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Author Topic: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber  (Read 292893 times)

Offline TomS

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Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« on: October 27, 2015, 01:00:29 pm »
Created as a holding place for the actual announcement due later today.  It seems logical to separate this from the long-running thread on the Next Generation Bomber Studies.  If the moderators disagree, we can merge it back.


Here's the announcement of the announcement, including a link to the live stream:
Quote
Air Force to Announce Long Range Strike Bomber Contract Award

Press Operations

Release No: PA-099-15

October 27, 2015 Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James, and Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Mark A. Welsh III will announce the long range strike bomber contract award at 5:15 p.m. EDT in the Pentagon Briefing Room (2E973).

Following their remarks, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition Dr. William LaPlante, Gen Robin Rand, commander, Air Force Global Strike Command and Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, Jr, military deputy, Air Force Acquisition will answer questions.

Journalists without a Pentagon building pass will be picked up at the River Entrance only. Plan to arrive no later than 30 minutes prior to the event: have proof of affiliation and two forms of photo identification. Please call 703-697-5131 for escort into the building. The press conference will be streamed live at www.defense.gov



« Last Edit: February 26, 2016, 12:00:58 pm by PaulMM (Overscan) »

Ian33

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2015, 01:05:54 pm »
Nice idea. Fresh start to concrete news.

Fingers crossed for at least one piece of art / F117 style photo.

Offline marauder2048

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2015, 01:18:41 pm »
Attaching announcement image for archival purposes

Offline Deino

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2015, 01:21:14 pm »
 ??? ???

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever; I was wrong.
...
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
-------------------------------------------------
W.H.Auden (1945)

Offline lowchi

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2015, 01:26:05 pm »
Still 50 min to go deino  ;)

Offline marauder2048

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2015, 01:26:29 pm »
??? ???


Demonstration of Electronic attack capability

Offline Deino

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2015, 01:31:35 pm »
Still 50 min to go deino  ;)

Damn ... I missed that it will be at 5:15 ! ... I thought 4:15 ! And what should I do now ???  :-[
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever; I was wrong.
...
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
-------------------------------------------------
W.H.Auden (1945)

Offline Deino

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2015, 01:34:18 pm »
A hint ???  ;D ;)
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever; I was wrong.
...
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
-------------------------------------------------
W.H.Auden (1945)

Offline flanker

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2015, 01:40:40 pm »
Still 50 min to go deino  ;)

Damn ... I missed that it will be at 5:15 ! ... I thought 4:15 ! And what should I do now ??? :-[
Damn man, i have to say you are really bad with this "clock" thing... Especially for a german...
Push the envelope,watch it bend.

Offline sferrin

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2015, 01:42:05 pm »
A hint ???  ;D ;)

If it's true the knives will come out.  "After the F-35 & KC-46 debacles how could the DoD award such an important contract to Boeing and Lockheed?"  Blah, blah, blah blah blahhhhhhhhhhhh.
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline Deino

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2015, 01:55:06 pm »
Still 50 min to go deino  ;)

Damn ... I missed that it will be at 5:15 ! ... I thought 4:15 ! And what should I do now ??? :-[
Damn man, i have to say you are really bad with this "clock" thing... Especially for a german...

YES, guilty in all points !
He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever; I was wrong.
...
For nothing now can ever come to any good.
-------------------------------------------------
W.H.Auden (1945)

Offline flanker

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2015, 02:12:01 pm »
A hint ??? ;D ;)

If it's true the knives will come out.  "After the F-35 & KC-46 debacles how could the DoD award such an important contract to Boeing and Lockheed?"  Blah, blah, blah blah blahhhhhhhhhhhh.

You are saying as if that is not true...
Push the envelope,watch it bend.

Offline lowchi

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2015, 02:13:27 pm »
Stream just started!

Offline Flyaway

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2015, 02:13:45 pm »
OK so what's behind the curtain in that room! ;D

Just noticed a number of guys sitting well back in the shadows!

Offline Dragon029

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2015, 02:15:09 pm »
VP of Northrop was just pacing back and forth, looking tired...

Offline marauder2048

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2015, 02:15:16 pm »
OK so what's behind the curtain in that room! ;D

Just noticed a number of guys sitting well back in the shadows!

The SECAF nude...

Offline lowchi

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2015, 02:15:24 pm »
Sweetman just said something about "alien technology"  LOL (clearly joking to the staff)

Offline bring_it_on

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2015, 02:17:12 pm »
Northrop Bags it !
Old radar types never die; they just phased array - Unknown

Offline FighterJock

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2015, 02:17:55 pm »
Well done Northrop

Offline Flyaway

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2015, 02:18:28 pm »
Who said that?

Offline bring_it_on

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2015, 02:18:44 pm »
Reuters ...
Old radar types never die; they just phased array - Unknown

Offline bring_it_on

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #21 on: October 27, 2015, 02:19:47 pm »
Told you these guys have both stories done already ;)

http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/2015/10/27/northrop-grumman-wins-usaf-bomber-contract/74661394/

Quick Control/Command F's I guess ;)
Old radar types never die; they just phased array - Unknown

Offline weavty1

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #22 on: October 27, 2015, 02:20:04 pm »

Offline marauder2048

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #23 on: October 27, 2015, 02:20:26 pm »

Online Moose

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #24 on: October 27, 2015, 02:21:13 pm »
DefNews too:
Quote
Northrop Grumman won the contract to build the US Air Force’s next-gen Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B), an industry-shaping deal that breathes new life into the world's sixth-largest defense company

Offline Flyaway

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« Last Edit: October 27, 2015, 02:24:03 pm by Flyaway »

Offline bring_it_on

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #26 on: October 27, 2015, 02:24:14 pm »
I guess now the question is who NG will choose as a partner, BA or LMA

« Last Edit: October 27, 2015, 02:26:34 pm by bring_it_on »
Old radar types never die; they just phased array - Unknown

Offline weavty1

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #27 on: October 27, 2015, 02:24:40 pm »
Reuters ...

Quote
AIR FORCE

 

Northrop Grumman, Falls Church, Virginia, has been awarded a contract for the Long Range Strike Bomber.  For more information, please refer to: http://www.defense.gov/News/Press-Advisories/Press-Advisory-View/Article/626036/air-force-to-announce-long-range-strike-bomber-contract-award

http://www.defense.gov/News/Contracts/Contract-View/Article/626128
Well damn, I was trying to throw the scent off the trail. That was quick for them to post that, I thought they would've at least waited until after the feed went off air.

Offline lastdingo

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #28 on: October 27, 2015, 02:27:08 pm »
OMG, they expect the price tag to go past a billion per plane!!

Quote
The target price is $550 million per plane in 2010 dollars

Offline Dragon029

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #29 on: October 27, 2015, 02:29:19 pm »
Confirmation that the bomber will have world-reaching strike capabilities (though it's not been confirmed if that's with any refueling.

Offline flanker

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #30 on: October 27, 2015, 02:33:35 pm »
511 million per aircraft, assuming 100.
Push the envelope,watch it bend.

Offline Flyaway

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #31 on: October 27, 2015, 02:36:35 pm »
511 million per aircraft, assuming 100.

564 million in 2016 dollars.

Offline Dragon029

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #32 on: October 27, 2015, 02:38:04 pm »
IOC in 2025.

Offline weavty1

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #33 on: October 27, 2015, 02:38:40 pm »
Wow, LaPlante sure was shaking his head at Bunch a lot

Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #34 on: October 27, 2015, 02:39:51 pm »
Also, they are still going to try to incorporate 'Open Mission Standards' into the design. Something tells me that's not going to end well.
The sole imperative of a government, once instituted, is to survive.

Online Boxman

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #35 on: October 27, 2015, 02:40:23 pm »
No mention as to who the engine manufacturer will be for the aircraft as per the classified nature of the program ( ::) ), though they said the engine manufacturer has been selected as part of the contract award.
(Unless, of course, I am misunderstanding what the folks at the podium are saying).

Offline flanker

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #36 on: October 27, 2015, 02:40:38 pm »
Platform, family of systems?
Push the envelope,watch it bend.

Offline weavty1

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #37 on: October 27, 2015, 02:40:50 pm »
No aircraft name/designation for the aircraft yet at this time.

Offline sferrin

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #38 on: October 27, 2015, 02:41:17 pm »
Wow. Couldn't even give us a "B-3".   :-X
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline Dragon029

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #39 on: October 27, 2015, 02:41:43 pm »
$1.9 billion spent from FY11 to FY15 for risk reduction.

Offline Flyaway

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #40 on: October 27, 2015, 02:42:53 pm »
Well that told us a whole heap of nothing other than who won it & a few cost figures.

Offline sferrin

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #41 on: October 27, 2015, 02:44:27 pm »
"Good afternoon. Company X won. Good day folks."


I should've gone to Vegas.
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Ian33

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #42 on: October 27, 2015, 02:45:50 pm »
Well that told us a whole heap of nothing other than who won it & a few cost figures.

I don't know - I got the impression this bird will be one bad ass beast with teeth. Global strike from CONUSA? Dammit man, them engines must be pimp.

Well done Northrop.

Offline bring_it_on

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #43 on: October 27, 2015, 02:45:59 pm »
No mention as to who the engine manufacturer will be for the aircraft as per the classified nature of the program ( ::) ), though they said the engine manufacturer has been selected as part of the contract award.
(Unless, of course, I am misunderstanding what the folks at the podium are saying).

What this most likely means is that the EMD contract to Northrop most likely includes the Engine as propulsion was part of their bid meaning most likely that Northrop Grumman had chosen an OEM for engines. This is different from fighter procurement where the cost of the fighter is a fraction of that of a bomber, and the engine is a fair change of that cost and the overall numbers procured make the engine contract so large that they compete it as well. If I had to guess I'd guess that they let the bidders pick their propulsion solutions.
Old radar types never die; they just phased array - Unknown

Offline weavty1

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #44 on: October 27, 2015, 02:48:29 pm »
No mention as to who the engine manufacturer will be for the aircraft as per the classified nature of the program ( ::) ), though they said the engine manufacturer has been selected as part of the contract award.
(Unless, of course, I am misunderstanding what the folks at the podium are saying).

What this most likely means is that the EMD contract to Northrop most likely includes the Engine as propulsion was part of their bid meaning most likely that Northrop Grumman had chosen an OEM for engines. This is different from fighter procurement where the cost of the fighter is a fraction of that of a bomber, and the engine is a fair change of that cost and the overall numbers procured make the engine contract so large that they compete it as well. If I had to guess I'd guess that they let the bidders pick their propulsion solutions.
That's what I got out of it, too.

Offline marauder2048

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #45 on: October 27, 2015, 02:49:45 pm »
NG's earnings conference call tomorrow will be interesting...or just an exercise in futility  e.g."We can't comment on the bomber"

Offline Flyaway

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #46 on: October 27, 2015, 02:51:14 pm »
NG's earnings conference call tomorrow will be interesting...or just an exercise in futility  e.g."We can't comment on the bomber"

Their stock has shot right up now.

http://www.marketwatch.com/investing/stock/noc

Offline Triton

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #47 on: October 27, 2015, 02:51:31 pm »
"Good afternoon. Company X won. Good day folks."


I should've gone to Vegas.

Probably not wanting to give the Lockheed Martin/Boeing team ammunition for a contract protest.

Offline XP67_Moonbat

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #48 on: October 27, 2015, 02:52:08 pm »
Well, Steve Pace can fire off that bombers book to the printers now
In God we trust, all others we monitor. :-p

Offline Mr London 24/7

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #49 on: October 27, 2015, 02:53:52 pm »
http://www.af.mil/News/ArticleDisplay/tabid/223/Article/626131/air-force-awards-lrs-b-contract.aspx

http://www.defense.gov/News-Article-View/Article/626137/air-force-awards-contract-for-long-range-strike-bomber

http://www.globenewswire.com/newsarchive/noc/press/pages/news_releases.html?d=10154245

Quote
The Long Range Strike Bomber contract is composed of two parts. The contract for the Engineering and Manufacturing Development, or EMD, phase is a cost-reimbursable type contract with cost and performance incentives. The incentives minimize the contractor’s profit if they do not control cost and schedule appropriately. The independent estimate for the EMD phase is $21.4 billion in 2010 dollars.The second part of the contract is composed of options for the first 5 production lots, comprising 21 aircraft out of the total fleet of 100. They are fixed price options with incentives for cost. Based on approved requirements, the Average Procurement Unit Cost (APUC) per aircraft is required to be equal to or less than $550 million per aircraft in 2010 dollars when procuring 100 LRS-B aircraft. The APUC from the independent estimate supporting today’s award is $511 million per aircraft, again in 2010 dollars.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2015, 03:24:09 pm by Mr London 24/7 »

Online Moose

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #50 on: October 27, 2015, 02:54:09 pm »
NG's earnings conference call tomorrow will be interesting...or just an exercise in futility  e.g."We can't comment on the bomber"
They won't be able to give specifics but I imagine a whole lot of back-slapping will be at hand.

Offline marauder2048

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #51 on: October 27, 2015, 02:54:15 pm »
Did I miss it or did no one ask when the general public would get a glimpse of it?

Offline Flyaway

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #52 on: October 27, 2015, 02:56:31 pm »
Did I miss it or did no one ask when the general public would get a glimpse of it?

I saw they were briefed beforehand not to ask too much because of classification.

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Online SpudmanWP

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #54 on: October 27, 2015, 03:21:32 pm »
So....

2xF135 or 4xF414?

My bet is F135 since future upgrades like AETD will benefit both.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2015, 03:23:16 pm by SpudmanWP »
WE4-45-1-08     OMHIWDMB
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Offline bring_it_on

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #55 on: October 27, 2015, 03:23:59 pm »
Engines will be made by P&W
Old radar types never die; they just phased array - Unknown

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Offline marauder2048

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #57 on: October 27, 2015, 03:33:26 pm »
http://boeing.mediaroom.com/2015-10-27-Boeing-and-Lockheed-Martin-Statement-on-U-S-Air-Force-Long-Range-Strike-Bomber-Decision

Quote
We are interested in knowing how the competition was scored in terms of price and risk

You guys and *everyone* else...

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #58 on: October 27, 2015, 03:38:45 pm »
Too bad LM was on the "other" team.

It would have been SOOO easy to grab the avionics from the F-35 and adapt them to the LRS-B.

Throw in Fibermat & EOTS for good measure.
WE4-45-1-08     OMHIWDMB
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

Offline Triton

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #59 on: October 27, 2015, 03:43:57 pm »

Offline Steve Pace

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #60 on: October 27, 2015, 03:44:50 pm »
I'm waiting for LockMart's reply. -SP
When you know you're right, go ahead.

Ian33

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #61 on: October 27, 2015, 03:49:35 pm »
Throw in Fibermat & EOTS for good measure.

It's Northrops any way isn't it? So they keep their toys inside their airframe.
http://www.northropgrumman.com/capabilities/anaaq37f35/pages/default.aspx

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #62 on: October 27, 2015, 03:50:55 pm »
EODAS is NG's but EOTS & Fibermat are LM's
WE4-45-1-08     OMHIWDMB
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Offline sferrin

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #63 on: October 27, 2015, 03:52:18 pm »
http://boeing.mediaroom.com/2015-10-27-Boeing-and-Lockheed-Martin-Statement-on-U-S-Air-Force-Long-Range-Strike-Bomber-Decision

Quote
We are interested in knowing how the competition was scored in terms of price and risk

You guys and *everyone* else...

I sense a contract protest.

Let them. Let them pay all the court costs of both sides when their protest is tossed out too.
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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #64 on: October 27, 2015, 03:53:00 pm »
I'm waiting for LockMart's reply. -SP
$5 says the word "disappointed" is in it somewhere.
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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #65 on: October 27, 2015, 03:55:59 pm »
Called it

http://boeing.mediaroom.com/2015-10-27-Boeing-and-Lockheed-Martin-Statement-on-U-S-Air-Force-Long-Range-Strike-Bomber-Decision

Quote
WASHINGTON, Oct. 27, 2015 – Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] today released the following statement on the U.S. Air Force’s decision to award Northrop Grumman the Long Range Strike-Bomber contract:

The Boeing and Lockheed Martin team is disappointed by today’s announcement. We will have further discussions with our customer before determining our next steps. We are interested in knowing how the competition was scored in terms of price and risk, as we believe that the combination of Boeing and Lockheed Martin offers unparalleled experience, capability and resources for this critically important recapitalization program.

Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial airplanes and defense, space and security systems. In addition, Boeing supports airlines and U.S. and allied government customers in more than 150 countries. The company’s products and tailored services include commercial and military aircraft, satellites, weapons, electronic and defense systems, launch systems, advanced information and communication systems, and performance-based logistics and training. Boeing employs more than 165,000 people across the United States and in more than 65 countries. Company revenues for 2014 were more than $90 billion. Follow us on Twitter: @Boeing.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 112,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2014 were $45.6 billion.
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Offline Triton

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #66 on: October 27, 2015, 03:59:34 pm »
Called it

http://boeing.mediaroom.com/2015-10-27-Boeing-and-Lockheed-Martin-Statement-on-U-S-Air-Force-Long-Range-Strike-Bomber-Decision

Quote
WASHINGTON, Oct. 27, 2015 – Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] today released the following statement on the U.S. Air Force’s decision to award Northrop Grumman the Long Range Strike-Bomber contract:

The Boeing and Lockheed Martin team is disappointed by today’s announcement. We will have further discussions with our customer before determining our next steps. We are interested in knowing how the competition was scored in terms of price and risk, as we believe that the combination of Boeing and Lockheed Martin offers unparalleled experience, capability and resources for this critically important recapitalization program.

Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial airplanes and defense, space and security systems. In addition, Boeing supports airlines and U.S. and allied government customers in more than 150 countries. The company’s products and tailored services include commercial and military aircraft, satellites, weapons, electronic and defense systems, launch systems, advanced information and communication systems, and performance-based logistics and training. Boeing employs more than 165,000 people across the United States and in more than 65 countries. Company revenues for 2014 were more than $90 billion. Follow us on Twitter: @Boeing.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 112,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2014 were $45.6 billion.

flateric previously posted the link to this press release.

