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Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

flateric

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There was one misleading photo, taken at an angle chosen to disguise the actual layout.
It also had its artistic counterpart by Lockheed's Steve Moore. These two are only official images of F-117 unveiled in a first wave of declassification in '89.
 

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sferrin

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So, as far as we know, this one is the "official" one:

DYJ25UGSU5G37GJG74UGHJE5DA.jpg

and this one is bogus:

B21_illustration.jpg
 

sublight is back

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There was one misleading photo, taken at an angle chosen to disguise the actual layout.
It also had its artistic counterpart by Lockheed's Steve Moore. These two are only official images of F-117 unveiled in a first wave of declassification in '89.
I dont think that its an accident that the artist impression shown here has an almost Escher like layout so its perspective is deliberately distorted. I think the B21 "artwork" was designed the same way.
 

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Looking at the official artwork it appears to me that the outer wings are longer with respect to the center section than on the B-2. Also the intakes are in shadows and the exhaust system is none existent. Think there will still be surprises when the first example is rolled out. Would not be surprised to see the roll out mid to late summer 2021 with all the ground testing that would need to be done before the first flight. The big question being has the aircraft been sized to carry hypersonic weapons internally? The B-52 isn't going to last forever and they will need to be carried by something. Think the B-21 will be in production for some time and if costs are held to acceptable limits think we will see well over 100 built. Understand the LRSO will be integrated so it will have the room to carry a cruise missile sized hypersonic weapon if that is achievable.
 

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Isn't the B2 the perfect shape for a bomber? I recall seeing rcs plots some years ago of various shapes that basically ruled out cranked kites and other shapes such as pure triangles for having greater rcs's.

Isn't it likely we are getting a B2 v2.0? Perhaps new technologies such as wing warping versus flaps and ailerons?

Isn't the real question the payload and engines? Basically its size, payload, and range? Will it have antimissile missiles? Will it carry a couple mald type decoys?
 

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for sure distributed propulsion. Then on the spectacular side of it, we might have a degree of visual stealth, something hinted during the program. Weapon bay might be smaller as the entire bomber itself compared to the previous generation explaining the focus on the 52 for hypersonic missiles (better fuel efficiency means less volume is needed at equal range). Wing warping is unlikely IMOHO. The shape being certainly a flying wing , the large surface of the wing leaves plenty of possibility to actively alter the airflow with the same effect: less complexity, less impact on stealth, easier design. decreased maintenance cost,lower overall cost.
 
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Grey Havoc

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I doubt they'd would be going with a smaller bomb bay, especially on a subsonic design whose lack of speed (hopefully at it is at least as manoeuvrable as the B-2) will already limit it's utility. The USAF have basically sacrificed quality in favour of quantity in this program. If the program doesn't result in a very large production run, then the entire B-21 concept is a bust, because the B-21 wouldn't then be remotely capable of meeting operational demands in anything approaching a major conflict. A smaller bomb bay would make things even worse, requiring even larger numbers of aircraft to be procured, even before we get to things like allowing for attrition combat or otherwise.
 

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I doubt they'd would be going with a smaller bomb bay, especially on a subsonic design whose lack of speed (hopefully at it is at least as manoeuvrable as the B-2) will already limit it's utility. The USAF have basically sacrificed quality in favour of quantity in this program. If the program doesn't result in a very large production run, then the entire B-21 concept is a bust, because the B-21 wouldn't then be remotely capable of meeting operational demands in anything approaching a major conflict. A smaller bomb bay would make things even worse, requiring even larger numbers of aircraft to be procured, even before we get to things like allowing for attrition combat or otherwise.
Quite right too Grey Havoc, especially when the USAF have the 50,000 pound Massive Ordnance Perpetrator bomb getting ready for service on the B-2, I too cannot see the B-21 getting designed with a smaller weapons bay.
 

