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Author Topic: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber  (Read 191932 times)

Offline robunos

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #1230 on: May 19, 2017, 02:14:01 pm »
I don't think it's the aircraft directly that the Congresscritters are concerned with, but rather the financial details of the Development Contract . . .

cheers,
            Robin.

That is exactly what I mean Robin, they should keep the B-21 cost Blacker than Black and not reveal how much the B-21 overall cost for the entire program is, until after the B-21 reveal. Remember what happened to the B-2 program?

I do indeed, but then here's the Catch-22 esque scenario . . .
Pols say "We demand to how much money the B-21 is costing, and where the money's being spent", translation, if the money's not going to benefit our voters, we're going to cancel it, or at the very least, cut the programme back hard.
USAF says "We have to keep everything super secret, this programme is critically important to our future defence plans. So sorry, no can do.", translation, We're not going to give you any information about this programme, that you can use to make a case for cancellation, or cutbacks.
Pols say "In that case then, we're going to cancel it anyway.", translation, In that case then, we're going to cancel it anyway.


cheers,
            Robin.
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Offline sferrin

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #1231 on: May 19, 2017, 02:24:59 pm »
I don't think it's the aircraft directly that the Congresscritters are concerned with, but rather the financial details of the Development Contract . . .

cheers,
            Robin.

That is exactly what I mean Robin, they should keep the B-21 cost Blacker than Black and not reveal how much the B-21 overall cost for the entire program is, until after the B-21 reveal. Remember what happened to the B-2 program?

I do indeed, but then here's the Catch-22 esque scenario . . .
Pols say "We demand to how much money the B-21 is costing, and where the money's being spent", translation, if the money's not going to benefit our voters, we're going to cancel it, or at the very least, cut the programme back hard.
USAF says "We have to keep everything super secret, this programme is critically important to our future defence plans. So sorry, no can do.", translation, We're not going to give you any information about this programme, that you can use to make a case for cancellation, or cutbacks.
Pols say "In that case then, we're going to cancel it anyway.", translation, In that case then, we're going to cancel it anyway.


cheers,
            Robin.

If that worked nothing would be able to be kept secret.
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Offline bobbymike

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Offline Airplane

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #1233 on: May 26, 2017, 06:21:43 pm »
http://breakingdefense.com/2017/05/b-21-bomber-boost-general-touts-165-kc-46-still-late/

165 is a good start............  ;D

165 of what? A four engined twin weapon bay aircraft similar to a B2? Or a twin engined single weapon bay 1/2 the payload of a B2 type of bomber?  Either way 100 is far too few.
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Offline bobbymike

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #1234 on: June 06, 2017, 03:00:52 pm »
https://www.dodbuzz.com/2017/06/05/air-force-wants-165-bombers-not-b21s/

Quote
Given the increasingly advanced air defense systems deployed by countries such as Russia, China, Iran and North Korea, he added, “It seems to me the right number of bombers should be north of 160.”

“And certainly [Lt. Gen. Michael] Moeller agrees and calls for as many as 200 B-21s,” Gallagher noted, referring to an analysis study from the retired Air Force general, also a former deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and programs.

https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-06-06/air-force-chief-vows-to-avoid-excess-secrecy-over-u-s-bomber
« Last Edit: June 06, 2017, 03:07:47 pm by bobbymike »
"The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection." - Thomas Paine

"On what principle is it that with nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us?" - Lord Macaulay

Offline NeilChapman

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #1235 on: June 07, 2017, 11:00:23 am »
https://www.dodbuzz.com/2017/06/05/air-force-wants-165-bombers-not-b21s/

Quote
Given the increasingly advanced air defense systems deployed by countries such as Russia, China, Iran and North Korea, he added, “It seems to me the right number of bombers should be north of 160.”

“And certainly [Lt. Gen. Michael] Moeller agrees and calls for as many as 200 B-21s,” Gallagher noted, referring to an analysis study from the retired Air Force general, also a former deputy chief of staff for strategic plans and programs.

https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-06-06/air-force-chief-vows-to-avoid-excess-secrecy-over-u-s-bomber


Perhaps the conversation should be...

To meet congressionally mandated US military response requirements; which were lowered for reasons that included cost before the increase in aggressive behavior by Russia, the PRC, North Korea, Iran and other actors; the US determined it needed, at minimum, ~165 combat coded heavy bombers.

At the moment, the US is in a critical situation with ~97 combat coded bombers.  The majority of these bombers have gone through life extensions for decades.  It's been estimated that a minimum of 60 bombers would be needed to fight a war in North Korea, ~100 for Iran, ~260 for Russia.