Offline sferrin

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #67 on: October 27, 2015, 04:00:34 pm »
"We are interested in knowing how the competition was scored in terms of price and risk,. . .

Yo, Boeing, how's that KC-46 coming along?  When's the last time either you or Lockheed built a bomber?  Oh, and there's the door.  Don't let it hit you on the back side on the way out.
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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #68 on: October 27, 2015, 04:17:28 pm »
http://boeing.mediaroom.com/2015-10-27-Boeing-and-Lockheed-Martin-Statement-on-U-S-Air-Force-Long-Range-Strike-Bomber-Decision

Quote
We are interested in knowing how the competition was scored in terms of price and risk

You guys and *everyone* else...

I sense a contract protest.

Let them. Let them pay all the court costs of both sides when their protest is tossed out too.


Hourly fees for expert witnesses and attorneys are capped (~$150/hr)  for contract protests.  3DELRR is being recompeted on the basis of a handful of emails that weren't cc'ed.  So who knows..

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #69 on: October 27, 2015, 04:31:53 pm »
Swat Boeing with T-X, Lockheed can go be happy with the half the DoD they already own.

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #70 on: October 27, 2015, 04:34:11 pm »
Too bad LM was on the "other" team.

It would have been SOOO easy to grab the avionics from the F-35 and adapt them to the LRS-B.

Throw in Fibermat & EOTS for good measure.

Obviously NG met or exceeded the requirements.  Why is too bad a decade old avionics suite won't grace the new bomber?  The F35s sensor suite ain't black magic; it's solid state physics, optics, EE, and software.  I'm sure some of the avionics on the new bomber are already flying in production aircraft today.

A stagnant engineering R&D base... it would be criminal to "cut and paste" too much c/o h/w.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2015, 04:38:51 pm by Airplane »
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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #71 on: October 27, 2015, 04:45:21 pm »
OK, so now I want to know what the Boeing/ LM Long Range Strike Demonstrator looks like. Is that what we saw flying over Texas?

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #72 on: October 27, 2015, 05:13:23 pm »
Inquiring minds wanna know!
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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #73 on: October 27, 2015, 05:19:07 pm »
Northrop Grumman was selected to build 100 Long Range Strike Bomber (LRSB) aircraft on October 27, 2015 (today). Neither the LRSB's propulsive system nor its designation was given.

If it's to be unmanned it could be designated BQ-x, if manned it could be designated B-3. The reason no designation was given, as I see it, is that the USAF isn't firm on its crew situation as of yet - whether operators will be aboard it or on the ground. -SP
« Last Edit: October 27, 2015, 05:20:48 pm by Steve Pace »
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Offline marauder2048

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #74 on: October 27, 2015, 05:19:34 pm »
Too bad LM was on the "other" team.

It would have been SOOO easy to grab the avionics from the F-35 and adapt them to the LRS-B.

Throw in Fibermat & EOTS for good measure.

Obviously NG met or exceeded the requirements.

Never in question but the relative weighting given to the reqs would be telling. It could have come down to the PW9000 having a single digit SFC advantage over a LEAP'ed F414.

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #75 on: October 27, 2015, 05:45:52 pm »
I wonder if it was in light of the expected protest that they didn't even release details they were previously slated to.

Taken from NG's twitter feed it's their new bomber dedicated website.

http://www.americasnewbomber.com/
« Last Edit: October 27, 2015, 05:50:02 pm by Flyaway »

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #76 on: October 27, 2015, 05:49:10 pm »
IIRC it was meant to be optionally manned, and given a 'global' range and a cost in excess of half a billion USD I'm certain it will at least be "optionally" manned. UAVs have a horrendous accident rate.

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #77 on: October 27, 2015, 05:50:03 pm »
$550 million seems cheap, given the cost of a 787 Dreamliner these days (about $300 million). I'm guessing it won't be be B-52 sized.
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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #78 on: October 27, 2015, 05:56:43 pm »
$550 million seems cheap, given the cost of a 787 Dreamliner these days (about $300 million). I'm guessing it won't be be B-52 sized.
I wonder if it was in light of the expected protest that they didn't even release details they were previously slated to.

Taken from NG's twitter feed it's their new bomber dedicated website.

http://www.americasnewbomber.com/

That websites a pile of steaming shite. They should be ashamed to even put their name on such drivel. What utter Moron sanctioned that?



Offline sublight is back

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #79 on: October 27, 2015, 05:57:54 pm »
I wonder if it was in light of the expected protest that they didn't even release details they were previously slated to.

Taken from NG's twitter feed it's their new bomber dedicated website.

http://www.americasnewbomber.com/

What. The. Hell.
In order to have a movement to "Save the bomber", does there not have to be some sort of movement to kill it? Does Northrop know something we don’t?

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #80 on: October 27, 2015, 06:00:40 pm »
$550 million seems cheap, given the cost of a 787 Dreamliner these days (about $300 million). I'm guessing it won't be be B-52 sized.
I wonder if it was in light of the expected protest that they didn't even release details they were previously slated to.

Taken from NG's twitter feed it's their new bomber dedicated website.

http://www.americasnewbomber.com/

That websites a pile of steaming shite. They should be ashamed to even put their name on such drivel. What utter Moron sanctioned that?

I imagine it's designed to appeal to the social media generation, hence them plugging it on Twitter, not the average poster on this forum.

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #81 on: October 27, 2015, 06:01:58 pm »
I wonder if it was in light of the expected protest that they didn't even release details they were previously slated to.

Taken from NG's twitter feed it's their new bomber dedicated website.

http://www.americasnewbomber.com/

What. The. Hell.
In order to have a movement to "Save the bomber", does there not have to be some sort of movement to kill it? Does Northrop know something we don’t?

Yeah. Exactly, I'm sat staring at a steaming shite pile not really believing if this is a satirical piece.

Save the Bomber?!?

WTF?

Northrop, if that's your best PR, your aircraft must be mentally insane to have won.

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #82 on: October 27, 2015, 06:04:18 pm »
I wonder if it was in light of the expected protest that they didn't even release details they were previously slated to.

Taken from NG's twitter feed it's their new bomber dedicated website.

http://www.americasnewbomber.com/

What. The. Hell.
In order to have a movement to "Save the bomber", does there not have to be some sort of movement to kill it? Does Northrop know something we don’t?

It looks like the fate of the B-2 is still playing large in their collective memory.

Offline marauder2048

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #83 on: October 27, 2015, 06:08:26 pm »
$550 million seems cheap, given the cost of a 787 Dreamliner these days (about $300 million). I'm guessing it won't be be B-52 sized.

I don't follow...

Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #84 on: October 27, 2015, 07:26:19 pm »
$550 million seems cheap, given the cost of a 787 Dreamliner these days (about $300 million). I'm guessing it won't be be B-52 sized.

I don't follow...


In 1997, $737 million was the flyaway cost of a B-2. A B-1B was about $283 million at the time.  Fast forward to now, thats (using base inflation) $1 billion and more than $400 million respectively. Basically, $550 million is half the cost of a B-2, and slightly more than a B-1.

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #85 on: October 27, 2015, 07:29:38 pm »
Why is too bad a decade old avionics suite won't grace the new bomber? 


Because it works "now", was designed from the ground-up with middle-ware, and it's use in the LRS-B would not only decrease the development time & money for LRS-B but also decrease procurement, maintenance, and upgrade costs for both the LRS-B and F-35 programs.


It's the same reason why picking the F135 (or derivative) would be a wise choice for LRS-B.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2015, 07:31:40 pm by SpudmanWP »
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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #86 on: October 27, 2015, 07:37:08 pm »
I wonder if it was in light of the expected protest that they didn't even release details they were previously slated to.

Taken from NG's twitter feed it's their new bomber dedicated website.

http://www.americasnewbomber.com/


That looks like something from a joke movie. They even have a picture of Biff Patriot on it. I couldn't stop laughing.

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #87 on: October 27, 2015, 08:08:02 pm »
I wonder if it was in light of the expected protest that they didn't even release details they were previously slated to.

Taken from NG's twitter feed it's their new bomber dedicated website.

http://www.americasnewbomber.com/

What. The. Hell.
In order to have a movement to "Save the bomber", does there not have to be some sort of movement to kill it? Does Northrop know something we don’t?


It reads "keep the nation safe" & "support the new bomber".... I guess they´re  organising a crowdfunding for in case the program should get curtailed again at 21 aircraft.  ::)

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #88 on: October 27, 2015, 10:04:03 pm »
I'd use an F135 or F414 core with the largest fan compatible with the stealth requirements, assuming subsonic speed. A greater numbr of F414 derived engines would be easier to fit in a stealth aircraft than fewer F135 derived ones.


Whats the betting on any broad design commonality with RQ-180?
« Last Edit: October 27, 2015, 10:10:12 pm by PaulMM (Overscan) »
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Offline Sundog

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #89 on: October 27, 2015, 10:14:20 pm »
Whats the betting on any broad design commonality with RQ-180?


I think there will be some similarity, in that they're both flying wings. But I don't think the bomber will have the sailplane like aspect ratio of the RQ-180, because I think the RQ-180 is probably more geared towards loitering for long periods of time, as opposed to the bomber which will get in and get out as quickly as possible, while being subsonic.

Offline marauder2048

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #90 on: October 27, 2015, 10:42:53 pm »
$550 million seems cheap, given the cost of a 787 Dreamliner these days (about $300 million). I'm guessing it won't be be B-52 sized.

I don't follow...


In 1997, $737 million was the flyaway cost of a B-2. A B-1B was about $283 million at the time.  Fast forward to now, thats (using base inflation) $1 billion and more than $400 million respectively. Basically, $550 million is half the cost of a B-2, and slightly more than a B-1.

The Air Force kindly compiled this table (posted upthread) which avoids conflating or interchanging flyaway and APUC figures. I would suggest that reconstructing capabilities from APUC figures given the non-linearity of the contributions of empty weight and composites material percentages to aircraft cost (if we go by RAND and IDA formulae) is pretty tricky. 

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #91 on: October 27, 2015, 10:44:35 pm »
There was, of course, this Northrop 2025 passenger / cargo plane concept. This is kind of what I expect $500 million buys you, and it would certainly replace the B-52 in bomb truck role, except isn't LRS-B meant to be more stealthy than B-2?
« Last Edit: October 27, 2015, 10:54:58 pm by PaulMM (Overscan) »
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Offline XP67_Moonbat

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #92 on: October 27, 2015, 11:39:07 pm »
Things that make ya go 'hmmmm'
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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #94 on: October 28, 2015, 12:30:07 am »
And the 55% scaled test vehicle.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2015, 12:35:40 am by PaulMM (Overscan) »
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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #95 on: October 28, 2015, 12:42:15 am »
Superbowl Ad. Looks rather like the intakes are positioned in the same place as the above designs.
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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #96 on: October 28, 2015, 12:52:14 am »
Superbowl Ad. Looks rather like the intakes are positioned in the same place as the above designs.

Looks like it has an angle on the wing sweep , mid-span.

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #97 on: October 28, 2015, 12:54:34 am »
Yes - if the Superbowl image is accurate, it likely has an X-47B type wing shape. (Popsci artist's impression attached)
« Last Edit: October 28, 2015, 01:07:36 am by PaulMM (Overscan) »
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Offline Flyaway

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #98 on: October 28, 2015, 12:57:31 am »
Boeing to decide within two weeks whether to protest contract award

Quote
WASHINGTON Oct 27 (Reuters) - Boeing defense chief Chris Chadwick told staff on Tuesday that the company would "rigorously deliberate whether to protest" a U.S. Air Force bomber contract awarded to rival Northrop Grumman Corp, saying a decision was expected within two weeks. (Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Writing by Sandra Maler; Editing by Peter Cooney)

http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idusl1n12r3qa20151027

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #99 on: October 28, 2015, 01:01:01 am »
Looks like it has an angle on the wing sweep , mid-span.
It's leading edge is more complicated than heritage cranked kite designs, having some strakes in front of intake area, but I'm not sure if the whole shape was invented by McGarryBowen based on earlier placeholder renders by NGC
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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #100 on: October 28, 2015, 01:01:41 am »
Yes - if the image is accurate, it likely has an X-47B type wing shape.
This is un-official image by PopSci artist
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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #101 on: October 28, 2015, 01:09:06 am »
Yes - if the image is accurate, it likely has an X-47B type wing shape.
This is un-official image by PopSci artist

I am aware - I have clarified my post above :)
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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #102 on: October 28, 2015, 01:14:21 am »
Looks like it has an angle on the wing sweep , mid-span.
It's leading edge is more complicated than heritage cranked kite designs, having some strakes in front of intake area, but I'm not sure if the whole shape was invented by McGarryBowen based on earlier placeholder renders by NGC

Not sure about the LERX, or if its an illusion based on complex wing shape.
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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #103 on: October 28, 2015, 01:25:50 am »
I think perhaps *this* was the Northrop-Grumman artwork the Superbowl image was based on?
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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #104 on: October 28, 2015, 01:32:04 am »
is probably more geared towards loitering for long periods of time, as opposed to the bomber which will get in and get out as quickly as possible, while being subsonic.

Why not both?

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #105 on: October 28, 2015, 02:37:43 am »
This is what I see in the Superbowl ad image.
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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #106 on: October 28, 2015, 02:55:56 am »
This is what I see in the Superbowl ad image.

Yes, looks like that, even that rounded nose in plan view.
That is, if we can believe a SuperBowl add picture … :)

Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #107 on: October 28, 2015, 02:57:15 am »
But then perhaps something more like this 6th gen Northrop(?) fighter which seems to have ditched pure straight planform.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2015, 03:05:19 am by PaulMM (Overscan) »
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Offline JFC Fuller

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #108 on: October 28, 2015, 02:57:58 am »
I assume they will want at least one bay capable of taking MOP so that might give us an idea of scaling...?

Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #109 on: October 28, 2015, 03:08:06 am »
Regarding engine choice, my money is on GE, simply due to Northrop history. ADVENT was aimed at NGB applications then later scaled up to F-35 class.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2015, 03:19:53 am by PaulMM (Overscan) »
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Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #110 on: October 28, 2015, 03:13:41 am »
Not to mention that P&W have been fouling up by the numbers, and then some, of late.
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Offline FighterJock

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #111 on: October 28, 2015, 03:45:11 am »
An Adaptive Cycle Engine?  I thought that LRS-B was supposed to be subsonic?   :o :-\

Offline seruriermarshal

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #112 on: October 28, 2015, 04:06:58 am »
from NG website  ;D

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #113 on: October 28, 2015, 04:07:36 am »
Adaptive cycle can give much lower SFC (in the order of 18-35%)  especially in cruise without losing high thust option by effectively varying bypass ratio. Its not necessarily about high speed, it would be valuable for a high-subsonic bomber.

Quote
GE Aviation won up to $325 million in additional funds in January 2015 to work on an adaptive cycle engine under phase three of the Versatile affordable advanced turbine engines (VAATE) program that preceded ADVENT.

GE have run demonstrator engines in phase 1 and 2, so this isn't Powerpoint engineering. This looks rather suitable for a B-3....

http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2010SET/Thomson.pdf
« Last Edit: October 28, 2015, 04:33:40 am by PaulMM (Overscan) »
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Offline Airplane

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #114 on: October 28, 2015, 04:27:23 am »
Superbowl Ad. Looks rather like the intakes are positioned in the same place as the above designs.

The Pentagon isn't going to telegraph that far in advance it's next new bomber in a super bowl ad.  However, they did telegraph the existence of a still secret aircraft with the incident in Texas 1.5 years ago.  The shrouded plane in the super bowl isn't the new bomber.  Also, the commercial wasn't solely heavy bombers.  Most likely that aircraft (from Texas) was again being used to telegraph a message to potential adversaries.
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Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #115 on: October 28, 2015, 04:47:49 am »
Quote
Adaptive Versatile Engine Technology (ADVENT)
represents a truly game-changing concept whereby the efficiency of a high-bypass turbine is
being coupled with the ability to provide the dash capability of a fighter-class engine. This
concept was specifically identified by CSAF Moseley and Secretary Wynne as the propulsion
system of choice for the next generation long range strike capability.

http://www.wpafb.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-080429-021.pdf

Quote
GE currently has a full ADVENT engine in testing that is designed for a “bomber application,” says spokesman Matt Benvie. Northrop and a Boeing-Lockheed Martin team are expected to compete for the LRS-B contract that will be awarded in spring 2015.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/us-air-force-presses-ahead-with-next-gen-fighter-bo-403255/
« Last Edit: October 28, 2015, 04:50:20 am by PaulMM (Overscan) »
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Offline Mat Parry

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #116 on: October 28, 2015, 05:21:38 am »
is probably more geared towards loitering for long periods of time, as opposed to the bomber which will get in and get out as quickly as possible, while being subsonic.

Why not both?

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,191.msg263927.html#msg263927
"And I thought you guys would be more interested in the wing"

oh you are a tease!
(bolding is mine)
« Last Edit: October 28, 2015, 05:27:05 am by Mat Parry »

Offline sferrin

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #117 on: October 28, 2015, 05:27:23 am »
There was, of course, this Northrop 2025 passenger / cargo plane concept. This is kind of what I expect $500 million buys you, and it would certainly replace the B-52 in bomb truck role, except isn't LRS-B meant to be more stealthy than B-2?

With giant exposed engine faces like that it makes ya wonder why they'd even try to make the airframe stealthy.  Or is that simply a non-stealthy flying wing?   ???
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Offline CiTrus90

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #118 on: October 28, 2015, 05:31:28 am »
It's leading edge is more complicated than heritage cranked kite designs, having some strakes in front of intake area, but I'm not sure if the whole shape was invented by McGarryBowen based on earlier placeholder renders by NGC

I could be wrong, but i see more than a passing resemblance to that planform here:

http://www.google.co.uk/patents/USD365545

And here too:


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Offline AeroFranz

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #119 on: October 28, 2015, 06:49:08 am »
The picture shows what looks like a supersonic planform - lots of sweep. Would make for a poor loitering platform if that were indeed the shape.
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Offline Sundog

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #120 on: October 28, 2015, 07:09:13 am »
Superbowl Ad. Looks rather like the intakes are positioned in the same place as the above designs.