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you might well be correct. My remarks were to emphasize what could the plausible main differences.
 

sferrin

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I doubt they'd would be going with a smaller bomb bay, especially on a subsonic design whose lack of speed (hopefully at it is at least as manoeuvrable as the B-2) will already limit it's utility. The USAF have basically sacrificed quality in favour of quantity in this program. If the program doesn't result in a very large production run, then the entire B-21 concept is a bust, because the B-21 wouldn't then be remotely capable of meeting operational demands in anything approaching a major conflict. A smaller bomb bay would make things even worse, requiring even larger numbers of aircraft to be procured, even before we get to things like allowing for attrition combat or otherwise.
Quite right too Grey Havoc, especially when the USAF have the 50,000 pound Massive Ordnance Perpetrator bomb getting ready for service on the B-2, I too cannot see the B-21 getting designed with a smaller weapons bay.

What 50,000lb MOP are you talking about?
 

FighterJock

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The
I doubt they'd would be going with a smaller bomb bay, especially on a subsonic design whose lack of speed (hopefully at it is at least as manoeuvrable as the B-2) will already limit it's utility. The USAF have basically sacrificed quality in favour of quantity in this program. If the program doesn't result in a very large production run, then the entire B-21 concept is a bust, because the B-21 wouldn't then be remotely capable of meeting operational demands in anything approaching a major conflict. A smaller bomb bay would make things even worse, requiring even larger numbers of aircraft to be procured, even before we get to things like allowing for attrition combat or otherwise.
Quite right too Grey Havoc, especially when the USAF have the 50,000 pound Massive Ordnance Perpetrator bomb getting ready for service on the B-2, I too cannot see the B-21 getting designed with a smaller weapons bay.

What 50,000lb MOP are you talking about?
The GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator, it is currently a 30,000 pound prototype bomb but I have seen reports that the USAF are planning to increase the poundage to at least 50,000 pound's.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massive_Ordnance_Penetrator
 

sferrin

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The
I doubt they'd would be going with a smaller bomb bay, especially on a subsonic design whose lack of speed (hopefully at it is at least as manoeuvrable as the B-2) will already limit it's utility. The USAF have basically sacrificed quality in favour of quantity in this program. If the program doesn't result in a very large production run, then the entire B-21 concept is a bust, because the B-21 wouldn't then be remotely capable of meeting operational demands in anything approaching a major conflict. A smaller bomb bay would make things even worse, requiring even larger numbers of aircraft to be procured, even before we get to things like allowing for attrition combat or otherwise.
Quite right too Grey Havoc, especially when the USAF have the 50,000 pound Massive Ordnance Perpetrator bomb getting ready for service on the B-2, I too cannot see the B-21 getting designed with a smaller weapons bay.

What 50,000lb MOP are you talking about?
The GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator, it is currently a 30,000 pound prototype bomb
Yes, I'm aware of the GBU-57. It's not a prototype, hence the GBU-57 service designation. Could you post evidence of plans of a 50,000lb bomb?

 

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Whilst the bomb bay might be the same size, the question is how many bomb bays (i.e. reduction to 1 vs B-2's twins)?
 

Mat Parry

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for sure distributed propulsion. Then on the spectacular side of it, we might have a degree of visual stealth, something hinted during the program. Weapon bay might be smaller as the entire bomber itself compared to the previous generation explaining the focus on the 52 for hypersonic missiles (better fuel efficiency means less volume is needed at equal range). Wing warping is unlikely IMOHO. The shape being certainly a flying wing , the large surface of the wing leaves plenty of possibility to actively alter the airflow with the same effect: less complexity, less impact on stealth, easier design. decreased maintenance cost,lower overall cost.
"For sure distributed propulsion"? As in a hybrid electric system?
 

