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Northrop Grumman B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

dark sidius

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Or an arsenal plane could replace futur NGAD program, a new type of aircraft some sort of modern B1-B, full loading of long range air-air missile and UAV wingman could be the USAF reponse of air-air dominance for the futur, we will be no need of dogfighting fighter... With all of the NGAD budget could go to this kind of plane, and with 1 Billion by year it could become reality. Dual role long range strike and long range anti-air, with hypersonic weapon could be the ultimate plane in inventory.
 

Josh_TN

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There will be no other bomber program outside of the B-21. There is no funding and AFAIK little interest for an arsenal plane.
 

Josh_TN

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AFAIK = As far as I know. It seems like a safe bet with the nation's economy lying in ruins that even if a black program exists now, it soon won't.
 

Desertfox

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Well I work for a major defense contractor and there has been almost zero impact due to the pandemic. No cancellations, no delays, no slowdowns, not even talk of them happening. All the employees have been declared essential and work is progressing as normal, even got a new contract order last week. If black programs exists they could very well still be ongoing.
 

TomcatViP

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Let's be honest with ourself, war will see casualty rate much higher than Covid can get. It would be then expected from the US war machine to act as not impaired for good reasons.

Boeing did restart its production line of P-8 and KC-46 today.
 

_Del_

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Well I work for a major defense contractor and there has been almost zero impact due to the pandemic. No cancellations, no delays, no slowdowns, not even talk of them happening. All the employees have been declared essential and work is progressing as normal, even got a new contract order last week. If black programs exists they could very well still be ongoing.
Funding for this year is already allocated. Projects ready and near-ready for production probably won't see much change. A "black" clean-sheet bomber a decade or more from fruition would not survive next year's austerity budget (assuming it existed). I expect there to be ripples from this for another ten years.
Unless there's a shooting war, in which case the money will obviously flow pretty freely.
 

bring_it_on

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Well I work for a major defense contractor and there has been almost zero impact due to the pandemic. No cancellations, no delays, no slowdowns, not even talk of them happening. All the employees have been declared essential and work is progressing as normal, even got a new contract order last week. If black programs exists they could very well still be ongoing.
Perhaps with your employer. Others have not been so lucky. Boeing has shut down many of its military production programs for days and even weeks for others. Yet others, particularly the suppliers have taken a pause and may ultimately be a bottleneck going forward. You will see delays in a number of production programs in the coming weeks to months. Some will be minor but others could go into a few months.
 

sferrin

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AFAIK = As far as I know. It seems like a safe bet with the nation's economy lying in ruins that even if a black program exists now, it soon won't.
By the end of the year we'll be back where we were in January.
 

Josh_TN

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Perhaps the stock market, though I doubt it. Employment and GDP will be no where near January’s level.
 

sferrin

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Well I work for a major defense contractor and there has been almost zero impact due to the pandemic. No cancellations, no delays, no slowdowns, not even talk of them happening. All the employees have been declared essential and work is progressing as normal, even got a new contract order last week. If black programs exists they could very well still be ongoing.
Perhaps with your employer. Others have not been so lucky. Boeing has shut down many of its military production programs for days and even weeks for others. Yet others, particularly the suppliers have taken a pause and may ultimately be a bottleneck going forward. You will see delays in a number of production programs in the coming weeks to months. Some will be minor but others could go into a few months.
 

bring_it_on

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^ This is what I'm hearing as well. Ranging a few days to a few weeks for most but others who are operating differently. However we'll need to wait to see what the overall disruptions are which is why I think we could see a few months of delays, at most, for some of the most impacted programs while others may see only slight deviations.
 

Josh_TN

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I was referrring less to direct manufacturing interruptions and more the long term budget impacts. If some black project is already being produced, I'm sure at this point it will be produced, even if delayed. If it is in the early stages of planning and development and it is redundant with another platform, as any arsenal plane would be with the B-21, it will be cancelled next year in all likelihood. That and I find it hard to believe such a project would remain black while the B-21 would not; an arsenal plane would be a comparatively lower technology capability. The more likely situation is that no such project exists outside someone's powerpoint presentations and National Interest articles.
 

bring_it_on

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I was referrring less to direct manufacturing interruptions and more the long term budget impacts. If some black project is already being produced, I'm sure at this point it will be produced, even if delayed. If it is in the early stages of planning and development and it is redundant with another platform, as any arsenal plane would be with the B-21, it will be cancelled next year in all likelihood. That and I find it hard to believe such a project would remain black while the B-21 would not; an arsenal plane would be a comparatively lower technology capability. The more likely situation is that no such project exists outside someone's powerpoint presentations and National Interest articles.
Who knows what exists or doesn't exist in the classified portfolio. But to assume that whatever is included will just be cancelled "next year" is a gross over simplification and doesn't really get to what is likely to shape the FY-22 budget and what range the defense spending is likely to fall into (and the R&D or procurement accounts within those).

