Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Air Force Chief: We Will Not ‘Overdesign’ the New Stealth Bomber
National Defense Magazine ^ | 2/9/2012 | Sandra Erwin

Posted on 02/11/2012 2:07:27 AM PST by U-238

After a decades-long streak of troubled weapon acquisitions, the Air Force is looking to get off on the right foot as it seeks to buy a new intercontinental stealth bomber.

The Pentagon’s new budget proposal gives the Air Force the green light to begin designing a new bomber with a target date for starting production in the mid-2020s. The goal is to acquire up to 100 new aircraft at a cost of about $55 billion.

But skeptics already are casting doubts on the plan. They consistently point to the B-2 batwing stealth bomber as a cautionary tale. The Pentagon spent hundreds of billions of dollars on that program only to end up with 21 aircraft, each with a $2 billion price tag. That is the reason, critics contend, why the Cold War era B-52 bomber — conceived in 1946 — is still flying and is projected to stay in operation until 2040.

The Air Force has learned tough lessons from past programs and is not about to repeat the mistakes, said Gen. Norton Schwartz, Air Force chief of staff. “We are not going to do the B-2 again. … That is not in the cards,” he said Feb. 9 following a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The downfall of the B-2, experts have said, was its cost and overstated design. Also, because the Northrop Grumman production line was shut down early in the production, the price per unit soared as the cost was spread over 21 aircraft, instead of 132, as originally planned.

Schwartz said the new bomber should be less ambitious. “We are going to make our best effort to not overdesign an airplane,” he said. “We are not intent on delivering a capability that is extravagant.”

(Excerpt) Read more at nationaldefensemagazine.org ...


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events; Technical
KEYWORDS: aerospace; aircraft; bombers; stealth; usaf
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-78 next last

1 posted on 02/11/2012 2:07:35 AM PST by U-238
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: U-238

Why bother?

Unless we get rid of about 25 million Democrat voters.


2 posted on 02/11/2012 2:31:19 AM PST by UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide (REPEAL WASHINGTON! -- Islam Delenda Est! -- I Want Constantinople Back. -- Rumble thee forth.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: U-238

So the B-52 wil fly for nearly a century? Don’t they foresee UAVs taking over that role way before that happens? We have drones so small you can’t see them with the naked eye and the AF brass is acting like Curtis LeMay is still around and chomping on his cigar. Talk about fighting the last war, they’re still fighting WWII! You can’t tell me we don’t have hypersonic spacecraft out in Nevada, why are the still flying BUFFs?


3 posted on 02/11/2012 2:38:46 AM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (You can't invade the US. There'd be a rifle behind every blade of grass.~Admiral Yamamoto)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet

“why are the still flying BUFFs?”

Because they scare the hell out of people?


4 posted on 02/11/2012 2:44:59 AM PST by jospehm20
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet
why are the still flying BUFFs?

Two reasons. First, the BUFF is one heck of a bomb-truck for use in low-threat areas. It can carry a significant load, and loiter for a long, long time.

Second, it's the primary platform in the US inventory for carrying air launched cruise missiles (both AGM-86s - nuclear and conventional warheads - and AGM-129s). The B-1s had the capability removed due to START (the external hardpoints were deactivated by filling them in with epoxy resin) and while the B-2 is allegedly AGM-129-capable, there are just too few of them to be able to cover both the nuclear and conventional mission.
5 posted on 02/11/2012 3:09:56 AM PST by tanknetter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: U-238
Too bad... you asswipe obamanoid military drones are ruining our Military... probably a clinton boy. The bent one filled the officer corps with progressives.

LLS

6 posted on 02/11/2012 3:52:34 AM PST by LibLieSlayer (Hey repubic elite scumbags... jam mitt up your collective arses!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Indeed, this is the Vietnam budget all over, no matter how cheap or efficient.

What is it our armed forces have not understood with communists and this government yet?

