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New Bomber Program 'Underway' But Cloaked in Secrecy
AolDefense ^ | 2/24/2012 | Colin Clark

Posted on 02/24/2012 9:09:08 PM PST by U-238

America's new long-range bomber program is "underway," will involve somewhere between 80 and 100 planes and will be delivered sometime in the mid-2020's. "And that's about all we're saying," Air Force Secretary Mike Donley told reporters. It's been known for some time that the bombers will not fly alone but will be part of a family of systems that may include UAVs and other systems.

The really interesting part of all this is the secrecy and why it's so dark. It would seem to indicate several things: that the U.S. does not want potential competitors such as China or Russia to know how advanced a system will be delivered or exactly what capabilities it will involve; that the Air Force is still putting the larger architecture together, deciding which capabilities will be available.

The bomber will almost certainly include an unmanned capability, but no one has made a formal decision yet, an Air Force source told me. Many of the important subsystems have not yet been chosen, this source said. Even presuming that the $4 billion for the bomber in the 2013 budget submission spread over five years is supplemented by a few billion more in the black budget that is not much money to build 80 to 100 planes that will cost at least $550 million each. Even if that is flyaway cost -- which excludes research and development costs -- building a bomber able to penetrate denied airspace and fly thousands of miles to do it without refueling has never been cheap.

(Excerpt) Read more at defense.aol.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Miscellaneous; Technical
KEYWORDS: aerospace; aviation; defensespending; mannedbomber; miltech; nationalsecurity; stealth; stealthbomber; uav; usaf
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To: Norm Lenhart

And they would make dandy targets for the Chinese anti-sat missiles ...


51 posted on 02/25/2012 3:05:58 AM PST by PIF (They came for me and mine ... now it is your turn ...)
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To: DBrow
“Already nobody can stop a B-1B.”
Wow, I looked it up, and apparently we fly 100 of these? I don’t hear much about them. Saw one at an airshow.


Amazingly the B1 bomber actually made it into the inventory, that phuckwit Jimmy Carter canceled the program, but to his everlasting credit, President Ronald Reagan wisely ordered the B-1 program revived, and rightly so.
52 posted on 02/25/2012 3:12:33 AM PST by mkjessup (Romney is to conservatism what e.coli is to an all-you-can-eat salad bar. NO ROMNEY!!!)
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To: Norm Lenhart
Re: 'Rods from Gods'

The tech is 1950s to make it reality. Modern comps could target it to insane precision. The only ‘cost’ is the payload getting a few dozen Tungsten phone poles into orbit.
Must be no profit in it for Defense Contractors.
But it sure would solve the Iran problem in 10 seconds with no fallout.


Hell it would solve our problems in Washington! LOL
53 posted on 02/25/2012 3:16:31 AM PST by mkjessup (Romney is to conservatism what e.coli is to an all-you-can-eat salad bar. NO ROMNEY!!!)
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To: PIF

True. But our GPS sats are a far more important military target. An RFG sat they can track and kill at will saving them a few hits on their facilities. Drop out GPS net and we’re toast. Why waste a good tactical advantage by taking out an RFG that is minimal threat unless its parked over Hong Kong?


54 posted on 02/25/2012 3:21:05 AM PST by Norm Lenhart (Normie: Wandering Druid, Cult of Palin)
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To: Doe Eyes; Mariner
Already nobody can stop a B-1B.
I hope you mean the B-2. The B-1B is not much more survivable than a B-52


Apparently you don't know much about the B-1B. VAST differences between that plane and B-52:

Speed alone is notable, maximum for the B-52? 650 mph, the B-1B? Try out Mach 1.25 (830+ mph).
55 posted on 02/25/2012 3:23:50 AM PST by mkjessup (Romney is to conservatism what e.coli is to an all-you-can-eat salad bar. NO ROMNEY!!!)
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To: U-238
The B-52 was designed for a different era. Now its time to move over and let an advanced bomber take its place.