The Pentagon isn't going to telegraph that far in advance it's next new bomber in a super bowl ad.  However, they did telegraph the existence of a still secret aircraft with the incident in Texas 1.5 years ago.  The shrouded plane in the super bowl isn't the new bomber.  Also, the commercial wasn't solely heavy bombers.  Most likely that aircraft (from Texas) was again being used to telegraph a message to potential adversaries.

They've acknowledged that Boeing and Lockmart flew an LRSB demonstrator and I'm more inclined to think that's what we saw over Texas as it didn't have the cranked kite configuration like the vehicle in the Northrop ad.

Offline Black Dog

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #121 on: October 28, 2015, 07:13:35 am »
Superbowl Ad. Looks rather like the intakes are positioned in the same place as the above designs.

The Pentagon isn't going to telegraph that far in advance it's next new bomber in a super bowl ad.  However, they did telegraph the existence of a still secret aircraft with the incident in Texas 1.5 years ago.  The shrouded plane in the super bowl isn't the new bomber.  Also, the commercial wasn't solely heavy bombers.  Most likely that aircraft (from Texas) was again being used to telegraph a message to potential adversaries.

They've acknowledged that Boeing and Lockmart flew an LRSB demonstrator and I'm more inclined to think that's what we saw over Texas as it didn't have the cranked kite configuration like the vehicle in the Northrop ad.

The aircraft from Amarillo was very much of a cranked kite configuration.

Offline LowObservable

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #122 on: October 28, 2015, 07:44:59 am »
The design team for a supersonic bomber could include everyone in the industry with experience of designing and building a large supersonic-cruise aircraft and still fit in a phone booth.

Offline sferrin

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #123 on: October 28, 2015, 07:48:21 am »
The design team for a supersonic bomber could include everyone in the industry with experience of designing and building a large supersonic-cruise aircraft and still fit in a phone booth.

Figure even the B-1A (not necessarily designed for supersonic cruise but supersonic dash) was designed what, 40+ years ago?  It's scary how many people think you can just take a team with no experience and design something like that just because somebody else built one before.  Even less radical aircraft are having growing pains due to lack of experienced personnel.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2015, 07:50:43 am by sferrin »
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Offline Skyblazer

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #124 on: October 28, 2015, 07:50:37 am »
Figure even the B-1A (not necessarily designed for supersonic cruise but supersonic dash) was designed what, 40+ years ago?

Make it about 45. It first flew in 1976 if I'm not mistaken, so it must have been on the drawing boards since about 1970 (blessed times when it took only six years from conception to first flight!).

Offline sferrin

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #125 on: October 28, 2015, 07:52:37 am »
Figure even the B-1A (not necessarily designed for supersonic cruise but supersonic dash) was designed what, 40+ years ago?

Make it about 45. It first flew in 1976 if I'm not mistaken, so it must have been on the drawing boards since about 1970 (blessed times when it took only six years from conception to first flight!).

When one considers the B-1 came from the XB-70s ashes that tells you how long ago it was.  Thing is there were probably a LOT of people who worked the XB-70 program who took that experience to the B-1A.
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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #126 on: October 28, 2015, 08:00:13 am »
They've acknowledged that Boeing and Lockmart flew an LRSB demonstrator and I'm more inclined to think that's what we saw over Texas as it didn't have the cranked kite configuration like the vehicle in the Northrop ad.
They did? When?
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Offline DrRansom

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #127 on: October 28, 2015, 08:21:56 am »
Quellish - you said something about wings? Can you elaborate?

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #128 on: October 28, 2015, 08:55:16 am »
Superbowl Ad. Looks rather like the intakes are positioned in the same place as the above designs.

The Pentagon isn't going to telegraph that far in advance it's next new bomber in a super bowl ad.  However, they did telegraph the existence of a still secret aircraft with the incident in Texas 1.5 years ago.  The shrouded plane in the super bowl isn't the new bomber.  Also, the commercial wasn't solely heavy bombers.  Most likely that aircraft (from Texas) was again being used to telegraph a message to potential adversaries.

They've acknowledged that Boeing and Lockmart flew an LRSB demonstrator and I'm more inclined to think that's what we saw over Texas as it didn't have the cranked kite configuration like the vehicle in the Northrop ad.

Have Blue, Tacit Blue, BOP, were demonstrator aircraft.  No way in hell were demonstrators of this ultra classified program flown in daylight in that part of the continent, in those numbers.  I'd wager that what they were was under the tarp of the NG commercial.  Someone was sending a message to the rest of the world with that tacit reveal. 
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Offline sferrin

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #129 on: October 28, 2015, 09:17:27 am »
I'd wager that what they were was under the tarp of the NG commercial.   

That was CGI.  I doubt it had anything whatsoever to do with anything that's actually flown, or planned to fly.
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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #130 on: October 28, 2015, 10:13:36 am »
It reads "keep the nation safe" & "support the new bomber".... I guess they´re  organising a crowdfunding for in case the program should get curtailed again at 21 aircraft.  ::)

Hmmm, Zeppelinspende, Nationalflugspende, Spitfire Fund, Wings for Victory, Tanks for Attack, Warship Week - why not...

What is truly annoying is that the only quantitative program data provided so far are approximate fleet size and cost figures >:(.

Martin
« Last Edit: October 28, 2015, 10:44:19 am by martinbayer »
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Offline marauder2048

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #131 on: October 28, 2015, 10:34:52 am »
Adaptive cycle can give much lower SFC (in the order of 18-35%)  especially in cruise without losing high thust option by effectively varying bypass ratio. Its not necessarily about high speed, it would be valuable for a high-subsonic bomber.

Quote
GE Aviation won up to $325 million in additional funds in January 2015 to work on an adaptive cycle engine under phase three of the Versatile affordable advanced turbine engines (VAATE) program that preceded ADVENT.

GE have run demonstrator engines in phase 1 and 2, so this isn't Powerpoint engineering. This looks rather suitable for a B-3....

http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2010SET/Thomson.pdf

I think we're inferring based on P&W's public congratulations to NG on winning that NG partnered with P&W on the propulsion front.
The proposals for AETP were in before the bomber decision.

If P&W had an advantage on efficiency that might have enabled
NG to go the active flow control route for the wing (possibly of the morphing variety) to get good cruise and good loiter.


Offline Sundog

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #132 on: October 28, 2015, 10:49:35 am »
Superbowl Ad. Looks rather like the intakes are positioned in the same place as the above designs.

The Pentagon isn't going to telegraph that far in advance it's next new bomber in a super bowl ad.  However, they did telegraph the existence of a still secret aircraft with the incident in Texas 1.5 years ago.  The shrouded plane in the super bowl isn't the new bomber.  Also, the commercial wasn't solely heavy bombers.  Most likely that aircraft (from Texas) was again being used to telegraph a message to potential adversaries.

They've acknowledged that Boeing and Lockmart flew an LRSB demonstrator and I'm more inclined to think that's what we saw over Texas as it didn't have the cranked kite configuration like the vehicle in the Northrop ad.

The aircraft from Amarillo was very much of a cranked kite configuration.

The aircraft seen over Texas had a straight leading edge from nose to wingtip, therefore it was not a cranked kite configuration.

Offline Sundog

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #133 on: October 28, 2015, 10:53:09 am »
They've acknowledged that Boeing and Lockmart flew an LRSB demonstrator and I'm more inclined to think that's what we saw over Texas as it didn't have the cranked kite configuration like the vehicle in the Northrop ad.
They did? When?

Somewhere over the past five to ten years. It was in the Aviation Week article that stated the Pentagon funded Boeing and Lockmart to fly a long range strike demonstrator. I don't recall when they got the contract for it, maybe 2009? So I would expect such a demonstrator to fly somewhere between 2011 and 2012.

If it was 2011, then it probably would have flown in 2013. Maybe it was one of the proof of concept vehicles for Boeings Black Diamond program?
« Last Edit: October 28, 2015, 10:55:10 am by Sundog »

Offline flateric

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #134 on: October 28, 2015, 10:57:28 am »
I think we're inferring based on P&W's public congratulations to NG on winning that NG partnered with P&W on the propulsion front.
P&W has sent public congrats to NG?
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Offline bring_it_on

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #135 on: October 28, 2015, 10:58:39 am »
I am sure they have done so privately, but a reporter for Defensenews was able to get a quote from P&W congratulating NOC but nothing else.
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Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #136 on: October 28, 2015, 11:38:03 am »
If anything that makes me more certain its GE who haven't commented at all so far. GE are further along with next gen as they don't have a huge contract for F-35 engines to worry about. Also giving the LRS engine job to GE allows GE to derive an F-35 engine from it relatively easily which allows the AF to pressure Pratt on the F-135 without the expense of developing an alternative from scratch.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2015, 12:02:10 pm by PaulMM (Overscan) »
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Offline Steve Pace

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #137 on: October 28, 2015, 11:40:15 am »
With "billions and billions" of bucks up for grabs on the LRSB program I'm curious to know just how soon Boeing or Lockheed Martin tries to buy Northrop Grumman. "There's always a bigger fish." -SP
When you know you're right, go ahead.


Offline sferrin

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #139 on: October 28, 2015, 12:03:05 pm »
With "billions and billions" of bucks up for grabs on the LRSB program I'm curious to know just how soon Boeing or Lockheed Martin tries to buy Northrop Grumman. "There's always a bigger fish." -SP

LM already tried once and got told no.  :-)  Can't imagine they'd tell Boeing any different.
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Offline DrRansom

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #140 on: October 28, 2015, 12:07:12 pm »
Lockheed is the largest defense contractor, so them getting Northrop is unlikely. It is marginally more likely for Boeing, because that would leave two major aerospace defense contractors.

This contract does preserver the three aircraft prime for the next two decades.

I wonder if LO had two articles ready to go at 5pm for the deal.
This is why Northrop Grumman won the LRS-B contract
This is why Lockheed / Boeing won the LRS-B contract

Or, did he quickly type out the article? On first reading, that was pretty rough. Maybe type now and edit for clarity later?

Offline TAGBOARD

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #141 on: October 28, 2015, 02:25:47 pm »
.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2015, 06:08:17 pm by TAGBOARD »
111231C

Offline marauder2048

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #142 on: October 28, 2015, 02:56:19 pm »
If anything that makes me more certain its GE who haven't commented at all so far. GE are further along with next gen as they don't have a huge contract for F-35 engines to worry about. Also giving the LRS engine job to GE allows GE to derive an F-35 engine from it relatively easily which allows the AF to pressure Pratt on the F-135 without the expense of developing an alternative from scratch.

P&W was left off the early ADVENT wins and spent a good chunk of IRAD to catch up as they clearly have on AETD.

Assuming the powerplant pairings were exclusive, Boeing would almost certainly have gone with GE. The KC-46a notwithstanding, GE  has been the preferred or exclusive powerplant on pretty much Boeing's entire
military and commercial range. 

Offline Flyaway

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #143 on: October 28, 2015, 03:15:41 pm »
With "billions and billions" of bucks up for grabs on the LRSB program I'm curious to know just how soon Boeing or Lockheed Martin tries to buy Northrop Grumman. "There's always a bigger fish." -SP

LM already tried once and got told no.  :-)  Can't imagine they'd tell Boeing any different.

If anyone is going to lose their military aviation section now it will be Boeing. Once the F/A-18 manufacturing comes to an end what else do they have on-hand, not a lot is the answer.

Analysts Cheer Northrop Grumman Defense Department Contract Win

http://blogs.barrons.com/stockstowatchtoday/2015/10/28/analysts-cheer-northrop-grumman-defense-department-contract-win/
« Last Edit: October 28, 2015, 03:18:12 pm by Flyaway »

Offline LowObservable

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #144 on: October 28, 2015, 03:24:54 pm »
Dr R - Sources and methods, dude. I could tell you, but then I'd have to maroon you on a volcanic atoll with Spudman and Sferrin.

Offline marauder2048

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #145 on: October 28, 2015, 03:36:48 pm »
Dr R - Sources and methods, dude. I could tell you, but then I'd have to maroon you on a volcanic atoll with Spudman and Sferrin.

There you go again...I thought we had tabled the IR missile debate in another thread?

Offline Flyaway

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #146 on: October 28, 2015, 03:38:59 pm »
Oh well with that out the way we can start speculating what the rest of the family of systems are, RQ-180 seems a safe bet but what else is included & does the B-2 count as part of it?

Offline Mr London 24/7

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #147 on: October 28, 2015, 03:45:29 pm »
If anyone is going to lose their military aviation section now it will be Boeing. Once the F/A-18 manufacturing comes to an end what else do they have on-hand, not a lot is the answer

Maybe, maybe not: http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,10481.msg98770.html#msg98770
« Last Edit: October 28, 2015, 03:47:27 pm by Mr London 24/7 »

Offline marauder2048

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #148 on: October 28, 2015, 03:48:39 pm »

Quote
If anyone is going to lose their military aviation section now it will be Boeing. Once the F/A-18 manufacturing comes to an end what else do they have on-hand, not a lot is the answer


If anyone knows how to operate aircraft production lines at very low but still economically viable "keep alive" rates its Boeing.

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #149 on: October 28, 2015, 04:50:20 pm »
Oh well with that out the way we can start speculating what the rest of the family of systems are, RQ-180 seems a safe bet but what else is included & does the B-2 count as part of it?

B2 is stand alone. A beneficiary of the family, not a blood relative.

Manned LRS-B
Unmanned LRS-A for the fast and high portion. Mach 6 with four 2000lb JDAM.
RQ-180 for the absolute pinnacle of defended airspace penetration.
Manned Penetrating Airborne Electronic Attack for the door kicking.

That's my LRS family tree.

Offline Triton

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #150 on: October 28, 2015, 04:58:59 pm »
I don't understand why Boeing is going to necessarily exit the military aviation business with the loss of the LRS-B contract. The company has responded to RFIs and RFPs for manned fighter programs before it acquired McDonnell Douglas. Boeing Phantom Works has been working on UCLASS and the T-X trainer and completed work on the Triple Target Terminator (T3) missile.

Assembly of the LRS-B is expected to be performed at the United States Air Force Plant 42 located in Palmdale, CA. People seem to presume that parts manufacturing of LRS-B would be performed at the Boeing manufacturing plant, formerly belonging to McDonnell Aircraft Corporation, located in Berkeley, MO near St. Louis. If manned fighter assembly ended in Berkeley, I am not sure if the facility would be used to manufacture LRS-B parts. Boeing has manufacturing facilities and engineering centers located across the country,


Offline Triton

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #151 on: October 28, 2015, 05:04:56 pm »
With "billions and billions" of bucks up for grabs on the LRSB program I'm curious to know just how soon Boeing or Lockheed Martin tries to buy Northrop Grumman. "There's always a bigger fish." -SP

Northrop Grumman is expected to hire thousands in Palmdale, CA for LRS-B. If Boeing were to purchase Northrop Grumman, would there still be manufacturing jobs in Berkeley, MO at the old McDonnell Aircraft Corporation plant?


Offline Sundog

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #152 on: October 28, 2015, 05:10:59 pm »
My guess is Boeing would want to build TX and possibly a UCAV in MO, if they can ever get the DOD to figure out it's UCAV needs.

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #153 on: October 28, 2015, 06:10:15 pm »
Militarily speaking Boeing has B-52H and B-1B updates, Super Hornet, Growler, P-8, and the KC-46 manufacturing programs. Lockheed Martin has F-22 updates, F-35 production, C-130J, and the C-5M. Northrop Grumman has the RQ-4 (and X-47B) and radar systems.

??????   
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Offline Black Dog

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #154 on: October 28, 2015, 06:18:18 pm »
Superbowl Ad. Looks rather like the intakes are positioned in the same place as the above designs.

The Pentagon isn't going to telegraph that far in advance it's next new bomber in a super bowl ad.  However, they did telegraph the existence of a still secret aircraft with the incident in Texas 1.5 years ago.  The shrouded plane in the super bowl isn't the new bomber.  Also, the commercial wasn't solely heavy bombers.  Most likely that aircraft (from Texas) was again being used to telegraph a message to potential adversaries.

They've acknowledged that Boeing and Lockmart flew an LRSB demonstrator and I'm more inclined to think that's what we saw over Texas as it didn't have the cranked kite configuration like the vehicle in the Northrop ad.

The aircraft from Amarillo was very much of a cranked kite configuration.

The aircraft seen over Texas had a straight leading edge from nose to wingtip, therefore it was not a cranked kite configuration.

Doesn't look like it to me


Offline Sundog

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #155 on: October 28, 2015, 06:21:17 pm »
Considering the nose is at the top of the image it sure looks like a straight leading edge to me and nothing like a cranked kite configuration. I think you're confusing the changing chord thickness and the difference in leading edge radius and how it is affected by the lighting for a small kink in the leading edge.

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #156 on: October 28, 2015, 07:22:28 pm »
straight leading edge is undulating - curved in - curved out
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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #157 on: October 28, 2015, 09:11:21 pm »

Northrop Grumman is expected to hire thousands in Palmdale, CA for LRS-B.

That's what the local press is reporting, however the reality is a bit different. The 1500-2500 new hires at Palmdale number is several years out of date and was highly speculative even then.

The state of CA has actually gone out of its way in the last 5 years to harm NG's bomber efforts. The AV is going to suffer as much of the LRS work will be done elsewhere.

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #158 on: October 28, 2015, 09:49:10 pm »
Boeing decided to close the Douglas Aircraft Company factory in Long Beach, CA after the end of C-17 Globemaster III production. The facility competed against other Boeing-owned factories for 777X work and lost.

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #159 on: October 28, 2015, 10:38:48 pm »
I wonder if the Department of Justice, supported by the Department of Defense, would sue to block the acquisition of Northrop Grumman by Boeing or Lockheed Martin on antitrust grounds. Remember that Lockheed Martin abandoned its $8.3 billion acquisition of Northrop Grumman in 1998 to avoid an antitrust lawsuit court fight.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2015, 10:42:47 pm by Triton »

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #160 on: October 29, 2015, 02:15:12 am »
I notice NG keeps moving staff around from Scaled Composites, are they moving all the best of them from SC to the LRS-B program?