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After having a thorough look through Google it appears that m
The
I doubt they'd would be going with a smaller bomb bay, especially on a subsonic design whose lack of speed (hopefully at it is at least as manoeuvrable as the B-2) will already limit it's utility. The USAF have basically sacrificed quality in favour of quantity in this program. If the program doesn't result in a very large production run, then the entire B-21 concept is a bust, because the B-21 wouldn't then be remotely capable of meeting operational demands in anything approaching a major conflict. A smaller bomb bay would make things even worse, requiring even larger numbers of aircraft to be procured, even before we get to things like allowing for attrition combat or otherwise.
Quite right too Grey Havoc, especially when the USAF have the 50,000 pound Massive Ordnance Perpetrator bomb getting ready for service on the B-2, I too cannot see the B-21 getting designed with a smaller weapons bay.

What 50,000lb MOP are you talking about?
The GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator, it is currently a 30,000 pound prototype bomb
Yes, I'm aware of the GBU-57. It's not a prototype, hence the GBU-57 service designation. Could you post evidence of plans of a 50,000lb bomb?

I cannot find my source online sferrin, I think that it may now be unreliable now sorry. :oops:
 

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The USAF's stated plan is for the next gen penetrator to be lighter than MOP so it can fit on a wider range of aircraft. Probably will need rocket assistance for maximum penetration.
 

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Have US Bombers deployed or landed west of Guam recently? I wasn't sure if there are any training exercises down under or at Kadena where the bombers actually landed. I'm asking as I'm wondering if B-21 would be able to forward deploy west of Guam.
 

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I believe there have been bombers flying out of Tindal and Darwin as recently as 2018.

 

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I believe there have been bombers flying out of Tindal and Darwin as recently as 2018.


Thanks Tom

You've pointed me in the right direction. Looks like there is quite a bit going on with fuel depots and munitions storage facilities being built at different bases. Also cryptic statements by officials about future plans. Looks like they're waiting for the US Congress to complete the 2020 NDAA for funding before additional plans to be shared.

Interesting times.
 

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What do you guys mean by hybrid propulsion? As in the mythical ability of the B2 to use electric charge as propulsive force?
Also as a US citizen and patriot, is it wise for the new bomber to use 2engines? One flames out and 1 isn't enough to maintain flight. Isn't it better to use 4 smaller engines if 1 should fail, then 3 is enough to return to base.
 

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What do you guys mean by hybrid propulsion? As in the mythical ability of the B2 to use electric charge as propulsive force?
Also as a US citizen and patriot, is it wise for the new bomber to use 2engines? One flames out and 1 isn't enough to maintain flight. Isn't it better to use 4 smaller engines if 1 should fail, then 3 is enough to return to base.

They're pretty good engines, and powerful. I don't believe they would design an aircraft with two engines where one wouldn't be able to maintain flight.
 

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I'd be pretty skeptical about hybrid electric: you need (at the very least) large, nuclear hardened cryocoolers for the
multi-megawatt class motors and a nuclear hardened kVDC distribution system.

Not sure any of that is mature enough to have earned it's way on especially in the face of a third-stream engine
that's close-ish in potential fuel burn improvements.
 

kaiserd

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What do you guys mean by hybrid propulsion? As in the mythical ability of the B2 to use electric charge as propulsive force?
Also as a US citizen and patriot, is it wise for the new bomber to use 2engines? One flames out and 1 isn't enough to maintain flight. Isn't it better to use 4 smaller engines if 1 should fail, then 3 is enough to return to base.

They're pretty good engines, and powerful. I don't believe they would design an aircraft with two engines where one wouldn't be able to maintain flight.
Did you expect a different answer if you weren’t a “US citizen and patriot”? :)
(No offense meant.)

I would naively have thought that 2 versus 4 engines would have very much been a consideration at initial design stage, and at evaluation and selection stages.
Indeed (unless I’ve missed an announcement) my understanding is that we don’t actually know if the B-21 is twin engined, just that this is the current understanding of what is most likely.
I understand that’s because the engine is P&W and is expected to be related to the F135, as well as exceptions of the B-21 being somewhat smaller and lighter than the B-2.
And as commented on by other contributors there would be assumed to be a certain level of acceptable one-engine-down performance that goes all the way back to my comments above re: initial design stage trade-offs.
And in terms of the expected reliability of modern turbofan engines I can point you to the F-35 being single engined and the absolute death of all 4 engined airliners in the face of twin engined competitors.