Those BUFFs have served America well, no question. Although their usefulness could be extended yet again with a latter day equivalent of the GAM-87 (Skybolt). Canceled by another no-good sonuvabitch named Robert McNamara.
56 posted on 02/25/2012 3:30:33 AM PST by mkjessup (Romney is to conservatism what e.coli is to an all-you-can-eat salad bar. NO ROMNEY!!!)
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To: U-238

Will be algae powered?


57 posted on 02/25/2012 4:25:16 AM PST by Dr. Ursus
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To: ClearCase_guy

I think 9 is optimisitic. Maybe the AF will get to keep the two prototypes. Given its history over the last 25 years, how can any contractor believe military claims about how many A/C will be acquired?


58 posted on 02/25/2012 5:23:02 AM PST by rbg81 (scillian's)
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To: U-238
The USAF is planning to extend the B-52 life span until the year 2040.

The B52 was an amazing design, but the USAF is crazy if they think it will serve until 2040. The B52 was first flown in 1952. Having a 90 (!!!) year old aircraft in 2040 would be the equivalent to having the USAF flying biplanes from the 1920's as front line bombers today.

59 posted on 02/25/2012 5:23:23 AM PST by 6SJ7 (Meh.)
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To: Nowhere Man
"...an F-4 is just as fast and can do the same job as an F-22..."

Umm...no. (Being polite here.)

60 posted on 02/25/2012 6:26:04 AM PST by rlmorel ("A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." Winston Churchill)
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To: U-238; Norm Lenhart; chemicalman

Historical point of interest - the concept for RFG was originated by Jerry Pournelle when he was a Cold Warrior involved in strategic weaponry; he has an Operations Research background. He has been a noted computer columnist and science fiction writer for the last few decades, and was a space adviser to Reagan and Gingrich. He is a really interesting guy. I support him and his web site at about the same level I support Free Republic (and I’m a monthly). He is worth it.

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

http://jerrypournelle.com/chaosmanor/


61 posted on 02/25/2012 7:17:54 AM PST by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: FedsRStealingOurCountryFromUs; mkjessup

I meant to ping you to my post above as well.


62 posted on 02/25/2012 7:20:43 AM PST by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: U-238

The Serif Patrol is going to have to gig the apostrophe in “2020’s there in the first sentence of the article.

Press the buzzer, Madeline.


63 posted on 02/25/2012 7:45:58 AM PST by RoadTest (There is one god, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.)
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To: RoadTest

And now the Serif Patrol will acknowledge the missing quotation mark in his post.


64 posted on 02/25/2012 7:47:38 AM PST by RoadTest (There is one god, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.)
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To: U-238

True

I too would like to see something from orbit.

Talk about reaching out and touching someone!


65 posted on 02/25/2012 8:11:19 AM PST by Steve Newton (And the Wolves will learn what we have shown before-We love our sheep we dogs of war. Vaughn)
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To: rlmorel

OK, make it an F-15 then.


66 posted on 02/25/2012 8:45:02 AM PST by Nowhere Man (Send Obama back to the ghetto, November 6th.)
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To: U-238
It takes 12 hours for the B-52 to reach their targets inside Russia. Do you think with the ever improving air defenses and fighter defenses they can reach their targets?

Well, you have two choices from what I know. The B-52 can be used as a missile carrier or you can go in low. I've seen footage of a B-52 flying Nap of the Earth in West Virginia, it was pretty cool and I'm sure takes a lot of skill.
67 posted on 02/25/2012 8:47:53 AM PST by Nowhere Man (Send Obama back to the ghetto, November 6th.)
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To: Norm Lenhart
One really has to wonder. It’s such a simple and effective idea, why wouldn’t we have done it? Sure can’t be that hard to keep hidden. Rocket launches happen all the time. No spectacular tech to leak out. No real hyper-complex system to maintain outside fuel for the sat - and we repair/refuel them regularly. Just a targeting system computer and a bunch of heavy metal.

I’d be more apt to think it’s been up there since the 60s and that all the rest has been no more than a dog and pony show to hide the fact that we can hit anything, anywhere at damn near any reasonable depth.