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #161 on: October 29, 2015, 05:05:58 am »

Northrop Grumman is expected to hire thousands in Palmdale, CA for LRS-B.

That's what the local press is reporting, however the reality is a bit different. The 1500-2500 new hires at Palmdale number is several years out of date and was highly speculative even then.

The state of CA has actually gone out of its way in the last 5 years to harm NG's bomber efforts. The AV is going to suffer as much of the LRS work will be done elsewhere.

They should have made it prop powered and told the CA pols those were wind turbines.  They'd have been on that like stink on ----. 
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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #162 on: October 29, 2015, 05:08:15 am »
I notice NG keeps moving staff around from Scaled Composites, are they moving all the best of them from SC to the LRS-B program?

Not necessarily just LRS-B.  NG is using Scaled to build its candidate for T-X, so some of the personnel movement might be linked to that as well.

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #163 on: October 29, 2015, 06:01:26 am »
Well, they are moving scaled people away from scaled. Which is clearly prioritizing LRS-B over T-X, in short term anyway.
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Offline TomS

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #164 on: October 29, 2015, 06:18:32 am »
Well, they are moving scaled people away from scaled. Which is clearly prioritizing LRS-B over T-X, in short term anyway.

Not necessarily.  It might be a sign that the T-X design work at Scaled is done and they need to move those people over to NG proper to look at productionizing it.  I don't know, but I think it's very hard to make any accurate assessment looking at personnel moves alone without knowing how the actual programs are being managed internal to NG.


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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #165 on: October 29, 2015, 07:29:59 am »
Considering the nose is at the top of the image it sure looks like a straight leading edge to me and nothing like a cranked kite configuration. I think you're confusing the changing chord thickness and the difference in leading edge radius and how it is affected by the lighting for a small kink in the leading edge.

I still think those are two different aircraft altogether.

Offline Grey Havoc

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #166 on: October 29, 2015, 09:11:52 am »

Northrop Grumman is expected to hire thousands in Palmdale, CA for LRS-B.

That's what the local press is reporting, however the reality is a bit different. The 1500-2500 new hires at Palmdale number is several years out of date and was highly speculative even then.

The state of CA has actually gone out of its way in the last 5 years to harm NG's bomber efforts. The AV is going to suffer as much of the LRS work will be done elsewhere.

They should have made it prop powered and told the CA pols those were wind turbines.  They'd have been on that like stink on ----.

Like the old ABC bomber? (Image attached below was originally in the Boeing Advanced Bomber Studies thread, courtesy of Skybolt.)
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Offline LowObservable

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #167 on: October 29, 2015, 09:42:27 am »
It's the XB-42Neo!

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #168 on: October 29, 2015, 10:37:51 am »
With "billions and billions" of bucks up for grabs on the LRSB program I'm curious to know just how soon Boeing or Lockheed Martin tries to buy Northrop Grumman. "There's always a bigger fish." -SP

If Boeing were to purchase Northrop Grumman

Neither LM nor Boeing has the $40+ billion on hand to buy NG.


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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #169 on: October 29, 2015, 10:46:07 am »
Aviation Week & Space Technology Podcast: Northrop’s Bomber Win
Quote
With Jen DiMascio, Bill Sweetman and Michael Bruno
With all the secrecy surrounding the Pentagon’s Long-Range Strike Bomber competition, the winner was hard to predict. But AvWeek’s editors discuss some of Northrop’s strengths that are not readily apparent. That includes experience with the particular kind of stealth technology needed for a long-range bomber as well as some of the company’s business side decisions that may have made it attractive in this $21.4 billion contest.
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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #170 on: October 29, 2015, 10:51:30 am »
Aviation Week & Space Technology Podcast: Northrop’s Bomber Win
Quote
With Jen DiMascio, Bill Sweetman and Michael Bruno
With all the secrecy surrounding the Pentagon’s Long-Range Strike Bomber competition, the winner was hard to predict. But AvWeek’s editors discuss some of Northrop’s strengths that are not readily apparent. That includes experience with the particular kind of stealth technology needed for a long-range bomber as well as some of the company’s business side decisions that may have made it attractive in this $21.4 billion contest.

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #171 on: October 29, 2015, 11:49:41 am »
I checked the DOD contract award website where contract awards are published. But in the case of the LRSB contract award it only states: "Northrop Grumman, Falls Church, Virginia, has been awarded a contract for the Long Range Strike Bomber."

Too damn much secrecy to suit me. -SP
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Offline sublight is back

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #172 on: October 29, 2015, 12:10:10 pm »
Aviation Week & Space Technology Podcast: Northrop’s Bomber Win
Quote
With Jen DiMascio, Bill Sweetman and Michael Bruno
With all the secrecy surrounding the Pentagon’s Long-Range Strike Bomber competition, the winner was hard to predict. But AvWeek’s editors discuss some of Northrop’s strengths that are not readily apparent. That includes experience with the particular kind of stealth technology needed for a long-range bomber as well as some of the company’s business side decisions that may have made it attractive in this $21.4 billion contest.

Direct link to the audio if you want to save it for later...

http://traffic.libsyn.com/aviationweek/Northrops_Bomber_Win.mp3

Offline Triton

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #173 on: October 29, 2015, 12:56:37 pm »
Maybe we won't see a protest from the Boeing-Lockheed Martin team...

"Boeing faces high hurdle if it protests loss of bomber contract"
Originally published October 28, 2015 at 4:17 pm Updated October 29, 2015 at 9:18 am
by Dominic Gates
Seattle Times aerospace reporter

Source:
http://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-aerospace/boeing-faces-high-hurdle-if-it-protests-loss-of-bomber-contract/

Quote
Boeing faces long odds if it decides to protest the Pentagon’s award of the Long Range Strike Bomber contract to Northrop Grumman.

Clearly eager to avoid repeating the debacle of the decadelong Air Force tanker-procurement process — when a Boeing protest eventually reversed the original award to Airbus — the Pentagon insists it built independent oversight into the bomber- selection task.

Boeing said Tuesday it wants to learn from a Pentagon debriefing Friday “how the competition was scored in terms of price and risk,” which could lay the groundwork for a protest.

For its part, Northrop Grumman unveiled a website inviting people to send a pre-written form letter to specific members of Congress, urging them to make sure the $80 billion project now “moves forward without delay.”

    Unlike the tanker, when the criteria used to select the winner were known to and endlessly debated by members of Congress alleging elements of bias, all details of the bomber program — including the selection criteria — are classified.

Loren Thompson, a defense analyst with the Lexington Institute who has consulted both for Boeing and its partner in the bomber competition, Lockheed Martin, believes that creates a high hurdle.

“You launch a protest when you think you have a reasonable chance of success,” said Thompson. “It’s very hard to do that when a program is secret.”
Independent judgment

The Pentagon’s advance efforts to try to ensure a bulletproof outcome and shut out any possible protest by the loser focused on lining up independent approval of its selection process.

In September, the Inspector General’s office of the Department of Defense (DOD) — whose investigators and auditors provide oversight of the department — performed an audit specifically on the acquisition process for the bomber.

The audit report, completed seven weeks before the award was announced, is classified, according to a notice on the DOD website.

The Pentagon went ahead with its announcement Tuesday, so presumably the audit found the process clean.

Briefing reporters last week ahead of the announcement, William LaPlante, assistant Air Force secretary for acquisition, said he personally appointed an independent person, referred to as the Source Selection Authority, to run the acquisition process.

He said that person’s identity is known only to those involved in the process and is kept secret to preserve independence.

Air Force spokesman Maj. Robert Leese subsequently said this is someone from “outside the bomber program,” though he declined to elaborate.

LaPlante said this person’s role was to ensure the ultimate decision rested exclusively upon the criteria finalized for the two contending teams last July.

He added that federal acquisition regulations require that though this person may use analyses and reports prepared by others, the final decision “shall represent the Source Selection Authority’s best independent judgment.”

LaPlante spent a good portion of the advance briefing outlining this position and insisting upon the integrity of the process.
Politics this time

Northrop’s website to “support America’s new bomber”includes basic information about why the U.S. needs a new bomber and outlines Northrop’s credentials as the “world leader in stealth technology” and “the only company to ever develop, build, sustain and modernize a stealthy, long-range strike aircraft: the B-2.”

A large red button takes visitors to a form-letter page that can be filled in and sent online. Using the ZIP code provided by the user, the software will send the letter automatically to the appropriate members of Congress and to the leaders of the Pentagon.

“I commend the Air Force for choosing the Northrop Grumman industry team to build the nation’s new bomber,” the letter reads. “I encourage you to ensure LRS-B moves forward without delay.”

Clearly, Northrop is keenly aware of the role politics could play in a successful protest, for it was an intense political process that undid Airbus and won Boeing the $50 billion Air Force tanker contract.

When Boeing protested the initial 2008 tanker contract that went to Airbus in partnership with Northrop, it had the unwavering support of U.S. Norm Dicks, D — Bremerton, then the senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee and often referred to as “Mr. Boeing.”

Congressional pressure led by Dicks forced the Air Force to change a key criterion in the contract bidding, giving less weight to additional performance capabilities beyond the minimum requirements.

With that crucial change, Northrop chose to pull out and in 2011 Boeing won the rebid competition against Airbus alone.

This time around, Boeing’s political hand is not as strong.

Airbus is a European company, so it was easier to raise political opposition than it would be when challenging a U.S. rival.

With Dicks now retired, Boeing has less clout in the House, which appropriates the budget.

And those secret selection criteria are not likely to be changeable.

Two people with indirect knowledge of the bomber competition offered widely differing reasons Wednesday for why Northrop won.

One had heard that Boeing was simply underbid.

The other, citing a well-placed source close to Boeing, said Northrop offered a key technology advantage that Boeing and its partner Lockheed Martin couldn’t match.

Either way, with the selection criteria fixed in advance and unlikely to be changed, and with the decision made by a supposedly independent official, it’s hard to see Boeing’s path to a successful protest.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2015, 01:13:12 pm by Triton »

Offline sublight is back

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #174 on: October 29, 2015, 01:36:49 pm »
Maybe we won't see a protest from the Boeing-Lockheed Martin team...

"Boeing faces high hurdle if it protests loss of bomber contract"
Originally published October 28, 2015 at 4:17 pm Updated October 29, 2015 at 9:18 am
by Dominic Gates
Seattle Times aerospace reporter

Source:
http://www.seattletimes.com/business/boeing-aerospace/boeing-faces-high-hurdle-if-it-protests-loss-of-bomber-contract/




Quote
The other, citing a well-placed source close to Boeing, said Northrop offered a key technology advantage that Boeing and its partner Lockheed Martin couldn’t match.

Now that is interesting...

Offline Triton

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #175 on: October 29, 2015, 02:25:30 pm »
"How The Long-Range Strike Bomber Requirement Evolved"
Oct 29, 2015 Bill Sweetman | Aviation Week & Space Technology

Source:
http://aviationweek.com/defense/how-long-range-strike-bomber-requirement-evolved

Quote
The Long-Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B) program and the Oct. 27 source selection cannot be understood without looking at LRS-B’s roots.

The program started after then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates canceled a much more ambitious bomber project, the Next-Generation Bomber (NGB), in April 2009. The major differences between the two concern cost and risk, driven by the Pentagon’s desire to break the pattern of massive overruns and delays in major acquisition programs.

The NGB started after the 2005 Quadrennial Defense Review (released in early 2006) canceled the Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems (J-UCAS) program. J-UCAS had been designated as the next U.S. Air Force strike program, and there was no money for both J-UCAS and a bomber. But as J-UCAS had progressed, there had been tension between the Navy version, which had to fit on an aircraft carrier, and the Air Force’s desire for a “global strike enabler” with greater range and payload. By late 2005, Northrop Grumman was briefing a so-called X-47C for the Air Force that would have had a 172-ft. wingspan and a 10,000-lb. bomb load.

The demise of J-UCAS was the start of three programs: the Navy’s X-47B UCAS-D, intended to prove carrier compatibility; an unmanned intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft, largely sponsored by the CIA (the competition was won by the Northrop Grumman RQ-180); and the Next-Generation Long-Range Strike (NGLRS) analysis of alternatives, which in the course of 2006 generated the NGB requirement.


By 2008, industry executives were expecting an NGB request for proposals (RFP) in late 2009 and a program start in fiscal 2010, with initial operational capability (IOC) in 2018. That did not happen.

There were several reasons for Robert Gates’s decision to cancel the NGB, including the 2008 economic crisis, but the most important was concern over the NGB’s cost and risk. The NGB was a very ambitious concept, as Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne had indicated in an October 2006 speech: “To reduce support packages, it will contain robust electronic attack and suppression of enemy air-defense systems. With fused sensor suites . . . the Next-Generation Bomber will provide global situational awareness on targets, threats and blue forces for positive identification and non-traditional intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability.”

In short, the NGB would be a fully autonomous system capable of detecting, locating and striking moving targets with no outside support, while carrying both offensive and defensive weapons. It was expected to have the stealth and aerodynamic performance needed for long loiter times over hostile territory.

Gates’s decision was not the end of the road; the Air Force was left free to make a case for a less risky alternative while considering other approaches to long-range strike. Writing this year in Aviation Week & Space Technology, Wynne’s successor, Michael Donley, underscored the changes in thinking: “In 2010, the Air Force and DoD reviewed over 28 studies conducted since 1995,” Donley wrote. “We focused on setting affordable, realistic and achievable requirements up front.” 

Most importantly, “we took a ‘family of systems’ approach, recognizing that the bomber did not have to do everything itself and would be part of a larger joint portfolio of ISR, communications, electronic warfare and weapon programs and capabilities essential to long-range strike,” he wrote. The LRS-B would be a penetrating, not highly persistent bomber, used in conjunction with the Long-Range Stand-Off (LRSO) nuclear and conventional strategic cruise missile, an RQ-180-type ISR asset and new electronic attack means.

The use of new technology was rigorously restricted in the LRS-B. “We looked at mature technologies from a variety of current programs and made informed trade-offs up front to control costs and technical risk,” Donley said. As Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, Jr., military deputy for Air Force acquisition, said last week: “If you’re simultaneously designing a new sensor or a new weapon, it’s complicated. You end up with nested ACAT 1 [Acquisition Category 1] programs or one Acquisition Category 1 program [the largest in the Pentagon] within another.” One lesson in this respect has been the Joint Strike Fighter’s much-delayed Autonomous Logistics Information System, which program director Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan has compared to an ACAT 1 program.

Offline marauder2048

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #176 on: October 29, 2015, 02:34:06 pm »

Quote
The other, citing a well-placed source close to Boeing, said Northrop offered a key technology advantage that Boeing and its partner Lockheed Martin couldn’t match.

Now that is interesting...

The other quote in the article suggests that NG won on price. So is that all possible bases covered?

Offline LowObservable

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #177 on: October 29, 2015, 03:26:05 pm »
You can also win (and lose) on both.  If you're on the wrong side, the consequence can be what the RAF calls "a stand-up, no-tea-and-biscuits Axminster shuffle" meeting with the boss.

Offline seruriermarshal

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #178 on: October 29, 2015, 04:40:23 pm »
I think NG have secret stealth technology advantage to Boeing and LM . Many years NG haven't a big program in white world. they just take RQ-4, X-47B, MQ-8, ect, we know these aren't big programs , so I belive they must have some big programs in black world .

Offline Sundog

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #179 on: October 29, 2015, 05:41:30 pm »
NG has tech Boeing and LM couldn't match? OK, Quellish, lets talk about that wing. ;)


Offline sferrin

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #181 on: October 29, 2015, 06:57:33 pm »
That sounds a bit like what LM is hoping the X-56 will do for them.
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Offline marauder2048

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #182 on: October 29, 2015, 07:25:34 pm »
That sounds a bit like what LM is hoping the X-56 will do for them.

Wonder if that lets you get away with less control surface deflection which would in turn improve signature..

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Offline sferrin

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #184 on: October 30, 2015, 06:28:43 am »
That sounds a bit like what LM is hoping the X-56 will do for them.

Wonder if that lets you get away with less control surface deflection which would in turn improve signature..

I'd think a flexible wing would be worse from a signature standpoint.  Every time it flexed the return would scintillate I'd think.  I'd think that would make the real time detectability assessments more difficult.  (A big part of stealth is knowing when the other guy can see you, and that requires knowing how your signature fluctuates and feeding that back into the system.) 
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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #185 on: October 30, 2015, 08:50:39 am »


I'd think a flexible wing would be worse from a signature standpoint.  Every time it flexed the return would scintillate I'd think.  I'd think that would make the real time detectability assessments more difficult.  (A big part of stealth is knowing when the other guy can see you, and that requires knowing how your signature fluctuates and feeding that back into the system.)

Reading it again, I still see a massive advantage to knowing that they can use way less of the wing for control surfaces and yet still  keep a pretty tight ship under full control, seeing as the entire inner wing would be left for sensors, only the outer having to do any work.

I kind of read it with a devils advocate head on - if they can control it that well, they can control it regarding signature reduction at the super high altitudes they whirl over head at. That for me was the kicker - At altitude, they got it all under control on a super massive long swept wing.

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #186 on: October 30, 2015, 09:15:18 am »
Quote
Briefing reporters last week ahead of the announcement, William LaPlante, assistant Air Force secretary for acquisition, said he personally appointed an independent person, referred to as the Source Selection Authority, to run the acquisition process.

He said that person’s identity is known only to those involved in the process and is kept secret to preserve independence.

