Sponsor Message:
Military Aviation & Space Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Cost Of Next Usaf Bomber?  
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 11929 posts, RR: 25
Posted (2 years 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 5627 times:

Interesting article from AvWeek: Can USAF Buy A $550 Million Bomber?

The latest approach is for the USAF to limit itself to $550M/frame:

Quote:

Despite the record and potential pitfalls, Air Force officials say they are determined to deliver at or under the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s cost target for the new bomber, which is an average procurement unit price of $550 million; this includes development, the purchases and associated construction divided by the total number of units.

Interesting how this is all DoD folks (SecDef, etc). What makes them think that the money for a new bomber program is there to begin with? It kind of reminds me of how my friend's teenage daughter proposes spending his money for him.

Interesting view indeed:

Quote:
Thomas Christie, a former Pentagon chief tester, says: “It is the same game all over again. . . . You grossly underestimate the cost and schedule in order to get going. You oversell and [yet] it proceeds.” He says the Air Force, which is the most technology oriented of the U.S. military services, will be unable to resist overloading the program with excessive requirements. “This system that we are talking about will be the only game in town. . . . There will be an incentive for every laboratory and every subcontractor to gild a little bit. This is the only game where they will get to put their little piece of technology.” He suggests the price will be as high as $2-3 billion per copy.

It's the same thing we're seeing with F-35. You start out with a clear mandate everyone says they agree too, and then you turn your back for a minute and before you know it you have something so expensive that the nation can't afford to buy it.


Inspiration, move me brightly!
33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineRaginMav From United States of America, joined May 2004, 375 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (2 years 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 5492 times:

It goes without saying that whatever cost is agreed upon will be left in the dust years before the first prototype flies. We will probably end up with a fleet of ~40 $2 or 3 billion aircraft. They will be more stealthy than a B-2, and still able to carry a GBU-57 (or similar). They will also be subsonic, manned, and shorter ranged than the B-2.

I hope the USAF is smart enough to realize they must replace the B-52 with a similar, simple airplane. A tube-and-wing airframe with COTS engines, a big bomb bay, underwing pylons for more weapons, lots of fuel, and enough internal space for all kinds of added boxes and gizmos.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 11929 posts, RR: 25
Reply 2, posted (2 years 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 5455 times:

Quoting RaginMav (Reply 1):
They will also be subsonic, manned, and shorter ranged than the B-2.

It was interesting how the article said the B-2 required to support low level bombing - has it ever been used for that?

Quoting RaginMav (Reply 1):
I hope the USAF is smart enough to realize they must replace the B-52 with a similar, simple airplane. A tube-and-wing airframe with COTS engines, a big bomb bay, underwing pylons for more weapons, lots of fuel, and enough internal space for all kinds of added boxes and gizmos.

So you are predicting two new bombers, one stealth and one non-stealth?



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineRaginMav From United States of America, joined May 2004, 375 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (2 years 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 5394 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 2):
So you are predicting two new bombers, one stealth and one non-stealth?



Yes, due to cost (both acquisition and operating). A 'cheap', non-stealth bomber boring holes in the sky over Afghanistan is much preferred to racking up hours on the billion dollar wonder-bomber. And you know, over what will probably be a 75+ year lifespan for that 'cheap' bomber, we'll end up in at least one more Afghanistan. Of course, the "yang" to the cheap "ying" is a ruinously expensive gold-plated flying wing. Effective to be sure, but with too many zeros on the price tag.

Time-frame wise, I wonder which one is needed first? Is this new bomber needed as B-1's exit the fleet? Has the B-2 started to loose it's technological edge? It's not exactly a spring chicken anymore, you know... On the flip side, how long can the BUFF's soldier on in the bomb-truck roll?

Quoting Revelation (Reply 2):
It was interesting how the article said the B-2 required to support low level bombing - has it ever been used for that?



Good question! And would the new bomber need that? Another bit I found is from the Wiki page on the "Next-Generation Bomber":

Quote:
Ability to "survive daylight raids in heavily defended enemy territory"



There are some neat tricks for fooling the good ol' Mark 1 Eyeball, but I would guess they're not cheap. Unfortunately the best way to avoid visual detection, small size, does not lend itself well to carrying a 30,000lb GBU-57.