 
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bring_it_on

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Yup. The ”4 engines 4 long haul” slogan was fairly short lived on the commercial side. I don't see much problem with the B-21 having twin engines..
 

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I would guess the Raider will have narrow horizontal exhaust openings that distribute the hot air along a large portion of the trailing edge of the wings center section. Similar to those of F-117...
 

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flateric

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what you guess is based on? why it shouldn't look like those on company's heritage still more modern B-2 or X-47B?
why it shouldn't look like those on NGB renderings? official rendering points on exhaust looking exactly like those
why post meaningless stuff and guesses if you just don't know?
 
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VTOLicious

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what you guess is based on? why it shouldn't look like those on company's heritage still more modern B-2 or X-47B?
why it shouldn't look like those on NGB renderings? official rendering points on exhaust looking exactly like those
why post meaningless stuff and guesses if you just don't know?
Why so upset?
Actually my guess is based on the claims of "distributed propulsion" by other forum members...
...and I think such trailing edge exhausts perfecly match with the only official picture released so far
 

flateric

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so we have ready to use distributed propulsion system for an aircraft with the first flight scheduled for December 2021
OK
 

FighterJock

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so we have ready to use distributed propulsion system for an aircraft with the first flight scheduled for December 2021
OK
So when would the USAF reveal the B-21 to the public? It has to be after first flight or when the B-21 reaches Initial Operational Capability.
 

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so we have ready to use distributed propulsion system for an aircraft with the first flight scheduled for December 2021
OK
So when would the USAF reveal the B-21 to the public? It has to be after first flight or when the B-21 reaches Initial Operational Capability.
When they roll it out. It has to perform taxi tests and other ground handling tests before it flies. It's kind of hard to hide something like that rolling around the Palmdale airport.
 

FighterJock

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Thanks Sundog. By the way any idea as to the public areas of Palmdale airport are in relation to where Northrop are?
 

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so we have ready to use distributed propulsion system for an aircraft with the first flight scheduled for December 2021
OK
So when would the USAF reveal the B-21 to the public? It has to be after first flight or when the B-21 reaches Initial Operational Capability.
Spirit was like 9 months ahead of flight. I am guessing less than that for Raider as we don't want to telegraph to the world what we are building. Only wish we were rolling out two PCA as well; would be like 89/90 all over again. Shouldn't Lockheed have some kind of hypersonic demonstrator soon? Edit: reread and it will be before first flight. They can't box this one up likethe night hawk and test in secret.

Curious if they will be armed with alcms or just "bombs" like the spirit. Will they integrate the agm86 into it or wait till the new missile is ready?

Also didn't i read they only plan to build 8 a year? I hope that is incorrect.

Also shouldn't they keep the spirits around as they could now be seen as no longer too valuable to be used in certain scenarios with the Raider in the fleet?

Didn't northrop build a florida facility for the B21? Read that a year or two ago. Is that still the case?
 
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GeorgeA

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The facility in Florida is just for the engineering team.
It's interesting they didn't use an existing facility.
They did. It was an existing facility in Melbourne that they expanded for the B-21 program. They were also playing Florida and California off each other for tax subsidies.
 

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As George noted, the existing facility in Florida, IIRC, was used for converting/upgrading systems into aircraft. I think it's where they installed the systems for the Joint Stars aircraft, among other modifications they've performed there.
 

GeorgeA

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As George noted, the existing facility in Florida, IIRC, was used for converting/upgrading systems into aircraft. I think it's where they installed the systems for the Joint Stars aircraft, among other modifications they've performed there.
Yes, the site was originally Grumman Mission Systems before the merger. I think E-2D systems integration still happens there.
 
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