Let's pretend we don't know that this is Kendall.
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stealth, more than a few of them truly technically ignorant and proud of it." Sherm Mullin, Skunk Works

Offline flateric

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #187 on: October 30, 2015, 09:20:48 am »
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/northrop-proves-light-flexible-wing-202338
These studies like LMSW BFF/MUTT are mostly for SensorCraft applications.
AFRL/NASA ACTE is much more closer in TRL/MRL for application on LO aircraft.
"There are many disbelievers in
stealth, more than a few of them truly technically ignorant and proud of it." Sherm Mullin, Skunk Works

Offline marauder2048

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #188 on: October 30, 2015, 11:14:37 am »
https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/northrop-proves-light-flexible-wing-202338
These studies like LMSW BFF/MUTT are mostly for SensorCraft applications.
AFRL/NASA ACTE is much more closer in TRL/MRL for application on LO aircraft.

LO was a crucial aspect of virtually all of the Sensorcraft studies.

Quote
Briefing reporters last week ahead of the announcement, William LaPlante, assistant Air Force secretary for acquisition, said he personally appointed an independent person, referred to as the Source Selection Authority, to run the acquisition process.

He said that person’s identity is known only to those involved in the process and is kept secret to preserve independence.

Let's pretend we don't know that this is Kendall.

Can an assistant secretary for one of the service branches appoint an under secretary from OSD who supercedes the service branch secretaries for all matters on acquistion?

« Last Edit: October 30, 2015, 11:31:36 am by marauder2048 »

Offline elmayerle

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #189 on: October 30, 2015, 11:17:12 am »
Militarily speaking Boeing has B-52H and B-1B updates, Super Hornet, Growler, P-8, and the KC-46 manufacturing programs. Lockheed Martin has F-22 updates, F-35 production, C-130J, and the C-5M. Northrop Grumman has the RQ-4 (and X-47B) and radar systems.
They are a major subcontractor on the F-35, too, making roughly a third of the fuselage of every one, including the intakes.  They haven't been resting on their laurels and I know some of the middle-level managers on their F-35 effort were working-level "gurnt engineers" with me on the B-2.

Offline quellish

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #190 on: October 30, 2015, 11:35:36 am »

I'd think a flexible wing would be worse from a signature standpoint.  Every time it flexed the return would scintillate I'd think.  I'd think that would make the real time detectability assessments more difficult.  (A big part of stealth is knowing when the other guy can see you, and that requires knowing how your signature fluctuates and feeding that back into the system.)

It definitely is. Even a little bit of flex can have a dramatic effect on the RF signature. This is one of the many reasons that dynamic RCS ranges are extremely important for testing and development of VLO aircraft. Some recent aircraft have proven to be flexy enough to matter.

Offline marauder2048

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #191 on: October 30, 2015, 12:01:32 pm »

I'd think a flexible wing would be worse from a signature standpoint.  Every time it flexed the return would scintillate I'd think.  I'd think that would make the real time detectability assessments more difficult.  (A big part of stealth is knowing when the other guy can see you, and that requires knowing how your signature fluctuates and feeding that back into the system.)

It definitely is. Even a little bit of flex can have a dramatic effect on the RF signature. This is one of the many reasons that dynamic RCS ranges are extremely important for testing and development of VLO aircraft. Some recent aircraft have proven to be flexy enough to matter.

Wouldn't that only really matter at the mid-to-end of the mission when you're depleting he wing tanks?
« Last Edit: October 30, 2015, 12:07:01 pm by marauder2048 »

Offline Airplane

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #192 on: October 30, 2015, 12:15:09 pm »
What makes everyone so certain that it won't be an F/B-XX designation.  Remember the model that was on EBAY for a couple of hours and then got yanked?  Around the same time they (NG) restored for display one of the 2 prototypes, but I remember they did some kind of improvements (mockups) to the cockpit.  This was circa 06 I think. 
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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #193 on: October 30, 2015, 12:49:55 pm »
What makes everyone so certain that it won't be an F/B-XX designation.  Remember the model that was on EBAY for a couple of hours and then got yanked?  Around the same time they (NG) restored for display one of the 2 prototypes, but I remember they did some kind of improvements (mockups) to the cockpit.  This was circa 06 I think.

No way on earth would that have the ability to launch from CONUS and complete mission across any point on the globe.

Offline Airplane

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #194 on: October 30, 2015, 12:56:38 pm »
What makes everyone so certain that it won't be an F/B-XX designation.  Remember the model that was on EBAY for a couple of hours and then got yanked?  Around the same time they (NG) restored for display one of the 2 prototypes, but I remember they did some kind of improvements (mockups) to the cockpit.  This was circa 06 I think.

No way on earth would that have the ability to launch from CONUS and complete mission across any point on the globe.

I'm playing devils advocate here.  But remember when they said it will be smaller than a B-2?
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Offline kagemusha

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #195 on: October 30, 2015, 01:14:00 pm »

Wonder if that lets you get away with less control surface deflection which would in turn improve signature..

Hingeless control surfaces with plasma actuators should reduce the radar return of the wing.

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #196 on: October 30, 2015, 05:10:32 pm »
Is anyone else here praying to the flying spaghetti monster in the sky that a long 2 part special was filmed by PBS during the development and evaluation just like the JSF "battle of the X planes" Nova documentaries? Might not get tu to see it for a few months (or years) but that would be a great coup for us.

Given the greater strategic importance and general secrecy (along with the fact that details of LRS-B weren't being shared with potentiality leaky international partners anyway like JSF) I suppose it's possible that the idea would have been completely off the table. A man can dream though.
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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #197 on: October 30, 2015, 06:25:25 pm »
Is anyone else here praying to the flying spaghetti monster in the sky that a long 2 part special was filmed by PBS during the development and evaluation just like the JSF "battle of the X planes" Nova documentaries? Might not get tu to see it for a few months (or years) but that would be a great coup for us.

Given the greater strategic importance and general secrecy (along with the fact that details of LRS-B weren't being shared with potentiality leaky international partners anyway like JSF) I suppose it's possible that the idea would have been completely off the table. A man can dream though.

I'd break down and cry. They would melt the internet releasing that.

Offline Steve Pace

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #198 on: October 30, 2015, 09:17:39 pm »
Designation, propulsive system, roll-out, first flight, manned (unmanned) - is it flying already? -SP
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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #199 on: October 30, 2015, 11:39:08 pm »
Is anyone else here praying to the flying spaghetti monster in the sky that a long 2 part special was filmed by PBS during the development and evaluation just like the JSF "battle of the X planes" Nova documentaries? Might not get tu to see it for a few months (or years) but that would be a great coup for us.

Given the greater strategic importance and general secrecy (along with the fact that details of LRS-B weren't being shared with potentiality leaky international partners anyway like JSF) I suppose it's possible that the idea would have been completely off the table. A man can dream though.

I'd break down and cry. They would melt the internet releasing that.

Have we even seen imagery of NG employees celebrating the win? 

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #200 on: October 31, 2015, 03:02:46 am »
Have we even seen imagery of NG employees celebrating the win?

Not a single thing. Nothing. It's like they shut this entire project off from any PR type moments. 'Northrop Grumman won, the end.'

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #201 on: October 31, 2015, 03:27:56 am »
If the big new hanger at Area 51 is for this aircraft we can forget seeing it for many years.

Offline LowObservable

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #202 on: October 31, 2015, 03:57:20 am »
Exclusive video of Northrop Grumman employees reacting to award:


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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #203 on: October 31, 2015, 05:50:56 am »
If the big new hanger at Area 51 is for this aircraft we can forget seeing it for many years.

Why would it be built at Groom? Surely if it's As advanced as they say it was 'Down to every access panel and bolt' then surely it's not needing that level of development secrecy? Surely Edwards AFB is enough?

Offline Airplane

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #204 on: October 31, 2015, 06:26:25 am »
If the big new hanger at Area 51 is for this aircraft we can forget seeing it for many years.

What makes anyone think that the new bomber is a big airplane?  Hm?  The USAF has publicly stated at one time they would prefer to net even call it a new bomber.  Likewise the USAF has said it will not be a large aircraft; it will not be a heavy bomber like the B2, and will have an entirely different mission(s) (it will be multi-role); it will not have the same payload. And I am not referring to comments made this year; I am referring to interviews circa 2010. 

I retract my earlier statement about believing it will be super stealth with Mach 1.2-.3 dash.  I think it will be more like a scaled up FB-23 v2.0 than anything else. Lengthwise longer than a B-2, but volumetrically smaller.

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #205 on: October 31, 2015, 07:09:46 am »
Have we even seen imagery of NG employees celebrating the win?

Push the envelope,watch it bend.

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #206 on: October 31, 2015, 07:12:33 am »
If the big new hanger at Area 51 is for this aircraft we can forget seeing it for many years.

What makes anyone think that the new bomber is a big airplane?  Hm?  The USAF has publicly stated at one time they would prefer to net even call it a new bomber.  Likewise the USAF has said it will not be a large aircraft; it will not be a heavy bomber like the B2, and will have an entirely different mission(s) (it will be multi-role); it will not have the same payload. And I am not referring to comments made this year; I am referring to interviews circa 2010. 

I retract my earlier statement about believing it will be super stealth with Mach 1.2-.3 dash.  I think it will be more like a scaled up FB-23 v2.0 than anything else. Lengthwise longer than a B-2, but volumetrically smaller.

So would be kind of a F-111 class striker airplane ? but subsonic ?

Offline Mat Parry

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #207 on: October 31, 2015, 07:17:55 am »
If the big new hanger at Area 51 is for this aircraft we can forget seeing it for many years.

Do you mean the "new" hanger (the one that appeared in 2007, with the earth berm) or the "new new" hanger (from 2013, the one at the end of the runway)?
http://www.lazygranch.com/a51pan.htm#New_Construction_2015

Is the working hypothesis still that the 2007 hanger was built for RQ-180 related work?
« Last Edit: October 31, 2015, 07:35:04 am by Mat Parry »

Offline sferrin

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #208 on: October 31, 2015, 08:17:12 am »
If the big new hanger at Area 51 is for this aircraft we can forget seeing it for many years.

What makes anyone think that the new bomber is a big airplane?  Hm?  The USAF has publicly stated at one time they would prefer to net even call it a new bomber.  Likewise the USAF has said it will not be a large aircraft; it will not be a heavy bomber like the B2, and will have an entirely different mission(s) (it will be multi-role); it will not have the same payload. And I am not referring to comments made this year; I am referring to interviews circa 2010. 

I retract my earlier statement about believing it will be super stealth with Mach 1.2-.3 dash.  I think it will be more like a scaled up FB-23 v2.0 than anything else. Lengthwise longer than a B-2, but volumetrically smaller.

So would be kind of a F-111 class striker airplane ? but subsonic ?

That's what he thinks it will be.  It's not what it'll be, he's just guessing like the rest of us. 
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline Sundog

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #209 on: October 31, 2015, 09:03:57 am »
Well, if we get back to mostly facts, we know it will be subsonic, most likely a flying wing, it will probably be built in Palmdale like every other "larger than a fighter" stealth aircraft prototype has been since the Skunk Works left Burbank and, IIRC, isn't the south/east (? I forget which they call it) base at Edwards being prepared for it's flight test program? They've stated they're preparing it for a highly classified program and I think it would be this more so than the RQ-180.

Also, just for reference, I think it will be a flying wing for cost considerations, in terms of structural and aerodynamic efficiency. Of course, from an LO perspective, it is the best layout in terms of planform edge alignment.

If we want to guess at cool stuff not likely to be, how about a variable geometry flying wing, where the outer section of the wing can have a minimum sweep to maximize efficiency, but can sweep back to align with the leading edge of the center section for minimum signature? Do I win the internets?
« Last Edit: October 31, 2015, 11:10:03 am by Sundog »

Offline Airplane

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #210 on: October 31, 2015, 10:05:06 am »
If the big new hanger at Area 51 is for this aircraft we can forget seeing it for many years.

What makes anyone think that the new bomber is a big airplane?  Hm?  The USAF has publicly stated at one time they would prefer to net even call it a new bomber.  Likewise the USAF has said it will not be a large aircraft; it will not be a heavy bomber like the B2, and will have an entirely different mission(s) (it will be multi-role); it will not have the same payload. And I am not referring to comments made this year; I am referring to interviews circa 2010. 

I retract my earlier statement about believing it will be super stealth with Mach 1.2-.3 dash.  I think it will be more like a scaled up FB-23 v2.0 than anything else. Lengthwise longer than a B-2, but volumetrically smaller.

So would be kind of a F-111 class striker airplane ? but subsonic ?

That's what he thinks it will be.  It's not what it'll be, he's just guessing like the rest of us.

Yeah, you're right let's disregard comments made by a USAF officer involved in the program.  The writing has been on the proverbial wall for 6 years now about the "bomber".  It'll end up being more like a big FB-XX than a small twin engine B-2.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2015, 10:11:03 am by Airplane »
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Offline sferrin

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #211 on: October 31, 2015, 10:36:43 am »
Yeah, you're right let's disregard comments made by a USAF officer involved in the program.  The writing has been on the proverbial wall for 6 years now about the "bomber".  It'll end up being more like a big FB-XX than a small twin engine B-2.

Just disregarding your interpretation of them.   ;)  And I've never claimed it'll be B-1B/B-2 sized (and in fact have complained about the fact on many occasions).  But it WILL be more than just a stealthy FB-111/F-15E.  More like B-47 class.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2015, 10:52:16 am by sferrin »
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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #212 on: October 31, 2015, 10:59:35 am »
X-47C was dual engined, 12,000lb bomb load.... Just saying. That's a bloody big airframe. Add one cockpit....Job done.

Offline AeroFranz

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #213 on: October 31, 2015, 11:05:29 am »
Too small of an airplane won't have the legs to traverse the long distances associated with the Pacific without extensive tanker support (which is a liability in the A2/AD scenario), much less to loiter and stick around. You could do much worse than a subsonic flying wing planform if these were indeed the requirements. My money's on a smaller B-2 (actually more like the early planform with less trailing edge serrations), smaller payload, pure flying wing or cranked kite. Lots of benefits to going to two engines, although a larger number of smaller diameter engines might be easier to bury for signature.
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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #214 on: October 31, 2015, 11:24:14 am »
Too small of an airplane won't have the legs to traverse the long distances associated with the Pacific without extensive tanker support (which is a liability in the A2/AD scenario), much less to loiter and stick around. You could do much worse than a subsonic flying wing planform if these were indeed the requirements. My money's on a smaller B-2 (actually more like the early planform with less trailing edge serrations), smaller payload, pure flying wing or cranked kite. Lots of benefits to going to two engines, although a larger number of smaller diameter engines might be easier to bury for signature.

Ditto - I'm in the single sawtooth no cranked kite config camp. Two ADVENT engines, and a massive fuel load.

Offline dark sidius

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #215 on: October 31, 2015, 11:38:38 am »
Its impossible to say the LRS-B as something to see with the shape of a RQ-180, because nobody know what the RQ-180 can look like.

Offline marauder2048

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #216 on: October 31, 2015, 01:52:19 pm »
Exclusive video of Northrop Grumman employees reacting to award:



Yep. The force ghost of Jack Northrop was deleted for the Special Edition.

Offline Flyaway

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #217 on: November 01, 2015, 12:11:33 pm »
Been reading that NG have started running this ad again in the US. At the end I wonder if that's actually what a variable cycle engine sounds like or just someone going mad with the sound effects.;)

By the way if this is going to be smaller than the B-2 how many crew is the manned version likely going to have, two?


« Last Edit: November 01, 2015, 12:24:09 pm by Flyaway »

Offline bring_it_on

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #218 on: November 01, 2015, 10:14:12 pm »
Also interesting was their video showcasing SC that was also released quite recently. Kevin Mickey the new VP of Advanced design at Northrop Grumman is also featured :

Old radar types never die; they just phased array - Unknown

Offline Mr London 24/7

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #219 on: November 02, 2015, 03:24:25 am »
Quote
The bid selection process that culminated in the Oct. 27 bomber development and production award to Northrop Grumman also was carefully crafted to ensure the Pentagon prevails if the losing bidder — a Boeing-Lockheed Martin team — challenges the decision in court.

Quote
Analysts also caution Air Force leaders to not set unrealistic expectations by being so emphatic about the “affordability” of the bomber.
Current cost projections are $21.4 billion for the engineering and manufacturing development phase and $51.1 billion for procurement of 100 aircraft in 2010 dollars. When the effects of inflation and other costs are included — such as the roughly $2 billion in development costs already incurred — the total program cost will likely be more than $100 billion in then-year dollars, wrote defense and budget analysts Todd Harrison and Andrew Hunter, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“With a total then-year cost roughly double what some have been reporting, there could be sticker shock in Congress,” they noted....

http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/blog/lists/posts/post.aspx?ID=2005

Offline Flyaway

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #220 on: November 02, 2015, 01:07:51 pm »
Slowly Revealing the LRS-B

JOHN A. TIRPAK11/3/2015
​​​
Quote
The Air Force is working on a “classification guide” regarding what information can be released about the Long-Range Strike Bomber, and when, according to USAF acquisition chief William LaPlante. “We’ve just started that review,” LaPlante said in an Oct. 30 telephone interview, but he hopes to release some additional information on the secret bomber program “around the time we have to send the SAR [Selected Acquisition Reports] to Congress;” roughly when the Fiscal 2017 President’s Budget is sent to Capitol Hill. “My intent,” he added, was to release “in public form some of what we said to Congress” just before Northrop Grumman was announced as the winner of the program last week. The announcement included no details about the bomber’s design, nor did it disclose any information about Northrop Grumman’s industrial team. ​The SAR itself, which gives overall costs on the program, may be classified, he noted. Once completed, the classification guide will be “frequently updated,” LaPlante also asserted. On previous classified projects, such as the F-117 stealth attack jet, heavy secrecy was estimated to add a premium of 10 percent on program cost. LaPlante said the number of test articles in the program—which he had previously said would be a releasable figure—is still considered too sensitive to discuss. During a meeting with reporters on Oct. 21, he said the LRS-B test fleet would be comparable to that of the KC-46 program, which will have four test airplanes.

http://www.airforcemag.com/DRArchive/Pages/2015/November%202015/November%2003%202015/Slowly-Revealing-the-LRS-B.aspx

Offline SteveO

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #221 on: November 02, 2015, 03:07:56 pm »

Offline autoeac

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #222 on: November 02, 2015, 05:07:13 pm »
A few months ago I posted some penciled views of the Scaled C's special ops concepts—including the model 223-3. It certainly would have enough capacity for a variety of uses in addition to the capsule — armaments, refueling, lasers and alike. Perhaps too broad in scope for the purposes here and I'm sure at a cost+ scenario.   http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,23873.msg244260.html#msg244260

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Offline Mr London 24/7

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #224 on: November 03, 2015, 04:24:51 am »
A piece from Robert Haffa (http://www.haffadefense.com/about-haffa-defense.php), formerly of NG:

Quote
we know that the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office managing the acquisition saw the LRS-B program as a way of advancing the application of new stealth technologies, not only in survivability but also in producability and maintainability. Northrop Grumman has advanced the state of the art in all- aspect stealth aircraft from modernizing the B-2, developing the stealthy X-47B unmanned aircraft (a candidate to help solve the U.S. Navy’s long-range strike dilemma), and working other programs.