The bomber portfolio should really be concerned with two programs at the moment. First should be to buy as many B-21's at as fast a rate as possible. The next focus should be the B-52 upgrade plan that enhances both capability and readiness. That should keep them busy for the next decade. IMO, the AF doesn't need to be distracted by something else.
 

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Desertfox

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Don't expect the defense industry to be greatly affected, it will be the last to go. They will shut down hospitals and farming before they shut us down. Note that the only military programs that have been affected are the KC-46 and P-8 lines, both are based on civilian platforms and built on civilian lines.
 

bring_it_on

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Don't expect the defense industry to be greatly affected, it will be the last to go. They will shut down hospitals and farming before they shut us down. Note that the only military programs that have been affected are the KC-46 and P-8 lines, both are based on civilian platforms and built on civilian lines.




It is way to early to have a definitive impact assessment on defense program schedule impact. You are right defense is essential and will always be last to go. But that doesn't mean there would be no delays or schedule challenges both directly related to COVID 19, and on account of supply disruptions (you don't have to completely shut programs down for a time to have disruptions). Things could slip but I think impact will not be widespread and in most cases minor. I think we'll get a good indication of what the macro impact is going to be once the economy re-opens and how that is executed. We'll also know a little bit more in the coming weeks as some of the A&D firms share their earnings and future projections.
 
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Desertfox

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All I'm saying is the defense industry has a lot of power and lobbyists and will (and already has) fight tooth and nail to stay open and to keep their current contracts running. Will there be delays or schedule slips? There always are, but you can be sure the defense contractors will do everything in their power to prevent them.
 

Arjen

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Defense essential and last to go - instead of enabling economic activity to generate money to pay for anything at all? Infrastructure rings a bell?
 

sferrin

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Defense essential and last to go - instead of enabling economic activity to generate money to pay for anything at all? Infrastructure rings a bell?
This should not come as a surprise. Defense is a priority for many reasons (making sure schedules are met, ensuring the supply chain doesn't fall apart, etc.). As for "enabling economic activity" that's what the $2.5 billion Bill is for. Getting people back to work ASAP will help.
 

bring_it_on

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Not sure whether this impacts the B-21 schedule but it wouldn't be surprising if the program has some impact.

DOD expects three-month COVID-19 delay across all programs; needs 'billions and billions' to reimburse contractors

Pentagon acquisition chief Ellen Lord said today the COVID-19 outbreak will delay all major programs by about three months and require Congress to supplement the Defense Department with "billions and billions" of dollars to reimburse contractors experiencing virus-related challenges. "It will cost us something," she told reporters during a Pentagon press conference, though she declined to provide specifics as the funding request is being crafted by the White House Office of Management and Budget. Lord said the department hopes the...
 

Sundog

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The only thing I can figure is the silhouette was probably accurate, which would make it relatively easy to calculate it's capabilities.
 

Flyaway

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The only thing I can figure is the silhouette was probably accurate, which would make it relatively easy to calculate it's capabilities.
Bit late for that now as I am guessing interested parties would have already seen it.
 

zebra159357

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Arjen

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sferrin

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That would include the people with the Cambridge Dictionary and Merriam-Webster

Huh. Didn't know "till" was even word (other than the noun or verb). Always use, "until" or "'til".
 

Forest Green

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That would include the people with the Cambridge Dictionary and Merriam-Webster

Fair enough. I always assumed it was an abbreviation too. Kind of weird having two words look like a long and abbreviated version of each to mean the same thing. Language is weird, 'pigeon' used to have a 'd' in it until the start of the 19th century.
 

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Roper’s post on LinkedIn [...] : The “USAF innovation hasn't missed a beat during COVID-19. Our B-21 team just ran containerized software with Kubernetes on flight-ready hardware! Another step towards ‘DevStar’: our initiative to bring radical autonomy to software development, partnering with Northrop Grumman.”
 

TomcatViP

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I put it there as I have a hunch that this is related to visual stealth (counter sensors) for the Raider*:

* IMOHO they are assessing different solutions (pannels design, coating etc...).
 

In_A_Dream

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Looking at the Mitchell Institute report, there is definitely room for a FB-XX class bomber in the future. Something which brings payload at range but has numbers.
I'd like to think that a FB-XX already exists somewhere in low numbers, mostly because China's been pushing to develop a tactical bomber and they've been keen on mimicking US Airpower.
 

donnage99

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I'd like to think that a FB-XX already exists somewhere in low numbers, mostly because China's been pushing to develop a tactical bomber and they've been keen on mimicking US Airpower.
China, or any country, has a unique military need, which is denial of access to american global military reach, and able to regionally bring to the fight to taiwan, japan and korea 1st day of war. Everything is built for and around that doctrine. Whatever similar is due to the fact that that particular set of needs between the 2 countries are similar and that the US tried it successfully, why reinvent the wheel. Additionally, there's absolutely no reason to classify a tactical bomber fleet but not the strategic one. A regional bomber would be in large number due to the multiple theaters america engages in, so I doubt if one exist, it's gonna be any small number.
 

quellish

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Probably just testing IR coatings rather than visual signature reduction.
 
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