Strike Eagle won't really cut it for many of the things they are thinking about. Honestly, assuming the base platform can survive long enough to make it worthwhile, I would strongly consider the B-1R project as a regional strike tool. Particularly in the maritime realm it would be a very strong asset to have.

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: mffoda
Posted 2012-11-05 17:41:56 and read 6418 times.

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 55):
If you are going to design a long range bomber with pilots, you better ask the pilot how it feels to sit in a chair for 20+ hours. Even if those guys and gals are fit enough to endure the flight sitting in one spot and do their duties in diapers.

Any maned bomber will need a minimum of two pilots to rotate duties and at least some leg room to stretch out on the way to and from the target.

A two seat fighter isn't going to cut it.

bt

No disrespect bikerthai...

perhaps we should shit-can the Prima donna pilots who think 24-48 sitting in seat is hard duty?

As compared to the alternatives like living in hole for days/weeks at a time. Crapping next to your buddy and storing the shit till the mission ends?? Oh... and BTW not hitting the club that night??

Perspective please..  

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: BigJKU
Posted 2012-11-05 19:34:47 and read 6411 times.

Quoting mffoda (Reply 57):
No disrespect bikerthai...

perhaps we should shit-can the Prima donna pilots who think 24-48 sitting in seat is hard duty?

As compared to the alternatives like living in hole for days/weeks at a time. Crapping next to your buddy and storing the shit till the mission ends?? Oh... and BTW not hitting the club that night??

Perspective please..

A bit flippant I think. It is more about mission effectiveness for people flying what is likely to be an asset worth $750 million plus a piece in an environment that is not forgiving of mistakes. If a sleep deprived private makes a mistake he may get himself killed or part of his unit wiped out. That sucks. If the pilot of a bomber screws up you lose a valuable national strategic asset that you can never get back.

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: bikerthai
Posted 2012-11-06 05:51:47 and read 6409 times.

Quoting mffoda (Reply 57):
perhaps we should shit-can the Prima donna pilots who think 24-48 sitting in seat is hard duty?

No offense taken . . . we can always replace the Prima donna pilots with Prima donna joystick driver and have the little boys room down the hall.  

But really, one or two mission of 20 hours shifts may be fine for a fit pilot. But if you have to do that for the length of a campaign . . .

Still i guess that the price you pay to be a fighter jock. If you can't hack it . . .then you can drive the tanker or cargo planes. They got nice lavs in the back.

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 58):
If the pilot of a bomber screws up you lose a valuable national strategic asset that you can never get back.

Or get a bunch of non-combatant killed . . . or worst yet, get some blue force killed.

bt

Topic: RE: Usaf Long-range Strike Bomber Gets More Funding
Username: 135mech
Posted 2012-11-07 10:52:26 and read 6402 times.

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 59):
Still i guess that the price you pay to be a fighter jock. If you can't hack it . . .then you can drive the tanker or cargo planes. They got nice lavs in the back.

HAHAHAHA!!! Our old KC-135's finally are getting a commercial rated comode (for the active duty planes) but, they are not rushing to do that either! Still have the little 2.5 gallon box that has to be manually removed/flushed... but in the early 2000's we finally got a door put on the latrine! That was "nice"! It is still a "luxury" not to crap your pants tho!

135Mech


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