We also knew before the recent announcement that the LRS-B program was designed to combine the very best practices in integrating advanced propulsion, imbedded antennas, self-defense systems, electronic and communication suites, and manufacturing techniques. Northrop Grumman brought to the competition not only corporate expertise in these areas, but also extensive expertise in the subsystems so critical to stealthy aircraft.

The company not only owns and maintains the B-2, but builds the radars and communications systems for the low-observable F-22 and F-35.  Manufacturing and integrating systems that rely on electronic emissions compatible with stealth raises many challenges, but Northrop Grumman has decades of successful experience to leverage.  Savvy observers noted that Lockheed Martin comes to Northrop Grumman for that expertise.

Northrop Grumman also has an ace up its sleeve in the manufacturing capabilities inherent in the company.  Northrop Grumman not only has a factory designed to build B-2 bombers, but that factory is producing F-35 stealth fuselages today on an award-winning automated assembly line.

http://breakingdefense.com/2015/11/why-northrop-won-the-lrs-bomber/

Ian33

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #225 on: November 04, 2015, 03:47:12 pm »
 :o

Northrop bird is rumoured by insiders to have air to air self defence missile capability.

:o

Offline sferrin

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #226 on: November 04, 2015, 04:05:34 pm »
:o

Northrop bird is rumoured by insiders to have air to air self defence missile capability.

:o

Let's hope it they look like little flying saucers.  ;D   (Though I'd guess something like Raytheon's Quick Kill or LM's Cuda.)
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Offline marauder2048

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #227 on: November 04, 2015, 04:33:04 pm »
:o

Northrop bird is rumoured by insiders to have air to air self defence missile capability.

:o

Let's hope it they look like little flying saucers.  ;D   (Though I'd guess something like Raytheon's Quick Kill or LM's Cuda.)

NG was one of the awardees (along with LM) for the Miniature Self-Defense Munition concept work.

Offline marauder2048

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #228 on: November 04, 2015, 05:24:43 pm »
Boeing nears decision on protest of U.S. bomber award to Northrop

Quote
Boeing Co (BA.N) may decide as soon as Thursday whether to protest the U.S. Air Force's selection of Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC.N) to develop and build a next-generation long-range strike bomber amid signs that a challenge could be an uphill battle, according to sources familiar with the issue.

Boeing spokesman Todd Blecher said the company had not yet decided whether to challenge the contract award, which could be worth $80 billion to the winning bidder over the next decades. "We continue to evaluate our options," he said.

Boeing, which had teamed with Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N), has agonized over the decision since receiving a briefing from the U.S. Air Force on Friday, according to sources familiar with the issue, who said company executives were stunned by the loss.

The stakes were high, but neither Boeing nor Lockheed were willing to proceed with a protest if their case looked weak, for fear of annoying the Pentagon and the Air Force, according to two sources familiar with the issue.

A protest would also delay work on the new warplane that U.S. Air Force officials say they need to start replacing the current aging fleets of B-1 and B-52 bombers, the sources said.

The Air Force last week selected Northrop to develop and build the new bomber.

Boeing and Lockheed immediately said they wanted answers on how the competition was scored with regard to price and risk.

Under federal law, companies have 10 days after an agency debrief to file with the U.S. Government Accountability Office, an arm of Congress that rules on federal contract protests. In order to trigger a stop-work order, protests must be filed within five days of a required briefing, according to the GAO.

The GAO then has 100 days to evaluate the case.

Loren Thompson, a defense consultant with close ties to Boeing and Lockheed, said challenging the bomber award could be difficult given that the program was highly classified. The decision would ultimately hinge on how the Air Force evaluated the price and risk of the competing bids, he said. The fact that the deliberations had stretched out for days indicated it was not an obvious - or easy - decision.

He said Boeing could also mount a political battle against the contract award, but faced some hurdles. "It's a secret program, it's a high priority for the Air Force, and Northrop wants to build the bomber in California, a very powerful state," he said.

Sources familiar with the issue said both companies had concerns about the use of historical bomber data to determine the pricing of the new plane since it did not give credit for innovations and new advanced manufacturing techniques implemented since the B-2 bomber two decades ago.

Relying on historical data also affected projected life cycle costs for the planes, the sources said.

Air Force officials have said only that Northrop's bomber represented the "best value for the nation" and would cost $511 million per plane, on average, in 2010 dollars, well below the program's cost cap of $550 million per plane.

Read more at Reuters

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/05/us-boeing-lockheed-bomber-idUSKCN0SU02K20151105#Uvb0mImjlXcmw8dm.99

Offline TomS

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #229 on: November 04, 2015, 05:58:07 pm »
:o

Northrop bird is rumoured by insiders to have air to air self defence missile capability.

:o

Let's hope it they look like little flying saucers.  ;D   (Though I'd guess something like Raytheon's Quick Kill or LM's Cuda.)

Or maybe just a couple of AMRAAM or AIM-9X.  This program doesn't have the budget to develop its own AAM. 

Offline sferrin

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #230 on: November 04, 2015, 07:30:12 pm »
:o

Northrop bird is rumoured by insiders to have air to air self defence missile capability.

:o

Let's hope it they look like little flying saucers.  ;D   (Though I'd guess something like Raytheon's Quick Kill or LM's Cuda.)

Or maybe just a couple of AMRAAM or AIM-9X.  This program doesn't have the budget to develop its own AAM.

Yeah, I was kidding. :)  Still, it would be a nice way to get Cuda off the ground.  :'(
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Offline Triton

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #231 on: November 05, 2015, 12:06:41 pm »
"Opinion: Did Unique Requirements Swing Pentagon’s Bomber Decision?"
New bomber, new fixes, old problems
Nov 5, 2015 Bill Sweetman | Aviation Week & Space Technology

Source:
http://aviationweek.com/defense/opinion-did-unique-requirements-swing-pentagon-s-bomber-decision?NL=AW-05&Issue=AW-05_20151105_AW-05_793&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_2&utm_rid=CPEN1000001526993&utm_campaign=4208&utm_medium=email&elq2=f4bc72ef6a4a4249a5f3d3b2c0920300

Quote
The losing players in the $80 billion Long-Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B) program bid are spinning a narrative of “bet the company” low-ball costs.

It might be argued that the major contractor on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter along with the KC-46 prime are qualified to recognize an unrealistic bid when they see one, but it will be hard to prove underbidding in the face of two independent reviews, one by the Air Force and the other by the Pentagon’s Cost Analysis and Program Evaluation (CAPE) directorate. Particularly so for Lockheed Martin, whose bosses were complaining not long ago that CAPE’s estimates of F-35 costs were ludicrously high.

The counterargument may be that the LRS-B is different from earlier Pentagon programs, and this difference gave Northrop Grumman the chance to pull the odd rabbit out of its hat.

The Pentagon not only set a goal for average procurement unit cost (APUC)—none of this “unit recurring flyaway” stuff, which leaves out spares, support equipment and other things essential to putting rubber on the ramp—but it has been made a key performance parameter. It has teeth: The development contract includes fixed-price incentive options for the first 21 production bombers in five low-rate initial-production batches.

Cost goals are often illusory; by the time they are found to be unrealistic, it’s economically prohibitive for the customer to change course. But the APUC goal for LRS-B (originally $550 million in 2010 dollars, based on a 100-aircraft run) has a few things going for it.

The LRS-B specification resulted from a vigorous scrubbing of requirements. The bomber went from the “Battlestar Galactica” Next-Generation Bomber to part of a family of systems.

Rather than conducting a competitive demonstration program—an approach that hasn’t always done well at anticipating and fixing snags—the Pentagon funded both teams through preliminary design review. The F-35 PDR, which started the process of unearthing the weight explosion that led to a redesign, took place about 16 months into the program.

Air Force procurement chief William LaPlante compares the project to the Lockheed F-117. The F-117 also emerged as an alternative to a bigger, more sophisticated but unaffordable aircraft and was run by small industry and government teams.

The F-117 and LRS-B used mature technology where possible while focusing on what was new, risky and essential. The F-117’s signatures—aerodynamics and propulsion integration—were revolutionary, but its engines, sensors, cockpit displays, navigation system and landing gear were off-the-shelf.

Winning LRS-B likely meant concentrating on two areas. One would have been the combination of low-maintenance stealth with aerodynamic and propulsion efficiency. The other would have been open architecture, to ensure that the slow-paced platform program can keep up with the state of the art in other technologies, from gallium nitride radio-frequency electronics to laser weapons.

Open architecture is essential to LRS-B strategy; it is the bridge between what the customer wants and what he’s willing to accept at initial operational capability to keep APUC down. LaPlante has clarified that he does not expect open architecture to lead to competition between primes for successive block upgrades; instead, he envisions direct competition among subsystem suppliers, underpinned by the knowledge that a new widget—designed to an open, government-owned standard—will play well with others.

The team with the better open-architecture plan will have had a big advantage in LRS-B. But what about production experience? Critics of the decision note that Boeing and Lockheed have built thousands more aircraft recently than has Northrop.

That they have, but building hundreds of aircraft per year was of little value in the LRS-B bidder’s resume, if—as LaPlante has suggested—the production rate is seven or eight per year. The goal is stability rather than volume: A high rate would strain the budget for its active years but would be hard to sustain beyond the first batch.

At such low rates, keeping overheads low and managing a lean supply chain will be as important as worker hours-per-pound of airframe. Making it easy for skilled, adaptable humans to do the job could work better than investing billions into tons of heavy tools and automated assembly systems. That sounds very unlike the Boeing 787 or Lockheed F-35—and more like Northrop Grumman’s Scaled Composites subsidiary, which may have been one of its secret weapons.

Making this work will be a challenge. Spiral development has all too often become death-spiral development, as cost overruns eat the funding that was intended for system improvements. But even at this point, and through a fog of secrecy, LRS-B looks like a different kind of program—and nobody can say that the old ways have been working well.

Offline Triton

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #232 on: November 05, 2015, 12:24:45 pm »
"How's USAF Going To Manage That Bomber Deal, Anyway? We Still Don't Know"
Nov 5, 2015 by Amy Hillis in Ares

Source:
http://aviationweek.com/blog/hows-usaf-going-manage-bomber-deal-anyway-we-still-dont-know
« Last Edit: November 06, 2015, 10:30:47 am by Triton »

Offline marauder2048

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #233 on: November 05, 2015, 12:42:50 pm »
The only point of any note in the two preceding articles is that Amy Butler got married.

Offline sferrin

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #234 on: November 05, 2015, 12:44:10 pm »
Look at how much copy can be generated with no new information available.   ::)
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Offline Flyaway

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #235 on: November 05, 2015, 02:30:31 pm »
Didn't the airforce a while back indicate that the B-3 wouldn't be doing all its own electronic warfare in order to keep costs down, does that mean that this task has been offloaded to another dedicated airframe?

Offline Sundog

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #236 on: November 05, 2015, 05:32:21 pm »
Didn't the airforce a while back indicate that the B-3 wouldn't be doing all its own electronic warfare in order to keep costs down, does that mean that this task has been offloaded to another dedicated airframe?

Yeah, the RQ-180 reportedly among them.

Offline Mat Parry

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #237 on: November 05, 2015, 11:37:58 pm »
Didn't the airforce a while back indicate that the B-3 wouldn't be doing all its own electronic warfare in order to keep costs down, does that mean that this task has been offloaded to another dedicated airframe?

Yeah, the RQ-180 reportedly among them

P-AEA penetrating airborne electronic attack, RAQ-25 ?? "Risky joking of the dots" (Bill doing what he does best)
http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,16346.msg243150.html#msg243150
« Last Edit: November 05, 2015, 11:41:38 pm by Mat Parry »

Offline LowObservable

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #238 on: November 06, 2015, 05:56:31 am »
It's OK to cry, Marauder.

Offline JFC Fuller

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #239 on: November 06, 2015, 06:13:16 am »
Boeing/LM have submitted a protest, according to my twitter feed.

Edit: confirmed: http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/2015/11/06/boeing-protests-northrops-long-range-strike-bomber-contract/75225206/
« Last Edit: November 06, 2015, 06:16:51 am by JFC Fuller »

Offline dark sidius

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #240 on: November 06, 2015, 06:18:19 am »
I can't understand how Boeing and Lockheed can protest for it, Lockheed is losing credibility with the F-35 and Boeing have problem of delay with the KC-46 this two company are realy not white about their programs >:( I realy hope protest will be rejected.

Offline AeroFranz

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #241 on: November 06, 2015, 06:39:16 am »
All those hungry lawyers have to be fed somehow...

hmmm...the only company to ever design and manufacture an all-aspect stealth bomber won the bid to build the next one, and somehow that's unfair.
All modern aircraft have four dimensions: span, length, height and politics.   TSR.2 got the first three right - Sir Sydney Camm

Offline bring_it_on

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #242 on: November 06, 2015, 07:01:31 am »
A Boeing-Lockheed Martin team has filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office against the Air Force's decision to award Northrop Grumman a contract to build the Long-Range Strike Bomber, alleging the selection process was “fundamentally flawed.”

In an unusually detailed statement on its decision to protest the LRS-B contract, the company criticized the Air Force's evaluation process, saying the cost analysis the service performed didn't reward proposers' efforts to “break the upward-spiraling historical cost curves of defense acquisitions.” The Nov. 6 statement also claims the Air Force did not conduct accurate risk assessments.

“That flawed evaluation led to the selection of Northrop Grumman over the industry-leading team of Boeing and Lockheed Martin, whose proposal offers the government and the warfighter the best possible LRS-B at a cost that uniquely defies the prohibitively expensive trends of the nation’s past defense acquisitions,” the press release states.

The service awarded the coveted bomber contract to Northrop Oct. 27. The service estimates development will cost $23.5 billion and that each aircraft will cost $564 million in 2016 dollars.

Air Force officials have stressed that the source-selection process was conducted fairly and deliberately. When announcing the Oct. 27 award, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James told reporters the award followed a “deliberate and disciplined process.”

“The entire process was carried out with a high level of transparency with our industry partners and was scrutinized via DOD peer reviews,” James said.

The Air Force did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the protest filing.

GAO has 100 days from the time of a protest filing to consider the claims and issue a ruling, which means the office should reach a decision by Feb. 14.
Old radar types never die; they just phased array - Unknown

Offline Airplane

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #243 on: November 06, 2015, 07:19:42 am »
Without knowing anything about the competing designs, on the outside, this just seems like a waste of taxpayers dollars.  How many technical details are going to go into the protest? Seems pointless to even protest without going into the technical merits of why company A should have been awarded the contract, except 'the USAF was too dumb to make the correct decision.' 

Did Northrop protest the loss of the ATF competition?  Did Northrop protest not being selected for the JSF program over that dismal Boeing wreck? 
« Last Edit: November 06, 2015, 07:21:44 am by Airplane »
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Offline bring_it_on

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #244 on: November 06, 2015, 07:24:57 am »
The loosing team was briefed on the program and the source selection process last week. The GAO will look into the entire source selection process and rule on some of the charges leveled by Boeing. We don't get access to source selection but Boeing got a full briefing on why they lost and why NG won.
Old radar types never die; they just phased array - Unknown

Offline sferrin

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #245 on: November 06, 2015, 07:38:57 am »
"Fundamentally flawed".  More buzzwords.  I hope they kick Boeing to the curb with a bill for wasting everybody's time and money. 
"DARPA Hard"  It ain't what it use to be.

Offline FighterJock

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #246 on: November 06, 2015, 08:20:08 am »
"Fundamentally flawed".  More buzzwords.  I hope they kick Boeing to the curb with a bill for wasting everybody's time and money.

And quite right too!  After what is happening to the F-35 and the KC-46 tanker programs I am glad that Northrop Grumman got the contract.

Offline LowObservable

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #247 on: November 06, 2015, 08:54:11 am »
We can probably regard this as a quasi-official statement of the grounds behind the protest:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthompson/2015/11/06/boeing-protests-bomber-award-finds-process-fundamentally-flawed/?utm_campaign=yahootix&partner=yahootix

Quite a lot of detail in there that is not in the press release.

Offline sferrin

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #248 on: November 06, 2015, 09:04:50 am »
Boeing can't even deliver a tanker, based on an existing design, on time.  Why should they be surprised when the DoD doesn't shower them with confidence when it comes to "risk"?   I just hope they stick Boeing with the bill for paying for this farce rather than the taxpayer.
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Offline bring_it_on

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #249 on: November 06, 2015, 09:11:37 am »
Given the level of classification we can't really form an opinion. I doubt Northrop will have its lobbyists issue a full explanation of its position like Boeing seem to have done through Thompson. My only hope is that the GAO delivers its decision well before the 100 day limit they have to do so. The political angle looks like an area where I am sure Boeing will try to drum up support though...
« Last Edit: November 06, 2015, 09:15:19 am by bring_it_on »
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Offline red admiral

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #250 on: November 06, 2015, 10:10:32 am »
So Boeing is claiming they can design and develop LRSB for $11bn when minor mods to a 767 cost them about $6bn to develop. WTF are they smoking?