User currently offlinebikerthai From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 2011 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (2 years 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 5371 times:

Quoting RaginMav (Reply 1):
I hope the USAF is smart enough to realize they must replace the B-52 with a similar, simple airplane. A tube-and-wing airframe with COTS engines, a big bomb bay, underwing pylons for more weapons, lots of fuel, and enough internal space for all kinds of added boxes and gizmos.

If they can put a bomb bay on commercial wide body, then it would probably meet noted criteria.

Boeing put a bomb bay in the 737 for P-8A but the bay is limited in size and capabilities. Maybe they can do the same but on a 767 and work out some sort of modular launch or auto-feed launch system for bombs.

For a semi-commercial frame you could look at the blended wing body. The price would only come down for this configuration if Boeing can get a "Commercial" use out of it.

bt



Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
User currently offline747400sp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3301 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (2 years 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 5275 times:

Well I am cool with seeing B-1bs and B-52Hs for years to come.

User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 900 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (2 years 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 5263 times:

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 4):
For a semi-commercial frame you could look at the blended wing body. The price would only come down for this configuration if Boeing can get a "Commercial" use out of it.

This would be the smartest thing Boeing could do, kinda like the dash 80, common design with both purposes in mind. Common basic design, wings, engines, avionics... optimized airframe.


User currently offlineZANL188 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 3434 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 5223 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Anybody remember Boeings proposed 747 ALCM truck? A 747-8 variant could loiter over a hot zone for days taking out targets on request, sort of like airborne artillery.


Legal considerations provided by: Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe
User currently onlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15483 posts, RR: 26
Reply 8, posted (2 years 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 5204 times:

Quoting Revelation (Thread starter):
It's the same thing we're seeing with F-35

The JSF was the politicians' fantasy from the start. You want a plane that can be a fighter, attack plane, land vertically, incorporate state of the art electronics, do it all with a low radar cross section, and be far cheaper than the F-22? Only a room full of yes men and bureaucrats could seriously believe that.

The whole paradigm was dumb. What good does stealth do when you're doing close air support? Anyone that wants to shoot at you can see you with their own two eyes.

The entire thing just didn't make a whole lot of sense, just like it didn't when they F-111 was developed. It's too late in the game now to fix it, but maybe this time we'll learn the lesson.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 2):
So you are predicting two new bombers, one stealth and one non-stealth?

Low-observable is the future, but not the whole future. Sure the stealth bombers get the Discovery Channel specials, but radar people haven't been sitting still either. A B-2 that somehow gets discovered is a sitting duck. I think that in the future the USAF would be much better served attempting to develop something more like the B-1 with more advanced low-observable features.

I would advocated a three-pronged strategic bombing approach: develop the FB-22 at a fairly low cost as a F-117 successor to strike smaller, high value targets in the early days of a war, a large, stealthy strategic bomber capable of long range, low level penetration at high speed similar in performance to the B-1 but with a smaller RCS, and a cheap, subsonic B-52 replacement using as many off the shelf components as possible to bombard mostly defenseless enemies.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineBurkhard From Germany, joined Nov 2006, 4360 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (2 years 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 5070 times:

Quoting RaginMav (Reply 1):
I hope the USAF is smart enough to realize they must replace the B-52 with a similar, simple airplane. A tube-and-wing airframe with COTS engines, a big bomb bay, underwing pylons for more weapons, lots of fuel, and enough internal space for all kinds of added boxes and gizmos.

Which a 767-200 variant with a bomb instead of fuel tanks, the rest identical to the KC767, would do for an unbeatable price, with a lot of support and spare parts on many USAF bases.


User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 11929 posts, RR: 25
Reply 10, posted (2 years 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 5011 times:

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 7):
Anybody remember Boeings proposed 747 ALCM truck? A 747-8 variant could loiter over a hot zone for days taking out targets on request, sort of like airborne artillery.