They budget for this and that, and, then, in the middle of the conflict or building the force, they call it quit on us and destroy it all.

And we get scolded, put our tails between our legs like a bunch of coward RINOs, and then come back like puppy dogs wagging tail ready to get another smack in the face.


7 posted on 02/11/2012 3:55:57 AM PST by JudgemAll (Democrats Fed. job-security Whorocracy & hate:hypocrites must be gay like us or be tested/crucified)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: LibLieSlayer

When you are a loser, destroy the office, unfulfill the job and stay there to prevent any one from proving there is a job to do or an office to hold.

We are all retards now.


8 posted on 02/11/2012 3:59:00 AM PST by JudgemAll (Democrats Fed. job-security Whorocracy & hate:hypocrites must be gay like us or be tested/crucified)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide

25 million voters? Heck, they do not vote per say. A democrat voter is an oxymoron. They vote to not vote, to install tyranny, to act as hissy slaves who only understand and want the stick, because, if one is installed as a leader, they will not follow, they will rather commit suicide and helplessness than give somebody a job he or she deserves to have.

This is the Democrat envious slave mentality of the harem. Bin Laden knew Obama well when he called him a house negro. I wonder why these two knew each other so well.


9 posted on 02/11/2012 4:03:10 AM PST by JudgemAll (Democrats Fed. job-security Whorocracy & hate:hypocrites must be gay like us or be tested/crucified)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: UnbelievingScumOnTheOtherSide

25 million voters? Heck, they do not vote per say. A democrat voter is an oxymoron. They vote to not vote, to install tyranny, to act as hissy slaves who only understand and want the stick, because, if one is installed as a leader, they will not follow, they will rather commit suicide and helplessness than give somebody a job he or she deserves to have.

This is the Democrat envious slave mentality of the harem. Bin Laden knew Obama well when he called him a house negro. I wonder why these two knew each other so well... and maybe that is why he went after Bin Laden...


10 posted on 02/11/2012 4:03:53 AM PST by JudgemAll (Democrats Fed. job-security Whorocracy & hate:hypocrites must be gay like us or be tested/crucified)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

Comment #11 Removed by Moderator

To: 2ndDivisionVet
We have drones so small you can’t see them with the naked eye

That means the bomb load is also so small you can't see it with the naked eye. We don't need miniature bombs or a miniature bomber to deliver them. The B52 delivers a massive bomb load and serves a very real purpose. The B1B is also another great bomber, one they didn't build enough of.

12 posted on 02/11/2012 4:28:18 AM PST by calex59
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: tanknetter

As far as the B-1 nuclear mission, can’t that be reversed? How hard would it be? Drill out the resin, slap on some new hardpoints and you would have a real nice low level nuclear bomber.


13 posted on 02/11/2012 4:30:26 AM PST by Wildbill22
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Wildbill22
As far as the B-1 nuclear mission, can’t that be reversed? How hard would it be? Drill out the resin, slap on some new hardpoints and you would have a real nice low level nuclear bomber.

Yes, it can be reversed. In fact, they use one of the old ALCM hardpoints for the LITENING/SNIPER pod mounting. However, it took quite a bit of negotiating with the Russians (since the hardpoint was disabled under START) to allow that one hardpoint to be reactivated.
14 posted on 02/11/2012 4:38:27 AM PST by tanknetter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: U-238

If they don’t want to ‘overdesign” it, they need to change the process and get rid of the committees and officers. I designed a one-page product to track my troops’ training. Passed it out to the rest of the unit in case someone else could leverage it. Became a project, overseen by officers as part of an “empowerment” program. By the time they got done, we had a 19-page product that they wanted everyone to use, instead of a few one-page products that could be tailored to the shop.


15 posted on 02/11/2012 4:46:01 AM PST by trebb ("If a man will not work, he should not eat" From 2 Thes 3)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: calex59

With the capability of a drone and bomb technology, a small bomb that is guided can do serious damage.