Until technology negates the need for heavy bombers, the US must keep a minimum of ~165 combat coded advanced heavy bombers to meet the emergence of new, resurfacing and unrecognized global threats.

~~~~~

Is it feasible to contemplate a "B" version of the KC-46A as a low-op's cost augmentation for the B-21.  The building blocks seem to be there; open systems, EMP protected, ~same thrust as 52 but more efficient, ~85% of B-52's max takeoff weight, ~80% of the un-refueled range, field requirement ('8k-'9k).  Plus there's the interoperability of engines, avionics, support systems & maintainers in-theater w/the KC.

I wouldn't waste much time or money trying to make it more then it was - a relatively cheap bomb carrier for minimally contested environments - but could it work well as an 80% solution? 








Offline Flyaway

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #1236 on: June 07, 2017, 12:31:59 pm »
I see Sen. John McCain was doing his nut about the secrecy around the B-21 as regards its costs.

Quote
Sen. John McCain blasted newly confirmed Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson Tuesday during one of her first appearances on Capitol Hill over a $2 billion bomber request.

McCain told Wilson he has "never seen anything like" the secrecy around the service's budget request and spending on the B-21 stealth bomber, to be built by Northrop Grumman.

Quote
Wilson, who had only testified as secretary to Congress once before about space operations, told McCain that the service is "very open" and sharing spending information with the committees on Capitol Hill.

"That is not true, Madame Secretary, that is simply not true," McCain fired back.

Wilson dodged a question from McCain over when the service will release more details on the requested development money.

"There is always a balance between not telling our enemies what we are doing and making sure we are forthcoming with the representatives of the American people," Wilson said.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/mccain-tangles-with-new-air-force-secretary-over-2-billion-bomber-request/article/2625064

Offline sferrin

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #1237 on: June 07, 2017, 02:00:22 pm »
McCain is just looking for another soap box to jump on. 
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Offline sublight is back

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #1238 on: June 07, 2017, 03:06:28 pm »
McCain is just looking for another soap box to jump on.

The problem as I see it is because of the ridiculously low numbers of B2. And I doubt this is totally due to cost of procurement. It had the low level requirement added at the last minute, and its had more stealth skin grafts than Zsa-Zsa Gabor, which could all add up to a bunch of undisclosed weaknesses which made the cost of sustainment potentially catastrophic. I don't think McCain wants to sabotage the program, I think he wants to make sure it actually delivers what we need, in the numbers we need.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2017, 03:12:43 pm by sublight is back »

Offline sferrin

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #1239 on: June 07, 2017, 04:15:39 pm »
McCain is just looking for another soap box to jump on.

The problem as I see it is because of the ridiculously low numbers of B2. And I doubt this is totally due to cost of procurement. It had the low level requirement added at the last minute, and its had more stealth skin grafts than Zsa-Zsa Gabor, which could all add up to a bunch of undisclosed weaknesses which made the cost of sustainment potentially catastrophic. I don't think McCain wants to sabotage the program, I think he wants to make sure it actually delivers what we need, in the numbers we need.

The way to tell would be to make him agree to keep his mouth shut regardless of what he finds out.  That will tell you what he cares about.  Based on his behavior the last ten years or so I think it far more likely he's just looking for a way to grab a spotlight. 
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline marauder2048

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #1240 on: June 07, 2017, 04:56:04 pm »
The way to tell would be to make him agree to keep his mouth shut regardless of what he finds out.  That will tell you what he cares about.  Based on his behavior the last ten years or so I think it far more likely he's just looking for a way to grab a spotlight.

McCain lost a vote (by a large majority) in the committee that he chairs for his amendment that would have made costs public. 

If you can't convince your own colleagues, who by the way depend on staying in your (the SASC chair's) good graces for access to SAPs, 
then it strikes me that you have a pretty feeble case.

Offline bobbymike

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #1241 on: June 07, 2017, 05:48:08 pm »
The way to tell would be to make him agree to keep his mouth shut regardless of what he finds out.  That will tell you what he cares about.  Based on his behavior the last ten years or so I think it far more likely he's just looking for a way to grab a spotlight.

McCain lost a vote (by a large majority) in the committee that he chairs for his amendment that would have made costs public. 

If you can't convince your own colleagues, who by the way depend on staying in your (the SASC chair's) good graces for access to SAPs, 
then it strikes me that you have a pretty feeble case.
Taking nothing away from his military career but over the last few years "feeble case" has been his middle name.
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"On what principle is it that with nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us?" - Lord Macaulay

Offline NeilChapman

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #1242 on: June 07, 2017, 06:53:59 pm »
McCain is just looking for another soap box to jump on.

The problem as I see it is because of the ridiculously low numbers of B2. And I doubt this is totally due to cost of procurement. It had the low level requirement added at the last minute, and its had more stealth skin grafts than Zsa-Zsa Gabor, which could all add up to a bunch of undisclosed weaknesses which made the cost of sustainment potentially catastrophic. I don't think McCain wants to sabotage the program, I think he wants to make sure it actually delivers what we need, in the numbers we need.

Just so I understand.   McCain sees all the numbers in closed session, no?



Offline marauder2048

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #1243 on: June 07, 2017, 07:17:57 pm »
Just so I understand.   McCain sees all the numbers in closed session, no?

Along with any other member of the SASC who has requested access and been given the nod by McCain. 

Offline sferrin

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #1244 on: June 08, 2017, 04:54:17 am »
McCain is just looking for another soap box to jump on.

The problem as I see it is because of the ridiculously low numbers of B2. And I doubt this is totally due to cost of procurement. It had the low level requirement added at the last minute, and its had more stealth skin grafts than Zsa-Zsa Gabor, which could all add up to a bunch of undisclosed weaknesses which made the cost of sustainment potentially catastrophic. I don't think McCain wants to sabotage the program, I think he wants to make sure it actually delivers what we need, in the numbers we need.

Just so I understand.   McCain sees all the numbers in closed session, no?

Which would do zip to keep him from scurrying to the nearest mic to wail about "too expensive" aircraft in order to grab a headline.  (Whether or not it was actually true wouldn't matter.)
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.