These days with GPS guided dumb bombs, all you'd need to do is point the bomb in the right direction and drop it from high enough so it can glide right in.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlineskysurfer From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2004, 1136 posts, RR: 13
Reply 11, posted (2 years 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 5005 times:

Speaking of bombers and bomb bays, check out this little gem of a B-52's bomb bay:

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=3ea_1334001244

Cheers

Stu



In the dark you can't see ugly, but you can feel fat
User currently offlinesweair From Sweden, joined Nov 2011, 1806 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4957 times:

Maybe a 777F would be a good bomber?

User currently offlineGST From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2008, 930 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (2 years 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 4846 times:

Structurally I think converting an existing low wing airframe is a non-starter. You'd have to massively overhaul the wing root structure in order to put a bomb bay on the CG, since I'm assuming you want a useful capacity in there it will probably extend a fair way forward of the cg and occupy all or almost all of the wing root real estate. Then you have the keel beams etc that would need to be replaced with other structure up the sides of the fuselage in order to carry the necessary loads.

IMO if you insist on taking an existing frame you would have an easier time of it taking a mid wing or shoulder wing airframe where the belly structure around the CG is far easier to customise. Perhaps something along the lines of a C17 - yes I know the ground clearance is pathetic and you'd need to develop a new means of loading bombs (through a tail ramp and into the bomb bay from the top?), but this may be a far easier bridge to cross than making a viable wing root join through a bomb bay.


User currently offline747400sp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3301 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (2 years 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 4781 times:

Quoting sweair (Reply 12):
Maybe a 777F would be a good bomber?




A T-7 can not do everything.    


User currently offlineSP90 From United States of America, joined May 2006, 388 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (2 years 1 week 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 4747 times:

Quoting Revelation (Thread starter):
Can USAF Buy A $550 Million Bomber?

Can pigs fly?   

They should have all potential manufacturer submit ready to produce designs and have a flyoff. Winner takes all.


User currently offlineFlighty From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 8204 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (2 years 1 week 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 4705 times:

I think they could equate any cost overrun to a voltage of an electrical current attached to executives' private parts. If it is 1 million dollars, 1 volt AC. 100 million, 100 volts, and so on. That's an example of a contract that is designed to get things done without any misunderstandings.

User currently offlineGST From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2008, 930 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (2 years 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 4674 times:

Quoting Flighty (Reply 16):

If it is 1 million dollars, 1 volt AC. 100 million, 100 volts, and so on.

Could you link amperage to program delays also to get a comprehensive electric shock lethality requirements matrix?

[Edited 2012-04-11 00:12:33]

User currently offlinebikerthai From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 2011 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (2 years 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4564 times:

Quoting GST (Reply 13):
Structurally I think converting an existing low wing airframe is a non-starter. You'd have to massively overhaul the wing root structure in order to put a bomb bay on the CG,

Your CG concern it very real indeed. But it can be done. The P-8A bomb bay is aft of the wheel well. You will need two bomb bays, one in front of the wing and one aft to balance out the CG.

Remember, the B-17 was a low wing bomber.

Quoting GST (Reply 13):
Perhaps something along the lines of a C17 - yes

This would also be a very viable option. Specially if you make the whole back side non pressurized and add additional cross frames to regain the structural lost with any bomb bay.

Really, if you can figure a way to drop the bomb vertically, it would make structural modification to a commercial airliner much easier.

bt



Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
User currently offlinemoo From Falkland Islands, joined May 2007, 3829 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (2 years 1 week 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 4545 times:

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 18):
Remember, the B-17 was a low wing bomber.

A low wing purpose built bomber - the equivalent would be the B-1B today...

Designing in the structures from the start, verses redesigning existing structures are two very very different things.


User currently offlinebikerthai From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 2011 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (2 years 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4513 times:

Quoting moo (Reply 19):
Designing in the structures from the start, verses redesigning existing structures are two very very different things.

True, but we are all much smarter now with CAD/CAM and FEM and all  

Besides, we are all looking at lower design/manufacturing cost, not more efficient structures.   