A squadron of 10000 drones, with unfettered access around the world would be pretty impressive.


16 posted on 02/11/2012 4:48:21 AM PST by EQAndyBuzz (Most Conservative in the Primary, the Republican Nominee in the General.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: tanknetter

You make some good points about the BUFF, however:

The BUFF has already proven it can fly through the most heavily defended area in the world - NVN in 1972 - with minimal losses (those caused by stupid tactics), BECAUSE it has the Electronic Warfare suite to totally suppress all (or nearly all) RF in an area the size of New England....


17 posted on 02/11/2012 4:51:13 AM PST by Nabber
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: 2ndDivisionVet
why are the still flying BUFFs

There is nothing sexy about that plane, but . . .





If there is a more cost effective way to deliver ordnance on target, with low risk, I'd like to hear about it.

18 posted on 02/11/2012 4:53:59 AM PST by Pollster1 (Natural born citizen of the USA, with the birth certificate to prove it)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Nabber

Even against the new Russian S-400 (SA-20) SAM? With it’s phased array, mach 8 speed and 200 mile range?

Or the Mig-31 with it’s phased array radar, long range AAMs?

I like the BUFF, but it isn’t a penetrator in these times against a threat like Russia.


19 posted on 02/11/2012 4:56:42 AM PST by Wildbill22
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: Wildbill22

Ya, what’s wrong with the B1s? They can bogie, carry a nice load. I also am not sure what’s wrong with the B-2s? Is the payload not that good? Stealth capabilities easily defeated?


20 posted on 02/11/2012 5:00:20 AM PST by Bulwyf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Wildbill22

Do a pre-sweep with air superiority fighters? I don’t think it would be wise to send in bombers without a sweep first, unless they were lightning quick, even then, you’re better off to gain air superiority before delivering to the ground.


21 posted on 02/11/2012 5:02:43 AM PST by Bulwyf
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: tanknetter

With the new nuke treaty with the Russians we just signed (not a good move either) one interesting part is how bombers count as only one weapon, while they might carry 20 or so. I am wondering if the treaty would then make past agreements regarding hardpoints moot if the bomber is just included in the total.

Maybe the B-1 might be re-nuked if we needed the numbers? (although it could only carry gravity bombs today)

But I am SURE Obama would not allow even that. (traitor)


22 posted on 02/11/2012 5:05:45 AM PST by Wildbill22
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: U-238

Given the extreme downsizing of the mil budget today, by the time the plans are finalized, their budget will be so small that producing a solitary Sopwith Camel might be considered too expensive ...


23 posted on 02/11/2012 5:26:08 AM PST by PIF (They came for me and mine ... now it is your turn ...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Bulwyf
Ya, what’s wrong with the B1s? They can bogie, carry a nice load. I also am not sure what’s wrong with the B-2s? Is the payload not that good? Stealth capabilities easily defeated?

The bomber force is pretty well-balanced with the three types. There's nothing "wrong" with any of them - they're just designed to a different set of requirements, meaning that while there's some overlap in capability each also has unique capabilities. Unique capabilities that justify keeping each type in service.
24 posted on 02/11/2012 5:27:55 AM PST by tanknetter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Wildbill22
Maybe the B-1 might be re-nuked if we needed the numbers? (although it could only carry gravity bombs today)

Well, the possibility is there. I'm pretty sure that they can still carry B61s with only some black-box swapouts, and maybe remounting of specialized internal racks (if they still exist and weren't cut up).