Offline Flyaway

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #251 on: November 06, 2015, 10:21:24 am »
Given the level of classification we can't really form an opinion. I doubt Northrop will have its lobbyists issue a full explanation of its position like Boeing seem to have done through Thompson. My only hope is that the GAO delivers its decision well before the 100 day limit they have to do so. The political angle looks like an area where I am sure Boeing will try to drum up support though...

Not all that up with the US processes in this area but how common is it for them to take the full amount of time to reach a decision & can this be appealed or is that it done & dusted?

Offline sferrin

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #252 on: November 06, 2015, 10:43:58 am »
So Boeing is claiming they can design and develop LRSB for $11bn when minor mods to a 767 cost them about $6bn to develop. WTF are they smoking?

Well it is Seattle. . . ;)  What makes it even worse is other countries are already flying the KC-767.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2015, 10:45:38 am by sferrin »
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Offline AeroFranz

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #253 on: November 06, 2015, 12:06:57 pm »
We can probably regard this as a quasi-official statement of the grounds behind the protest:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthompson/2015/11/06/boeing-protests-bomber-award-finds-process-fundamentally-flawed/?utm_campaign=yahootix&partner=yahootix

Quite a lot of detail in there that is not in the press release.

"Which brings me to the most unsettling feature of how the bomber award unfolded. It appears the Air Force chose its winning bomber team six months ago, based largely on the rock-bottom price Northrop Grumman bid to perform bomber development and early production.  Northrop’s development bid was so low that the service never got to the point where it rigorously analyzed the cost for most of the production program or subsequent life-cycle support.  Boeing and Lockheed were knocked out of contention for the first phase of the program, based on Northrop’s willingness to bid a development cost divorced from likely risks.  It did much the same thing in the first round of the tanker competition."

First off, where did he get the impression that the selection was made six months ago? I doubt the government team would admit that even if it were true.
And yes, the irony of Boeing losing a contract because a contender bid rock bottom is almost palpable. Remind me who's losing billions of dollars on a contested program after underestimating risks. ::)
All modern aircraft have four dimensions: span, length, height and politics.   TSR.2 got the first three right - Sir Sydney Camm

Offline marauder2048

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #254 on: November 06, 2015, 12:28:01 pm »
So Boeing is claiming they can design and develop LRSB for $11bn when minor mods to a 767 cost them about $6bn to develop. WTF are they smoking?

The way I read the Thompson article, NG apparently had an even more aggressive bid for development and production.

I get the impression that there is something very enticing about the NG proposal from a capabilities standpoint (say excellent survivability at loiter)
such that the higher CPIF contract is worth the government's potential exposure.

Offline flateric

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #255 on: November 06, 2015, 03:02:24 pm »
Quote
There was also no credit given for supply chain innovations, system integration skills, and a host of other advanced industrial capabilities in which Boeing and Lockheed lead the world.  The reason that matters is because Northrop Grumman lacks similar capabilities, and thus is much less likely to execute the program to the Air Force’s planned budget and schedule.

Ah, that's why LM has chose NG as principal subcontractor for F-35 and Super Bugs.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2015, 05:07:56 pm by flateric »
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Offline Sundog

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #256 on: November 06, 2015, 04:56:12 pm »
We can probably regard this as a quasi-official statement of the grounds behind the protest:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/lorenthompson/2015/11/06/boeing-protests-bomber-award-finds-process-fundamentally-flawed/?utm_campaign=yahootix&partner=yahootix

Quite a lot of detail in there that is not in the press release.

"Which brings me to the most unsettling feature of how the bomber award unfolded. It appears the Air Force chose its winning bomber team six months ago, based largely on the rock-bottom price Northrop Grumman bid to perform bomber development and early production.  Northrop’s development bid was so low that the service never got to the point where it rigorously analyzed the cost for most of the production program or subsequent life-cycle support.  Boeing and Lockheed were knocked out of contention for the first phase of the program, based on Northrop’s willingness to bid a development cost divorced from likely risks.  It did much the same thing in the first round of the tanker competition."

First off, where did he get the impression that the selection was made six months ago? I doubt the government team would admit that even if it were true.
And yes, the irony of Boeing losing a contract because a contender bid rock bottom is almost palpable. Remind me who's losing billions of dollars on a contested program after underestimating risks. ::)

Apparently Boeing doesn't know the history of their own tanker program. To reiterate, Northrop won the tanker contract, which Boeing protested, then lobbied to have the contract rebid in a manner that greatly favored their design by changing the requirements of the contract. Boeing doesn't seem to be able to win the contract on the drawing board, so they're hoping their lawyers can win it for them again. That's just sad and pathetic.

Offline dark sidius

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #257 on: November 07, 2015, 12:30:42 am »
Yes and the same with Lokcheed with the F-35 unable to dogfight a F-16 with delay and delay  , if I was a USAF general I will be very angry about Lockheed unable to build their new generation fighter, and they have problem with Northrop ? its un-believable, I hope Northrop will win the F/X contest too  >:(

Offline Airplane

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #258 on: November 07, 2015, 06:05:39 am »
i am ignorant of law and as it relates to bidding on federal government business.  Where or what is the law that gives corporations the right to be assholes with defense dept contracts?  We just hear about the heavy hitters like bombers, but I imagine this is common practice with everything from toilette paper to HPM munitions.

I also imagine or rather hope that the defense dept takes into consideration there will be a protest, and they themselves lawyer up ahead of time to create a an airtight case for their decision.

Furthermore, in my profession, if a supplier pisses us off too many times, we boot them out the door and forbid them from doing business with us in the future.  Why can't the defense dept do that?
« Last Edit: November 07, 2015, 06:11:04 am by Airplane »
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Offline bobbymike

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #259 on: November 07, 2015, 06:10:18 am »
i am ignorant of law and as it relates to bidding on federal government business.  Where or what is the law that gives corporations the right to be assholes with defense dept contracts?  We just hear about the heavy hitters like bombers, but I imagine this is common practice with everything from toilette paper to HPM munitions.

I also imagine or rather hope that the defense dept takes into consideration there will be a protest, and they themselves lawyer up ahead of time to create a an airtight case for their decision.
Probably about 1000 years of common/contract law as there has to be some type of dispute mechanism if you believe you were treated unfairly.
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Offline sferrin

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #260 on: November 07, 2015, 07:22:50 am »
Furthermore, in my profession, if a supplier pisses us off too many times, we boot them out the door and forbid them from doing business with us in the future.  Why can't the defense dept do that?

Because there will always be a bought understanding politician eager to garner attention from the press by riding to the defense of the "wronged" contractor.
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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #261 on: November 07, 2015, 08:49:01 am »
Furthermore, in my profession, if a supplier pisses us off too many times, we boot them out the door and forbid them from doing business with us in the future.  Why can't the defense dept do that?

If there are only two or three suppliers capable of producing widgets and no new entrants into the widget market in a generation you don't have a lot of bargaining power as a buyer.

When it comes to big ticket items like fighters, bombers, and the like the US defense industry increasingly resembles Germany or France where the handful of "national champions" are guaranteed work no matter how poorly they perform. Because otherwise the capability to produce those things could be lost entirely.

Offline sferrin

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #262 on: November 07, 2015, 08:59:40 am »
Furthermore, in my profession, if a supplier pisses us off too many times, we boot them out the door and forbid them from doing business with us in the future.  Why can't the defense dept do that?

If there are only two or three suppliers capable of producing widgets and no new entrants into the widget market in a generation you don't have a lot of bargaining power as a buyer.

When it comes to big ticket items like fighters, bombers, and the like the US defense industry increasingly resembles Germany or France where the handful of "national champions" are guaranteed work no matter how poorly they perform. Because otherwise the capability to produce those things could be lost entirely.

All the more reason to give it to NG.  LM already has the F-22 and F-35.  Boeing has the tanker and any future F-15/F/A-18 sales.  Really, the choice is a no-brainer all things considered. Unless Boeing had some kind of Romulan Warbird up it's sleeve I don't think it had a prayer of winning this.
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Offline Steve Pace

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #263 on: November 07, 2015, 09:25:24 am »
Furthermore, in my profession, if a supplier pisses us off too many times, we boot them out the door and forbid them from doing business with us in the future.  Why can't the defense dept do that?

If there are only two or three suppliers capable of producing widgets and no new entrants into the widget market in a generation you don't have a lot of bargaining power as a buyer.

When it comes to big ticket items like fighters, bombers, and the like the US defense industry increasingly resembles Germany or France where the handful of "national champions" are guaranteed work no matter how poorly they perform. Because otherwise the capability to produce those things could be lost entirely.

All the more reason to give it to NG.  LM already has the F-22 and F-35.  Boeing has the tanker and any future F-15/F/A-18 sales.  Really, the choice is a no-brainer all things considered. Unless Boeing had some kind of Romulan Warbird up it's sleeve I don't think it had a prayer of winning this.
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Offline Arcane

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #264 on: November 07, 2015, 10:40:18 am »
Unless Boeing had some kind of Romulan Warbird up it's sleeve I don't think it had a prayer of winning this.

LM is working on that quantum singularity project...
http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/products/compact-fusion.html
 ;)

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #265 on: November 07, 2015, 10:48:59 am »

LM is working on that quantum singularity project...
http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/products/compact-fusion.html
 ;)

As much as I hope they can pull that rabbit out of a hat. . .I'm still waiting for my flying car, personal thinking robot, and vacation to Mars.
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Offline kaiserd

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #266 on: November 07, 2015, 10:52:11 am »
Furthermore, in my profession, if a supplier pisses us off too many times, we boot them out the door and forbid them from doing business with us in the future.  Why can't the defense dept do that?

If there are only two or three suppliers capable of producing widgets and no new entrants into the widget market in a generation you don't have a lot of bargaining power as a buyer.

When it comes to big ticket items like fighters, bombers, and the like the US defense industry increasingly resembles Germany or France where the handful of "national champions" are guaranteed work no matter how poorly they perform. Because otherwise the capability to produce those things could be lost entirely.

All the more reason to give it to NG.  LM already has the F-22 and F-35.  Boeing has the tanker and any future F-15/F/A-18 sales.  Really, the choice is a no-brainer all things considered. Unless Boeing had some kind of Romulan Warbird up it's sleeve I don't think it had a prayer of winning this.

Re: all the comments above by all the users at moment we literally don't know the basis for the decision. I hope all was above board with that decision and everything else being equal I can see the logic of giving the contract to NG; however the US airforce has repeatedly and very clearly stated that industry aspects was not a criteria for the decision.

And as stated above anyone giving this issue any thought would recognize that there needs to be a efficient effective legal avenue if a bidder has reasonable grounds to consider themselves to having been treated unfairly (this legal avenue also shouldn't be abused by losing bidders). We need to let the process in place do its job.

Now to the important stuff.
sferrin re: your Romulan Warbird comment; D'deridex-class I assume :)

http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/D%27deridex_class

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #267 on: November 07, 2015, 11:11:45 am »
Now to the important stuff.
sferrin re: your Romulan Warbird comment; D'deridex-class I assume :)

http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/D%27deridex_class

Yes indeed.  :)
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Offline marauder2048

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #268 on: November 07, 2015, 11:22:02 am »
Quote
There was also no credit given for supply chain innovations, system integration skills, and a host of other advanced industrial capabilities in which Boeing and Lockheed lead the world.  The reason that matters is because Northrop Grumman lacks similar capabilities, and thus is much less likely to execute the program to the Air Force’s planned budget and schedule.

Ah, that's why LM has chose NG as principal subcontractor for F-35 and Super Bugs.

Perhaps LM and Boeing have started F-35 and Super Bug future production lot negotiations early and indirectly with their protest.

Offline AeroFranz

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #269 on: November 07, 2015, 11:33:02 am »
I can see how there would be grounds for protest if the evaluation criterion were not crystal clear from the beginning; however you'd think the AF would have bullet-proofed those. And assuming a 100% increase in cost, while not very rigorous, is in line with historical trends.

As for Boeing having Black-Diamond-Magic manufacturing processes, it's a nice story, but i would want to make sure it had demonstrated itself on a relevant scale. Claiming it is revolutionary without substantiation is a bit hollow.
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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #270 on: November 07, 2015, 12:17:04 pm »
I can see how there would be grounds for protest if the evaluation criterion were not crystal clear from the beginning; however you'd think the AF would have bullet-proofed those. And assuming a 100% increase in cost, while not very rigorous, is in line with historical trends.

As for Boeing having Black-Diamond-Magic manufacturing processes, it's a nice story, but i would want to make sure it had demonstrated itself on a relevant scale. Claiming it is revolutionary without substantiation is a bit hollow.

Especially since it would be almost a must to use existing technology  / manufacturing techniques to keep costs under control. 
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Offline sublight is back

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #271 on: November 07, 2015, 01:24:35 pm »

As for Boeing having Black-Diamond-Magic manufacturing processes, it's a nice story, but i would want to make sure it had demonstrated itself on a relevant scale. Claiming it is revolutionary without substantiation is a bit hollow.

You'd expect Boeing would have made an announcement to their shareholders that Black Diamond has increased the profit margin on its commercial airliners. Until that time, it is merely "Bullshit Diamond".

Offline AeroFranz

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #272 on: November 07, 2015, 03:03:54 pm »
I don't want to disparage it too much either; there may actually be something there, but until they demonstrate it on a production line at representative rates (maybe on T-X?) it's an unknown quantity, i.e. a risk in the eyes of any government evaluation team.
All modern aircraft have four dimensions: span, length, height and politics.   TSR.2 got the first three right - Sir Sydney Camm

Offline marauder2048

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #273 on: November 07, 2015, 04:42:51 pm »
I can see how there would be grounds for protest if the evaluation criterion were not crystal clear from the beginning; however you'd think the AF would have bullet-proofed those. And assuming a 100% increase in cost, while not very rigorous, is in line with historical trends.

As for Boeing having Black-Diamond-Magic manufacturing processes, it's a nice story, but i would want to make sure it had demonstrated itself on a relevant scale. Claiming it is revolutionary without substantiation is a bit hollow.

Especially since it would be almost a must to use existing technology  / manufacturing techniques to keep costs under control. 

All of which makes the justification for a Cost-Plus development contract look very flimsy.

Offline Triton

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #274 on: November 07, 2015, 04:47:31 pm »
"LRSB: (Yet Another) Tale of Two Protests"
Nov 6, 2015 by Amy Hillis in Ares

Source:
http://aviationweek.com/blog/lrsb-yet-another-tale-two-protests

Quote
Not surprisingly, the Long-Range Strike Bomber protest is on. Boeing and Lockheed Martin claim the Air Force’s selection of Northrop Grumman for the development and early production work – worth $23.5 billion – was bungled. The service failed to conduct a proper assessment of the risk for both teams to execute the work and neglected to account for modern advances in manufacturing and life-cycle maintenance, all of which would reduce the cost of such a program, according to Loren Thompson, a Washington DC-based analyst. Thompson’s think-tank receives funding from both Boeing and Lockheed Martin, and the latter employs him as a consultant; he publicly endorsed the Boeing/Lockheed Martin bid despite the requirements and source-selection criteria being classified. Thompson receives no funding from Northrop Grumman.

The losers filed their protest with the Government Accountability Office Nov. 6 after receiving their debrief Oct. 30 from the Air Force.

And, not surprisingly, the other protest is on. You see, in Washington, there’s the protest – filed with GAO and subject to a 100-day audit – and there’s the Protest – the political campaign to disparage the agency that made the alleged flawed choice and its entire strategy. The latter is designed as an end run to whatever the GAO may rule. By undercutting the agency and its strategy at the knees in Congress, pressure can force an agency into submission regardless of a GAO ruling.

These are two parallel but separate avenues in any defense contractor’s red book for major programs; all the contractors keep war plans for protests alongside the process of bidding for programs these days. I’ll outline the two strategies below.

But, before I get into that, it is worth noting the ink on the protest isn’t even dry and we are already learning more about this secretive program, likely to the chagrin of an Air Force claiming details equate security violations and jeopardize the capabilities of the bomber before it even gets built. It is worth noting one PA officer told me when I asked what the actual contract value was (only the independent cost estimate of $23.5 billion has been released, not the actual money to be paid to Northrop), that sharing the actual value could allow adversaries to forensically decipher what the bomber looks like. I found that to be a bit of an overstatement, at the least.

One new data point: The estimated price of the bids! Ta-da! Thompson said in his Nov. 6 Forbes piece that the Air Force unfairly doubled the estimate at completion for the work of both contractors. He later told me that each bidder was in the $10-$11 billion range, far below that $23.5 billion independent cost estimate, with Northrop coming in at a lower cost. He did not, however, have the cost of the actual contract.

If this is true, and the Air Force padded both contractors’ bids by 100%, this would certainly be unusual and worth a second look.

This leads to another new data point: Boeing objected to this because these price adjustments relied upon historical data from legacy programs – such as the botched B-2 development – for ground truth, not proposals from both teams on how to incorporate modern manufacturing and maintenance techniques. If Boeing’s claims are right, then the Air Force wasn’t sure enough of its own “bending the cost curve” initiative and ability to rely on innovations to reduce cost to put its money where its mouth is.

You see, the service has to budget – or earmark money -- to the official independent cost estimate – in this case that $23.5 billion figure. If it budgeted to the far less $10-$11 billion range cited by Thompson as realistic, there’d be a whole lot less wiggle room for overruns and margin. And, it would be a whole lot more painful to address overruns because the service would have to go to the Office of the Secretary of Defense and Congress, which, at best, is not pleasant. At worst, it tanks programs.

It seemed evident from the outset of the source selection announcement Oct. 27 that the cost estimates would raise eyebrows. The Air Force’s own fact sheet notes that a program requirement since fiscal year 2010 was to produce the units for under $550 million apiece in those dollars (that’s $606 million in today’s money). But, its independent cost estimate cites a target of $564 million in today’s dollars. That is a huge difference of $42 million, roughly the cost of some Pentagon helicopters. Those numbers prompted me to wonder just why the independent cost estimate was so “low” in comparison. But, what Thompson is saying is that the bidders’ proposals were even lower.