From structural efficiency wise, I would venture that the C-17 would be an easier mod.
From an overall efficiency stand point, a 767 mod would probably perform better.

bt



Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
User currently offlineGST From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2008, 930 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4463 times:

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 18):

Your CG concern it very real indeed. But it can be done. The P-8A bomb bay is aft of the wheel well. You will need two bomb bays, one in front of the wing and one aft to balance out the CG.

The P-8A bomb bay is tiny compared to what you would want in an aircraft to carry out the B-52's job of pulverising targets without significant air defences, so yes, two bomb bays is the only viable option...or is it an option at all?

Current support missions usually drop one bomb at a time onto targets, which has potential to put you straight into an adverse CG position, at best forcing you into a draggy trim state. Of course anyone who has read Fire Strike 7/9 will know of the scheme to drop a B-1B's entire bomb load in order to take out an entire grid square, somewhere in which was a Taliban mortar, but this strike was denied on cost grounds and is hardly normal. I would imagine the USAF would want to be able to equip the aircraft with most of the armaments equivalent airfames currently carry or are intended to carry, large cruise missiles and the new super-large bunker buster bomb could certainly not be put in bays significantly offset from the CG unless you are always intending to drop them in twos, and even then...what if one fails to release?

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 20):

True, but we are all much smarter now with CAD/CAM and FEM and all

Besides, we are all looking at lower design/manufacturing cost, not more efficient structures.

It is still an extremely significant task to redesign existing structures, don't risk underestimating this, even with all the computerised tools we can now bring to the mix.

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 20):

From structural efficiency wise, I would venture that the C-17 would be an easier mod.
From an overall efficiency stand point, a 767 mod would probably perform better.

Agreed.


User currently offlinebikerthai From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 2011 posts, RR: 4
Reply 22, posted (2 years 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4414 times:

Quoting GST (Reply 21):
The P-8A bomb bay is tiny compared to what you would want in an aircraft to carry out the B-52's

Yes, part of the P-8 problem is because the upper deck is chock full of mission equipment. If they clear the upper deck of equipment, make it unpressurized from front bulk head of the front bomb bay all the way back (similar to the dreamlifter), then you will have less pressure loads on your structure and you may be able to cut a large hole in the floor beams to accommodate a larger bomb bay (assuming you can re-route some system around the cut-out).

Quoting GST (Reply 21):
I would imagine the USAF would want to be able to equip the aircraft with most of the armaments equivalent airfames currently carry or are intended to carry, large cruise missiles and the new super-large bunker buster bomb

I'm thinking bunker busters and large cruise missile are first strike missions and should be done with dedicated stealth bombers. Although, the P-8 can carry tomahawks on he wings, so in theory, you can get larger cruise missiles on a modified 767 wing.

Then again, during the Vietnam war, they unloaded the daisy cutter from the back of a transport . . . So you want to "carpet bomb" you can have a pallet (smart pallet?) full of bombs rolling off the back of a C-17. Once detached, the parachute guided pallet can float down in a controlled pattern and unload the dumb bomb in the pattern you want.

Back to work . . . too much brain storming . . .

bt



Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
User currently offlineRevelation From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 11929 posts, RR: 25
Reply 23, posted (2 years 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 4318 times:

Quoting BMI727 (Reply 8):
The JSF was the politicians' fantasy from the start. You want a plane that can be a fighter, attack plane, land vertically, incorporate state of the art electronics, do it all with a low radar cross section, and be far cheaper than the F-22? Only a room full of yes men and bureaucrats could seriously believe that.

Yet we had two different defense contractors (actually four to start) swear up and down that they could do it on a given schedule and budget.

Quoting SP90 (Reply 15):
They should have all potential manufacturer submit ready to produce designs and have a flyoff. Winner takes all.

That IS what we did for F-35, and see where that got us.

LM's schedule and budget were engineered not to deliver a product but to get the taxpayers in deep enough so they couldn't/wouldn't pull out.

Quoting bikerthai (Reply 22):
So you want to "carpet bomb" you can have a pallet (smart pallet?) full of bombs rolling off the back of a C-17. Once detached, the parachute guided pallet can float down in a controlled pattern and unload the dumb bomb in the pattern you want.

Back to work . . . too much brain storming . . .

LOL! I was already thinking down that path before you typed that in, but then I considered GST's postings about CG shift and gave myself a headache. What would the CG do as a bunker buster rolled down the deck of the C-17? Member in abstentia Dougloid sure would be proud of the main deck taking the load, though!

That rolling bunker buster took a problem that was mostly statics and turned it into mostly dynamics. I was an EE major who went on to CompSci so I had to take a semester each of statics and dynamics, and let me tell you dynamics was not my forte, so my headache is pretty bad! I got my revenge when the MechE students had to take a few EE courses.



Inspiration, move me brightly!
User currently offlinebikerthai From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 2011 posts, RR: 4
Reply 24, posted (2 years 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 4308 times:

Quoting Revelation (Reply 23):
That IS what we did for F-35, and see where that got us.

What the Air force did (or so I'm told) was to selected a more risky design in the F-35 with potential for better performance. So now they are living with the risk.

Don't know how the F-32 would have fared during the development and production stages, but my bet would be that Boeing would have done a better job keeping the cost down. But then again, if Boeing won that contract they would not have all those spare composite Engineers to help out with the 787 when that program ran in to problems. Such are the ways of Silver Lining.

Quoting Revelation (Reply 23):
What would the CG do as a bunker buster rolled down the deck of the C-17?

Shrug . . . I guess a pallet full of bombs is much heavier than a pallet full of MRE's. I would be curious to know the weight of the largest pallet dropped from a C-17 and from that calculate the number of bombs you can then put on that pallet without affecting current operating procedure.

bt



Intelligent seeks knowledge. Enlightened seeks wisdom.
25 Post contains links and images Devilfish : There are a few, 'virtually free' airframes readily available for quick and cheap prototyping..... http://media.defenseindustrydaily.com/images/ELEC_C
26 rwessel : The proposed Boeing design was much further from the flown prototype than was Lockheed's.
27 bikerthai : If you are talking about final configuration vs the F-32 version what was flown, then you may be right. But there were many technologies that were sl
28 Revelation : Who knows? I know Boeing is doing a bang-up job on the P-8, but we don't have to look too far to find programs like FIA and JTRS where Boeing has scr
29 Post contains images bikerthai : Boeing knows how do do airplanes. They don't know how to do Electronics. And they definitely can't do ground combat vehicles (FCS). bt
30 rwessel : Not least, the X-32 prototypes were tailless deltas - the proposed production aircraft had a more conventional wing shape and a conventional tail, an
31 bikerthai : Yeah, I think that they found some maneuvering deficiency with the tailless prototypes and decided to add the tail back in. But from a structures sta
32 Post contains images rwessel : So long as they don't put the 787 team on it...
33 bikerthai : LOL, yeah, I was referring to the working level . . . can't vouch for management . . . Since this would come under Global Strike, program management
Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic Cost Of Next Usaf Bomber?
Username:
No username? Sign up now!
Password: 


Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Military aviation related posts only!
  • Not military related? Use the other forums
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
  • DETAILED RULES
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)


Similar topics:More similar topics...
The Age Of The Majority Of The Usaf C-17? posted Thu Mar 3 2011 19:03:30 by 747400sp
National Museum Of The Usaf Changes posted Thu Nov 4 2010 11:53:49 by broke
Nat'l Museum Of The Usaf Partial Gallery Closing posted Thu Nov 13 2008 03:37:56 by Broke
National Museum Of The Usaf Behind The Scenes Tour posted Mon Sep 17 2007 16:27:37 by Broke
BWB: The Next Stealth Bomber? posted Thu Jun 28 2007 22:14:19 by Blackbird1331
The Cost Of Air Refueling posted Mon Feb 26 2007 00:17:29 by KC135TopBoom
Next Usaf Tanker posted Sun Jul 30 2006 09:07:28 by AislepathLight
True Cost Of Modern Jet Fighters posted Fri Jul 14 2006 16:23:07 by QB001
Coming Events At The National Museum Of The Usaf posted Mon Feb 6 2006 18:29:12 by Broke
National Museum Of The Usaf Update posted Sun Feb 20 2005 18:29:27 by Broke

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format