Putting the ACLM/ACM capability back would require not only reactivating the hardpoints, but ALSO reworking the weapons bay. The B-1s were designed to carry cruisies both externally and internally using the CSRL. However the internal CSRL was removed under START, which included the "permanent" insertion of a bulkhead (the B-1B originally had the capability for a temporary bulkhead to segment the front weapons bay) in the middle of the forward bay to create two bays that are too small to put a CSRL into.
25 posted on 02/11/2012 5:34:09 AM PST by tanknetter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: U-238

As a former AF officer, I’d love the Service to get a new stategic bomber. Unfortunately, I think there is a slim to none chance of that happening. And that includes new fighters too. I fully expect the F-35 to meet the same fate as the B-2 & F-22; that is a long, expensive development process following by procure of a mere fraction of the planned units. Even if a Republican is elected, I wouldn’t hold my breath. Likely it will stay in development purgatory just so POTUS can look tough on defense.

The reason? The cost of entitlement (and the deficit) will suck up every spare penny for Defense. Our legitimate defense needs will be starved to pay for our exploding human services client base. We already borrow 40+ cents for every dollar the Government spends—and that is with interest rates near zero.

Eventually 10Y UST rates will go back to something normal (5%+) and then all Hell will break loose.


26 posted on 02/11/2012 5:57:43 AM PST by rbg81 (scillian's)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Nabber

BECAUSE it has the Electronic Warfare suite to totally suppress all (or nearly all) RF in an area the size of New England....


I very much doubt that. The BUFF hasn’t flown in combat against modern threats—not even an SA-10. Its actual performance against some of the latest threats may be known, but I wouldn’t bet my life on the EW package.


27 posted on 02/11/2012 6:02:11 AM PST by rbg81 (scillian's)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: rbg81

“Eventually 10Y UST rates will go back to something normal (5%+) and then all Hell will break loose.”

Only if prices in other sectors of the economy are not lowered.


28 posted on 02/11/2012 6:30:35 AM PST by ngat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: U-238
The core problem with the A's acquisition system is the AF’s manning system.

What?

That's right - the problem isn't in acquisition it is how the AF handles its assignment process.

When you look at projects where the manpower pukes are excluded the acquisition process runs fairly smoothly. This is why the “black” projects seem to do so well - they, for security reasons, - cannot tolerate having between 15 and 25 percent of their personnel reassigned every 12 months to make them “promotable”. The one Vietnam “white” program that didn't have massive manpower moves was the C-141. If I remember correctly it was on time, at budget, with the required capabilities on its roll out. There a multiple programs in the AF that cannot make any, much less all, of those claims in spite of being “operational” for a decade, or more.

Again, Why?

The hardest thing to do as an AF Officer (I did 20 years commissioned service) is to NOT put your personal mark on your duty/additional duty. For example, I took the base's worse report writing additional duty section to the best by simply enforcing the squadron's procedures. My commander was horrified that I didn't invent a new program!

When you start talking about acquisition efforts instead of paperwork efforts every little change/correction made after a certain point causes ripples up and down the production line. The more people in charge the more minor changes, the more time and money spent, the more personnel changes, the more minor changes, ... well, you should get the picture now.

Is there a way out? IMHO there is a historically proven viable alternative. It was even “invented” in the US.

Look at the YB-17 program. The YB-17 was a service test aircraft built in small numbers (a single squadron) to advance the state of the art for bomber aircraft. Almost everyone involved in the 8AF European bomber war a few years later flew in that squadron as they proved the technology and developed supporting tactics. Why such a small sample size - the costs were extreme (we were in the Great Depression) and the technological jumps were massive (from cloth covered, slow, open cockpits to aluminum bodies, contemporary fighter speeds, enclosed cockpits). The situation we face today has too many historical parallels to ignore any more.

29 posted on 02/11/2012 6:41:46 AM PST by Nip (TANSTAAFL and BOHICA)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: U-238

21 B-2s at two billion apiece would be $42 billion, wouldn’t it? The author says they spent hundreds of billions developing the B-2. That doesn’t add up right.


30 posted on 02/11/2012 7:17:49 AM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: U-238

“You can be somebody, or you can do something.”


31 posted on 02/11/2012 7:19:01 AM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blueunicorn6
21 B-2s at two billion apiece would be $42 billion, wouldn’t it? The author says they spent hundreds of billions developing the B-2. That doesn’t add up right.