This begs the question: Is the Air Force’s high cost estimate a brilliant sleight of hand that could keep detractors off its back by providing an overrun shelter (this is a cost reimbursable contract) and, possibly, set the stage for a “low(er than estimated)-cost bomber” story at the end of the day? Or, could this be a colossal political misstep that will actually draw fire by giving the losing bidder grounds to raise the question early in the program’s progress, when it is most vulnerable to a kill?

Which brings me back to the two protest campaigns. On the latter point above, Boeing and Lockheed are already on the advance by way of Thompson. He unabashedly acknowledges this is the way things are done in DC. His piece not only outlines the basic protest claims of the losing team. He seeks to elevate the discussion beyond the strict avenue outlined for a GAO protest review. He is questioning he entire procurement system and if it was used to get a truly good deal for the taxpayer. In doing so, he also casts doubt on whether the Air Force is capable of making good on its bending the cost curve initiatives, as LRS-B has been cited as a poster child program for it.

This is a noble, valid and reasonable question to ask. And, it picks at an Achilles heel for the Pentagon. Its procurement system is known as inefficient and slow. And, recent missteps for the Air Force – including the repeated problems leading to a KC-46 source selection and similar problems attempting to buy an HH-60G replacement – have already eroded its credibility in Congress. It’s not hard to capitalize on mistrust for the system in Congress; it’s almost like fishing from a barrel! Keep in mind Boeing successfully overturned its last major protest against Northrop. When the latter won the first KC-135 replacement competition, protests eventually led to a full recompete. Despite years of delay, Boeing eventually won the program. Granted, the GAO upheld the protest, but the company also pilloried the Air Force’s process publicly, sparking congressional ire and reviews.

So, Thompson and Boeing are working off of that sentiment to attempt to turn the entire procurement on its head. But, this is not a surefire way to turn the selection decision around.

A negative GAO ruling would, however, do just that. The auditors have 100 days to review the very specific claims that the Air Force unfairly scored risk in the source selection. GAO’s remit is to rule on whether an agency clearly and fairly articulated its source selection rules and whether that agency followed its own rules. It cannot touch on the savvy of an agency in pursuing a buy. While narrow in its focus, its impact can be vast. An adverse GAO ruling could send the Air Force back to the drawing board for a competition, costing years of delay toward the bomber’s entry into service.

On this point, Boeing and Lockheed Martin could have an uphill battle. Aside from the obvious avenue ahead for the GAO review, questions I have are:

*Did the Air Force articulate that it would use these legacy program models to assess risk?

*If so, did Boeing and Lockheed Martin raise objections about those models throughout the procurement?

*If so, did the Air Force try to address them?

Bottom line, If Boeing and Lockheed Martin failed early in the program to understand how the use of legacy program models could impact their bid, it could very well be a chink in the team’s protest.

So, happy holidays, folks. We are in for another protest season.

Offline sferrin

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #275 on: November 07, 2015, 05:06:07 pm »
I hope Boeing gets a nice fat bill for this colossal waste of time.
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Offline bring_it_on

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #276 on: November 07, 2015, 06:48:16 pm »
How would we know its a waste of time? I mean it may well be if the protest is upheld, but the provision for a protest exists as a right granted to all loosing bidders to have their day (or 100) with the GAO through a formal framework.
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Offline sferrin

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #277 on: November 07, 2015, 07:58:49 pm »
How would we know its a waste of time? I mean it may well be if the protest is upheld, but the provision for a protest exists as a right granted to all loosing bidders to have their day (or 100) with the GAO through a formal framework.

The reason it's already taken so long is because the powers that be wanted to make sure it was a bullet proof decision.  These days though, it's virtually a given that there will be a protest whether it's legitimate or not.  As the author of the article points out:

"You see, in Washington, there’s the protest – filed with GAO and subject to a 100-day audit – and there’s the Protest – the political campaign to disparage the agency that made the alleged flawed choice and its entire strategy. The latter is designed as an end run to whatever the GAO may rule. By undercutting the agency and its strategy at the knees in Congress, pressure can force an agency into submission regardless of a GAO ruling."

So even if the GAO says "Boeing is high" they could still end up dragging this out for political theater and getting the competition redone.  That's what's got me so annoyed over this.  Like I said, a colossal waste of money.  And you know it won't be Boeing footing the bill, no.  It'll be the taxpayer. 
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Offline Sundog

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #278 on: November 07, 2015, 08:09:43 pm »
That's why, if I was the Air Force, I would order Northrop to continue work on their design, and if for some reason the bid is overturned, I would make Boeing pay for the work already done on the Northrop design. Otherwise, this kind of crap will continue until there is a severe penalty for this type of behavior.

Also, Thompson is basically admitting that it doesn't matter if their design was inferior, they can win it with their lobbyists. It's also interesting to note that apparently Boeing thinks it's the only company that knows how to save costs. Which is also nonsense.

I have a feeling that Boeing is eventually going to end up with the Pentagon's boot up it's ass. The only reason they eventually got the KC-46 was the political buy American sentiment. They can't get away with it on the bomber. Hell, if Boeing tries to pull that crap, Northrop should turn around and show that Boeing is so committed to the buy American sentiment that they have much of their 787 built overseas.

In fact, I hope Northrop goes after them with both barrels. I think that is where Northrop has been weak before. They really need to go after how sad and pathetic Boeing is for doing this.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2015, 08:14:35 pm by Sundog »

Offline lastdingo

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #279 on: November 07, 2015, 08:15:31 pm »
The DoD cold cut orders from Boeing and delay if not cancel other programs with Boeing or subsidiaries as contractors.
It could also lash out and mercilessly release damaging reports about poor quality of Boeing products, including Super Bug issues - which would hurt Boeing's export sales.

A protracted legal battle as with the C-46 or A-12 cancellation would be really bad.

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #280 on: November 08, 2015, 01:57:24 pm »
The DoD cold cut orders from Boeing and delay if not cancel other programs with Boeing or subsidiaries as contractors.

Like stopping this nonsense of delaying the F-35C ramp-up and then canceling all future F-18 buys.

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Offline marauder2048

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #281 on: November 08, 2015, 02:03:07 pm »
That's why, if I was the Air Force, I would order Northrop to continue work on their design, and if for some reason the bid is overturned, I would make Boeing pay for the work already done on the Northrop design. Otherwise, this kind of crap will continue until there is a severe penalty for this type of behavior.

Also, Thompson is basically admitting that it doesn't matter if their design was inferior, they can win it with their lobbyists. It's also interesting to note that apparently Boeing thinks it's the only company that knows how to save costs. Which is also nonsense.

I have a feeling that Boeing is eventually going to end up with the Pentagon's boot up it's ass. The only reason they eventually got the KC-46 was the political buy American sentiment. They can't get away with it on the bomber. Hell, if Boeing tries to pull that crap, Northrop should turn around and show that Boeing is so committed to the buy American sentiment that they have much of their 787 built overseas.

In fact, I hope Northrop goes after them with both barrels. I think that is where Northrop has been weak before. They really need to go after how sad and pathetic Boeing is for doing this.

Cost is the only quantitative element of the program that's been (kinda) publicly disclosed and probably the only thing Thompson and the other parties can
openly discuss.  What else would you expect for articles/statements geared towards the general public? "Our mid-mission gust alleviation is da $hit while Northrop Grumman's is teh sux"

Why not call on NG to do its patriotic duty and execute the development as a fixed-price incentive contract?
Otherwise, we're living in a parallel dimension where mature processes + mature materials + the highest level of design maturity pre-award == cost-plus development.

I really don't understand the vitriol and outrage over the protest given that it was widely expected to occur no matter who won.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2015, 02:08:54 pm by marauder2048 »

Offline Sundog

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #282 on: November 08, 2015, 02:27:06 pm »
I have to disagree. In fact, I can't remember the last major program that Northrop protested when they lost.

Maybe they should tell Boeing and L-M that trust in management was also considered, and they lost significantly in that regard. After all, that was one of the major considerations when awarding the ATF program to LM over Northrop. I don't recall Northrop protesting the decision.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2015, 02:29:31 pm by Sundog »

Offline sferrin

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #283 on: November 08, 2015, 02:31:00 pm »
I really don't understand the vitriol and outrage over the protest given that it was widely expected to occur no matter who won.

Because Boeing had the time and ability to address all of this before the decision was made.  All of these questions they are supposedly asking for the first time now could have been asked before.  Why didn't they?  If the cost of this side-show, and the added costs due to delays due to Boeing's protest, were ALL born by Boeing it wouldn't be as much of an issue.  Unfortunately, as we can already see, this is turning yet another procurement effort into a 3-ring circus.  And so-called "journalists" will fan the flames as much as possible for those clicks.  The politicians will be killing each other fighting for the mic to get their time in the limelight with this.  All for nothing. 
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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #284 on: November 08, 2015, 03:52:23 pm »
I just hope that NG have enough lobbists to fight their corner. Also I don't see why the company that brings the protest should get away scott free if it fails, they should incur a penalty of some sort.

Offline Steve Pace

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #285 on: November 08, 2015, 05:29:48 pm »
Late February 2016 (approximately 100 days from Nov. 6, 2015) seems real far off but it'll be here in no time. Time really goes fast for this old fart. -SP
When you know you're right, go ahead.

Offline bobbymike

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #286 on: November 09, 2015, 02:05:49 am »
Boeing Protests Bomber Award

—John A. Tirpak11/9/2015

​Boeing, with its partner Lockheed Martin, officially informed the Air Force on Friday that it would protest the service’s award of the Long-Range Strike Bomber program—potentially worth up to $80 billion—to Northrop Grumman. The Government Accountability Office now has 100 days to evaluate the protest and determine if it has merit. Boeing, in a press statement, suggested it offered a lower price on the program and questioned Northrop Grumman’s technical and financial ability to carry the program out. The selection process was “fundamentally flawed,” Boeing said. “The cost evaluation performed by the government did not properly reward the contractors’ proposals to break the upward-spiraling historical cost curves of defense acquisitions, or properly evaluate the relative or comparative risk of the competitors’ ability to perform, as required by the solicitation.” According to the statement, the award to Northrop Grumman was a mistake, because the Boeing team offers “the best LRS-B at a cost that uniquely defies the prohibitively expensive trends of the nation’s past defense acquisitions.” Boeing has used this tactic before: in 2008, it protested the Air Force’s award of the KC-X tanker program to European Aeronautic Defense Systems (now Airbus), then partnered with Northrop Grumman, and was successful in overturning the award, getting the competition re-opened, and winning the restructured contest in 2011.

The Air Force Responds to Boeing's LRS-B Protest

—John A. Tirpak11/9/2015

​The Air Force on Friday defended its handling of the Long-Range Strike Bomber competition, despite Boeing’s protest of the award. Though “it is every competitor’s right to file a protest, the Air Force is confident that the source selection team followed a deliberate, disciplined, and impartial process to determine the best value for the warfighter and taxpayer,” USAF spokesman Maj. Robert Leese said. “The Air Force will fully support the [Government Accountability Office’s] independent process. Once resolved, we look forward to proceeding with the development and fielding of the LRS-B aircraft.” The GAO has 100 days from today to evaluate Boeing’s claims: that Northrop Grumman underbid the contract, that new technologies and the experience of the Boeing/Lockheed Martin team were not properly credited, and that Northrop Grumman lacks the financial ability to carry the project through. The 100 days is an upper limit; the GAO may determine in a shorter period of time that the protest lacks merit. If the GAO determines there is merit in the protest, remedies could range from clarifying or resubmitting certain aspects of the competitors’ offers all the way up to throwing the competition out and demanding the Air Force start over. That’s what happened in 2008, when Boeing protested the Air Force’s award of the KC-X tanker contract to a team of Northrop Grumman and EADS (now Airbus). When the Air Force established new rules for a recompetition of the contract, Northrop Grumman withdrew, saying the requirements had been written to favor Boeing’s 767-based proposal. Airbus re-bid the KC-45 but lost the contest to what became the Boeing KC-46 tanker.

Northrop's Reaction

—John A. Tirpak11/9/2015

​Northrop Grumman, which won the contract for the Air Force’s Long-Range Strike Bomber, said it was “disappointed ... its former LRS-B competitors have decided to disrupt a program that is so vital to national security” by protesting the award. Randy Belote, a company spokesman, said the Air Force “conducted an exceptionally thorough and disciplined process with multiple layers of review. Their process took into full account the parties’ respective offerings and their relative capabilities to execute their offerings on schedule and on budget.” Northrop offered an approach “that is inherently more affordable and based on demonstrated performance and capabilities. Our record stands in contrast to other manufacturer’s large aircraft programs of the last decade.” He pointed out that Northrop Grumman is “the only company to ever design and build a stealth bomber” and offered “the best solution” in the contest. Under protest rules, Northrop Grumman must stop work on the project until the protest is resolved. The Government Accountability Office has until Feb. 15 to determine the merits of the protest. If it finds no merit in Boeing’s protest, that finding may be announced sooner.

Behind Boeing’s Protest

11/9/2015

—John A. Tirpak

It would have been tough for Boeing to explain to its shareholders why it didn’t protest losing the Long-Range Strike Bomber contract—potentially an $80 billion chunk of work—especially when there was a reasonable chance that the Government Accountability Office might sustain the complaint, and Boeing captured the $44 billion KC-46 contract after its protest threw that program back open for competition. “We have to take a shot,” an industry official said simply. Those familiar with the particulars behind the protest said Boeing believes the Air Force didn’t give the company and its partner Lockheed Martin sufficient credit for producing large numbers of airliners, F/A-18 fighters,​ and F-35 fighters in recent years, and for technology advances that gave them an edge in large-scale, lower-cost production techniques, and their grand system integration chops. Moreover, Boeing believes Northrop Grumman’s price offer was too good to be true, considering that Northrop Grumman doesn’t have Boeing’s extensive worldwide supplier network and volume benefits. Boeing itself underbid the KC-46, and is now more than $500 billion in the red, after taxes, on that program. But while Boeing is responsible for any overages on the tanker, the bomber contract is cost-plus, meaning that while Northrop Grumman will lose incentive fees if it fails to deliver, the Air Force will have to cover overages. (Read the full report.)

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Offline Flyaway

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #287 on: November 09, 2015, 03:29:32 am »
Very easy from those statements to see how NG are going to defend themselves & what line of attack they are going to use against Boeing.

Offline Airplane

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #288 on: November 09, 2015, 05:57:37 am »
I would boycott Boeing, but what am I going to do, not buy a new 747? It's very patriotic of Boeing, doing what they are doing, giving a 3 month delay to something that is as important as this aircraft is.  I fear the longer the program is delayed, the higher costs are going to rise.  Thank you, Boeing.
"The test of success is not what you do when your on top. Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.”
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Offline LowObservable

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #289 on: November 09, 2015, 07:53:12 am »
As someone pointed out, nobody's better qualified to recognize an unrealistically low bid when they see one than the folks who brought you the F-35 and KC-46.

Offline sferrin

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #290 on: November 09, 2015, 09:24:52 am »
As someone pointed out, nobody's better qualified to recognize an unrealistically low bid when they see one than the folks who brought you the F-35 and KC-46.

Yeah, that was really classy.  ::)  Something I'd expect from, oh, maybe Entertainment Weekly, but a bit of embarrassment to see in AvWeek.  I thought they were more professional than that.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2015, 09:26:28 am by sferrin »
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Offline bring_it_on

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #291 on: November 09, 2015, 10:03:51 am »
I would boycott Boeing, but what am I going to do, not buy a new 747? It's very patriotic of Boeing, doing what they are doing, giving a 3 month delay to something that is as important as this aircraft is.  I fear the longer the program is delayed, the higher costs are going to rise.  Thank you, Boeing.

They are well within their right to protest and get themselves heard and large projects have to count the fact that there would be a protest leading to a few months delay. There is no way around that.

Also, if you still want to protest I'd suggest you just don't fly Boeing ;)
Old radar types never die; they just phased array - Unknown

Offline Flyaway

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #292 on: November 09, 2015, 10:35:36 am »

Offline Steve Pace

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #293 on: November 09, 2015, 10:40:05 am »
The Air Force has issued the stop work order to NG.

http://insidedefense.com/login-redirect-no-cookie?n=173681&destination=node/173681
I wonder if that particular clause was in the contract NG recieved - I doubt it. -SP
When you know you're right, go ahead.

Offline bring_it_on

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #294 on: November 09, 2015, 10:44:00 am »
 The rules require that the service seize all contract activity during the time the GAO hears the protest.

Here's the complete article on the stop work:

Quote
The Air Force confirmed Monday it has issued a stop-work order to Northrop Grumman following Boeing and Lockheed Martin's protest of the Long-Range Strike Bomber award.

"The Air Force issued a stop-work order, Nov. 6, 2015, on the LRS-B contract due to the automatic stay of performance imposed by the filing of Boeing's bid protest at the Government Accountability Office," service spokesman Maj. Robert Leese confirmed in an email toInside the Air Force. "The Competition in Contracting Act (CICA) requires an agency suspend performance of a newly awarded contract after the timely filing of a bid protest at the GAO."

The service on Oct. 27 awarded Northrop a contract to develop and produce at least 100 new bombers, shunning a bid from a combined Boeing-Lockheed Martin team. The contractors protested the award Nov. 6, claiming they underbid Northrop and criticizing the Air Force's process for evaluating financial and development risk.

"That flawed evaluation led to the selection of Northrop Grumman over the industry-leading team of Boeing and Lockheed Martin, whose proposal offers the government and the warfighter the best possible LRS-B at a cost that uniquely defies the prohibitively expensive trends of the nation's past defense acquisitions," Boeing said in a Nov. 6 statement.

GAO has 100 days to consider Boeing and Lockheed's claims, determine their merit and issue a ruling. Under that time line, the agency is expected to respond by mid-February.

Old radar types never die; they just phased array - Unknown

Offline bring_it_on

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #295 on: November 09, 2015, 11:18:52 am »
...
Old radar types never die; they just phased array - Unknown

Offline LowObservable

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Re: Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber
« Reply #296 on: November 09, 2015, 11:37:12 am »
Thanks for the literary advice, Sferrin. But it could have been improved by adding a mention of the 787.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2015, 01:42:55 pm by LowObservable »