That reminds me of a story where my German teacher, back ib the 1970's, took his students over to West and East Germany as well as Switzerland. He saw a shack on top of a mountain in Switzerland and he asked a guard what it was and the guard replied, "it is a laser defense system to knock out any missiles and planes that would attack us, it's been there since 1968." Yeah, perhaps the guard is pulling his leg it is certainly possible but what if he wasn't? Still it would be weird to be free with such information but I digress.

Shifting gears, I just think we put too much faith into a lot of this "Buck Rogers/Flash Gordon stuff" (as my grandmother would say), a lot of this is certainly doable and possible, but very costly to run and you need an extensive network, it is almost to the point to where it is prohibitive and not practical. It would be nice to have the best semi-auto rifle in the world for defense if the SHTF, but if you are limited in a budget, you might have to do with a shotgun and a handgun.

Also, there is no such thing as an obsolete weapon, you just have to change tactics and use of it. Then you have pilot training too, it is the quality of pilots. It's like the scenario I was discussing with a friend where it is certainly possible for a MiG-17 to defeat an F-22. It depends how you apply it, the training and yes, luck of course. You always have intangible factors like that that come into play.

I think we have become too used to technology improving at a rapid pace. Again, we basically plateaued in jet performance when it comes to speed, maneuverability and range around 1960 or so. Computers have gone beyond that of course, but again, cost comes into play, it costs a lot to make one plane and like Dad's Ferrari, it will be so costly, you'd be worried that you'd wreck it if you drive it. B-)

We live or have lived in a unique part of history. In many ways, I think we have slowed down a lot in technology, at least in the practical application of it. The 20th Century was the era of fastest technology growth, we went from horses and steam engines in 1900 to landing man on them Moon in less than 70 years and to the internet almost 100 years later. I think we've slowed down quite a bit with the exception of medical technology, well, that will happen too, think Obamacare.

So overall, I do see the logic of keeping the B-52's and B-1's flying as more of a practical thing than a space plane that has been discussed. It is a neat concept, but when I think of all the problems we had with the Space Shuttle, it will be a worse hanger queen than the B-2 bomber.
68 posted on 02/25/2012 9:13:05 AM PST by Nowhere Man (Send Obama back to the ghetto, November 6th.)
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To: Nowhere Man

Hahaha...that was a good way out of that one!


69 posted on 02/25/2012 9:29:45 AM PST by rlmorel ("A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." Winston Churchill)
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To: rlmorel

True. I still think the F-4 can do the job, but some say it lacked some dexterity although if it was the only thing I had to fly, well so be it. I was a bit tired anyhoo when I posted that.


70 posted on 02/25/2012 9:33:41 AM PST by Nowhere Man (Send Obama back to the ghetto, November 6th.)
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To: Nowhere Man

LOL, that’s okay. Glad I was the only one who jumped on you..;)

I loved the Phantom. Classic plane . Sure, it can handle more ordinance, so as a flying ordinance truck, that is about the only thing it might have an advantage, but it would get toasted in 100 out of 100 air superiority metrics.

If some gave ME a Phantom to fly, I wouldn’t throw it out bed for eating crackers in the rack!


71 posted on 02/25/2012 9:43:07 AM PST by rlmorel ("A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." Winston Churchill)
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To: U-238

Can you say ‘stand off’ cruise missiles until the enemies AA system’s shut down. The US Navy can do it, the Air Force should do it. I love Hienlan’s ‘Rods from Gods’ program. No radioactive fall out or emp


72 posted on 02/25/2012 10:00:08 AM PST by STD (It Doesn't Take a Real Political Panjandrum to Cut Taxes & Cut Spending Stupid!)
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To: mkjessup

Robert A. Heinlein’s novel The Moon is a Harsh Mistress employs the concept of kinetic bombardment of the Earth from mass drivers on the Moon during a war of secession between the two planets.


73 posted on 02/25/2012 10:08:34 AM PST by STD (It Doesn't Take a Real Political Panjandrum to Cut Taxes & Cut Spending Stupid!)
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To: FreedomPoster

Have to check that out. Thanks


74 posted on 02/25/2012 12:39:14 PM PST by chemicalman (The more support I see,the harder I want to work,and the more determined I am not to let folks down.)
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To: mosesdapoet
Anybody here remember the B-58 (Hustler) the super sonic bomber that was supposed to release guided missles to where ever ?

Minuteman ICBM being launched from C-5 Galaxy cargo plane.

The C-5 wouldn't need to be able to penetrate Soviet air space. It could just be flying during times of threat, and launch the missile from somewhere over Canada if an attack was confirmed.

75 posted on 02/25/2012 12:48:57 PM PST by PapaBear3625 (In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. - George Orwell)
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To: U-238
It takes 12 hours for the B-52 to reach their targets inside Russia.

The B-52 would have a problem with modern air defenses. It would be best as a missile platform, bringing large loads of cruise missiles near the target while staying out of range of enemy AAM. It would also be good for leveling places without modern air defenses.

76 posted on 02/25/2012 12:59:27 PM PST by PapaBear3625 (In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. - George Orwell)
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To: mkjessup
Apparently you don't know much about the B-1B.

The B1-B was not used in the Iraq war until after the US had completely destroyed Iraq's air defenses. It was not used until after B-52's were flying missions there.

The B-1B is pretty much a sitting duck against an opponent with modern air defenses because of its size/RCS, and problems protecting it with on-board electronic warfare equipment. The B-2 was developed to counter this vulnerability.

The B-1B is good for dumping a lot of bombs on unprotected targets (as is the B-52). I suppose it can get to the targets very fast (830+ mph) but I very much doubt that capability was required in any of its operational missions to date.

77 posted on 02/25/2012 2:17:37 PM PST by Doe Eyes
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To: Nowhere Man

You waste fuel faster when going tree top level. You do have to contend with the laws of gravitation.


78 posted on 02/25/2012 3:08:46 PM PST by U-238
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To: PapaBear3625; Nowhere Man; Norm Lenhart; 6SJ7

Excellent Point. By the time B-52s reach their targets nothing would be left of Russia and there would be not too many operational air bases funtioning in the United States.
Some Russian SLBMs would strike civilian airport runways that are at least 7000 Ft long. This is the minimum length required by B-52s; there were 210 such runways in the U.S. in 1977. During a crisis, big bombers would be dispersed to many of these long runways, and enemy SLBMs would be likely to target and hit these runways in an effort to destroy the maximum number of bombers. I have a plan to bring back any surviving bombers who managed to complete their objectives home but its only a plan.


79 posted on 02/25/2012 3:12:34 PM PST by U-238
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To: PapaBear3625; Nowhere Man; Norm Lenhart; 6SJ7

A big problem with bombers, that most of them are located near ICBM bases.Making them susceptible to be destroyed in a sneak attack. That is why they are dispersed in civilian airports in emergencies.


80 posted on 02/25/2012 3:23:11 PM PST by U-238
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To: U-238

“It would seem to indicate several things: that the U.S. does not want potential competitors such as China or Russia to know how advanced a system will be delivered or exactly what capabilities it will involve”

This is the insightful analysis that earns journalists their well-deserved high paying jobs.


81 posted on 02/25/2012 3:30:43 PM PST by RFEngineer
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To: Barak; obama; All

Why would we need a new bomber, we hardly use the old ones.

Light ‘em up wimp!


82 posted on 02/25/2012 3:33:19 PM PST by ROCKLOBSTER ( Celebrate Republicans Freed the Slaves Month.)
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To: rlmorel

“I loved the Phantom. Classic plane”

At a Marine Air Show when I was about 10 or 11 years old, a Marine pilot gave me my first lesson in aerodynamics by telling me “The Phantom is proof positive that if you put enough thrust behind it, you can make a brick fly”.


83 posted on 02/25/2012 3:34:29 PM PST by RFEngineer
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To: U-238
Excellent Point. By the time B-52s reach their targets nothing would be left of Russia and there would be not too many operational air bases funtioning in the United States.

Some decades ago I was having an argument with guy over whether the Soviet "Backfire" should be considered a viable strategic bomber against the US. His argument was that the bomber couldn't carry enough fuel for a round trip.

My response was that they wouldn't expect a base to return to. They would hit their target, head for some wilderness area, set the autopilot, and have the crew bail out. They could go camping for a while until a winner was announced. (Or have some local communist meet them and bring them to a safe house).