Probably full-lifecycle costs for the entire program, rather than just what was needed to get the aircraft built and turned over to the USAF.

So in addition to the aircraft you'd be looking at facilities (the B-2A facility at Whiteman is about as gold-plated as you can get. Each bomber has its own individual hangar), plus the costs of keeping the aircraft upgraded with the latest/greatest bells and whistles (the B-2A has gone from Block 1 through Block 2 and to Block 3 upgrades). Then throw in the cost of personnel, maintaining the Det out at Edwards for testing (Spirit of New York), etc.
32 posted on 02/11/2012 7:29:27 AM PST by tanknetter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: U-238

Reading this makes me wonder about the efficacy of the Large Penetrating Manned Bomber strategy in this day of drones and orbital weaponry.

Provided the normal cost-plus development nonsense is avoided, stealthy drones could easily flood a battlespace, with manned platforms nearby to act as follow-up. Drones, if used in a multi-role capacity as anti-radiation and ground suppression could open up the way for the heavy stuff.

Orbital weapons are hardly discussed. There are a number of kinetic energy weapons which are quite literally unstoppable and extremely effective even against hardened targets. A $55 billion bomber acquisition would be better spent on LEO booster development and kinetic weaponry designed for orbital use, as well as other orbital weaponry.

It’s time to take the high ground.


33 posted on 02/11/2012 8:06:37 AM PST by BrewingFrog (I brew, therefore I am!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rbg81

“I very much doubt that. The BUFF hasn’t flown in combat against modern threats—not even an SA-10. Its actual performance against some of the latest threats may be known, but I wouldn’t bet my life on the EW package.”

You can believe it; the EW suite has been kept up-to-date — and oh BTW, the B-52 had not yet flown against any of the “latest threats” in 1972, right before they went in and pulverized the most heavily defended area in the world, Hanoi, and that was done at 30,000 feet. Are you really sure that U.S. aircraft haven’t already practiced flying against the SA-10? Don’t be.


34 posted on 02/11/2012 3:02:18 PM PST by Nabber
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: Nabber

B-52’s got murdered going into Hanoi.

At least 10% losses by U.S. numbers.


35 posted on 02/11/2012 3:08:11 PM PST by GourmetDan (Eccl 10:2 - The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: BrewingFrog

“Orbital weapons are hardly discussed. There are a number of kinetic energy weapons which are quite literally unstoppable and extremely effective even against hardened targets.”

Great weapons. Here’s the problem: 1) Cost benefit - they are too expensive when compared to the target they are to destroy. And most problematic — go ahead and tell the enemy (or don’t and then see what happens) that the thing coming at them at Mach Umpteen is a kinetic weapon and not a nuclear one. If it is headed to any country which possesses nuclear weapons,you risk their retaliation on the U.S., because they can’t wait to see if it is “kinetic.”


36 posted on 02/11/2012 3:11:02 PM PST by Nabber
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: U-238

“hundreds of billions of dollars on that program only to end up with 21 aircraft, each with a $2 billion price tag”

Must have been using Military Math. ($2B x 21 = $42B, not “hundreds of billions of dollars”)


37 posted on 02/11/2012 3:22:44 PM PST by CodeToad (NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: GourmetDan

“B-52’s got murdered going into Hanoi.
At least 10% losses by U.S. numbers.”

You don’t know what you are talking about. During Linebacker 2 over Christmas 1972, we lost a total of 15 B-52s, compared to 729 sorties flown from Guam, a loss rate of 2%. And that was needlessly high, caused by flying into Hanoi in the same predictable pattern, over and over. In fact there was an under-reported near-mutiny by B-52 crews that caused the misguided strategy to change.

After a few days of the B-52 campaign, the North Vietnamese stopped firing SAM missiles — they had completely depleted their stock and had in fact fired the SAMs in a pure ballistic fashion at the end. The AAA sites were quiet. The NVN came back to the negotiating table because they were completely defenseless at that point.

I briefed and debriefed crews at the ARCLITE center on Guam.


38 posted on 02/11/2012 3:25:10 PM PST by Nabber
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: Nabber

B-52’s did get murdered going into Hanoi for the reasons you stated. Air crews were refusing to fly because they were getting murdered.

15 shot down, 5 heavily damaged (1 crashed in Laos) out of 207 planes (and crews) is pretty close to 10% in my book.

You think the crews felt any better because it was only 2% losses calc’d on a ‘mission count’?

LOL!


39 posted on 02/11/2012 3:33:54 PM PST by GourmetDan (Eccl 10:2 - The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: Nabber

“I briefed and debriefed crews at the ARCLITE center on Guam.”

Sorry, that should have read: “ARCLIGHT”.


40 posted on 02/11/2012 3:35:19 PM PST by Nabber
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: CodeToad
“hundreds of billions of dollars on that program only to end up with 21 aircraft, each with a $2 billion price tag”

Must have been using Military Math. ($2B x 21 = $42B, not “hundreds of billions of dollars”)


Does that price tag per plane equal the total cost of development, manufacturing, and materials divided by the total number of planes?
41 posted on 02/11/2012 3:39:11 PM PST by aruanan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: GourmetDan

“B-52’s did get murdered going into Hanoi for the reasons you stated. Air crews were refusing to fly because they were getting murdered.

15 shot down, 5 heavily damaged (1 crashed in Laos) out of 207 planes (and crews) is pretty close to 10% in my book.

You think the crews felt any better because it was only 2% losses calc’d on a ‘mission count’?”

Not a military affairs writer, are you? “By mission” is how you calculate loss rate, because in each mission the crew is exposed once again to those defenses, and believe me, that is what the crews count, not metal aircraft.

Once again, you have lost your focus. The point is that the B-52s completely brought down all air defenses in North VietNam in an 11-day campaign with the resulting loss of just 15 aircraft. And that loss could have been ZERO had there been a better strategy of how to attack Hanoi.


42 posted on 02/11/2012 3:42:10 PM PST by Nabber
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: Nabber

You are the one who lost focus. Crews were refusing to fly because the losses were so bad and EW against the ‘latest threats’ did’t save them. Losses weren’t worse simply because the NV’s ran out of SAMs.

Operation Linebacker II was an unmitigated disaster from a crew standpoint. Maybe you would have a different perspective if you had been in ‘em instead of just debriefing.


43 posted on 02/11/2012 3:54:28 PM PST by GourmetDan (Eccl 10:2 - The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: aruanan

“Does that price tag per plane equal the total cost of development, manufacturing, and materials divided by the total number of planes?”

In the context of programs, yes.


44 posted on 02/11/2012 3:56:14 PM PST by CodeToad (NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION!!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: GourmetDan

You are in La-La land my friend — and you keep making statements that are not backed up by facts and history. The NVN ran out of SAMs towards the end of the 11-day campaign.

And no crews refused to fly, because none were brought up on charges, none were court-martialed; which is what would have happened had they refused. The ill feelings caused by the 15 losses were in fact assuaged when the attack strategy was changed.

Don’t denigrate my service as a briefer/debriefer by implying that I didn’t have heavy emotional involvement in the crew-loss.

Unmitigated disaster from a crew viewpoint? You are simply wrong. Crew opinions were all over the place. Opinions also changed quite a bit in February ‘73 when the POWs were released. And BTW, even with the massive B-52 carpet-bombing, no POW facilities had been hit — B-52 accuracy was legendary.


45 posted on 02/11/2012 4:12:34 PM PST by Nabber
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: Nabber
The US hadn't lost a B-52 in combat prior to Operation Linebacker II. Then 15 were shot down in 11 days.