84 posted on 02/25/2012 3:56:55 PM PST by PapaBear3625 (In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. - George Orwell)
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To: PapaBear3625

You are right again.


85 posted on 02/25/2012 3:59:57 PM PST by U-238
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To: PapaBear3625; Nowhere Man; Norm Lenhart; 6SJ7

People are forgetting these bomber crews will be exposed to high amounts of radiation by flying through the fallout. Unless, they weave around the clouds and waste precious fuel.There is also no guarantee that they will complete their missions when they are suffering acute radiation sickness.


86 posted on 02/25/2012 4:32:46 PM PST by U-238
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To: U-238

As long as the bomber crew is far enough away at detonation time that they escape the blast effects of the bomb they dropped, they will outrun the fallout as well.


87 posted on 02/25/2012 4:58:12 PM PST by PapaBear3625 (In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. - George Orwell)
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To: PapaBear3625

Bomber crews will be entering fallout from Russian cities and bases from our strikes.Returning home they will encountering fallout from American cities.


88 posted on 02/25/2012 6:56:32 PM PST by U-238
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I would like to suggest to the surviving bomber crews and SSBNs to find a place in the southern hemisphere.


89 posted on 02/25/2012 7:00:24 PM PST by U-238
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To: STD; mkjessup

While Heinlein used it, Pournelle originated it. See my #61.

They were personal friends. Jerry very much looked up to Robert, and obviously Robert didn’t mind using some of Jerry’s genius.


90 posted on 02/25/2012 7:07:08 PM PST by FreedomPoster (Islam delenda est)
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To: RFEngineer

Boy, that Marine pilot was spot on with that assessment of the Phantom, wasn’t he? Of course, those big honking, smoking J-79 engines were the epitome of power! From what I know of them (and being a former jet mechanic, I do know a little bit about them) they were apparently some damned rugged engines which could still function with compressor blades or turbine blades missing… and that is saying something!

When I lived in the Philippines when I was a kid, I used to go over to the officers beach that was near Cubi Point. Things were different back then, and as a kid I would go up and walk around all the airplanes that were tied down, and nobody would stop me. I remember seeing the Phantoms, the Crusaders, the Corsairs, even saw a few Sky Warriors and Spads.

As a kid, it was glorious. I used to build these models all the time, and to see them up close in real life, peering into the intakes and the exhausts was too good to be true for me. Oddly enough, they had a high-power test area further down the beach. They would tie down the planes with their exhaust pointing out towards the water and run them at full throttle! We used to go down there and try and throw things into the exhaust, or run through the area even though there were signs up saying not to do it. (It wasn’t all that dangerous because the airplanes were tied down at the top of a large rocky embankment, so wasn’t as if the exhaust would blow directly at you. It was pretty much going over your head…

I did the same thing there that I pretty much did down at the docks where the ships were tied up, and would ask all the sailors leaving the ship if they would take me aboard and show me around. If I asked 50 sailors, one of them will eventually do it, so I got to go all kinds of ships.

Up where they had the planes tied down, I would walk up to the pilots during their preflight walk around, and follow them around asking them questions. Once in a while, one of them would let me sit in the cockpit, which was completely the coolest thing since sliced bread!

One time, there was a pilot doing a preflight walk around on a Crusader. Right before he climbed in the cockpit, he told me I had to leave, then said “Watch what I do when I take off…” while he grinned and climbed up into the plane.

I watched as he taxied out and took off. No sooner than his wheels left the ground, he retracted them, pulled back on the stick and went up into the sky at about a 70° angle. As he gained altitude, the aircraft began to roll continually, and went up and up, rolling wildly until he disappeared into the high clouds. It blew me away, I thought “Hey… he did that for me!”

What was funny is I was up there a few days later and described to another pilot what he had done, and asked if he could do the same thing. I remember he looked at me shaking his head and said “No, he got into a bit of trouble for that…”.


91 posted on 02/25/2012 7:08:49 PM PST by rlmorel ("A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject." Winston Churchill)
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