Operation Linebacker II was an unmitigated disaster.

You are the one who is in La-La land my friend.

46 posted on 02/11/2012 4:24:11 PM PST by GourmetDan (Eccl 10:2 - The heart of the wise inclines to the right, but the heart of the fool to the left.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: GourmetDan

Here’s what your “reliable source” (Military Corruption.com)said on that link:

“Instead of being overwhelmed, however, the North Vietnamese SAM missile crews initially shattered the B-52 force. They were knocked out of the sky, one-by-one. Yet, despite the staggering losses, the surviving B-52s kept coming.”

In the space of two sentences, your source manages to use the words “shattered” (BS) and staggering (BS). Totally, utterly UNTRUE.

Let’s review:

— 729 Missions in 11 days, 1,240 SAMs fired, just 15 aircraft lost.
— Enemy air defenses totally torn down.
— Enemy brought back to the negotiating table.
— POWs released.

Gee, I wonder why “the U.S. hadn’t lost a B-52 in combat prior to Linebacker 2” ? Could it be that the B-52s had never prior to Linebacker-2 gone straight in to bomb the most heavily defended area in the world?

What kind of Freeper would quote a website like “Military Corruption.com”, anyway?

You show me absolutely nothing. You don’t deserve to participate here.


47 posted on 02/11/2012 4:45:49 PM PST by Nabber
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

Remember, this is only an estimate.You also need to factor in any cost over runs.


48 posted on 02/11/2012 4:51:58 PM PST by U-238
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: Nabber
You can believe it; the EW suite has been kept up-to-date — and oh BTW, the B-52 had not yet flown against any of the “latest threats” in 1972, right before they went in and pulverized the most heavily defended area in the world, Hanoi, and that was done at 30,000 feet. Are you really sure that U.S. aircraft haven’t already practiced flying against the SA-10? Don’t be.

BTW--I added the qualifier "in combat" deliberately. 1972 was a very different situation from today. Back then our aircraft flew all kinds of sorties against operational SAM systems--so our intel was very good. SAM technology was a lot easier to spoof back then, but the NV operators were also highly experienced. Luckily, the BUFFS had Wild Weasels to help with SEAD. Even so, there were BUFF losses; they were far from invulnerable.

Of course, EW defensive systems are kept up to date. But they are only as good as the intelligence and exploitation available--and those are never perfect. In Schwartzkoph's autobiography ("It Doesn't Take a Hero"), he made the comment that B-52's were invulnerable due to the EW packages. If someone told him that they were either naive or lying. Lucily, Sadaam mostly had the older stuff.

EW countermeasures are just a part of a package, including SEAD and tactics. A smart crew views them as a tool of last resort--nothing more.

49 posted on 02/11/2012 5:07:11 PM PST by rbg81 (scillian's)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: rbg81

The B-52s back then were awesome in their EW not so much because of flying against operational SAM systems (there was some of that); their EW systems were already pretty much “set” before the time of Linebacker 2. No, they were good because they had been designed and then practiced to penetrate the Soviet Union, and there was no doubt in my mind that they would have reached their Russian targets. The BUFF losses were not in the least due to any lack of raw EW power, which is difficult to describe fully, but because NVN was able to use the certainty of B-52 timing and altitudes of the all too predictable ingress and egress, firing dozens of missiles to detonate at the right altitudes and coordinates. The radars and missiles were absolutely not able to function normally in a predictive sense.
As far as Sadaam having the “older stuff”, the B-52s also had EW upgrades for the “newer stuff”; it really didn’t matter to the B-52s, they were loaded for bear.

EW countermeasures a tool of last resort? Maybe for a fighter, who can use evasive maneuvers, but this is simply not true for the B-52. SEAD? B-52s were designed to penetrate the Soviet Union, and guess what, there was not going to be SEAD on that fateful day.


50 posted on 02/11/2012 7:09:31 PM PST by Nabber
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 49 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-78 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson