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Rockwell B-1 Lancer

mkellytx

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Instrumented test rounds are already in inventory, AGM-158 is already an integrated store on the OAS, the Sniper pylon is already wired with all the connections to make everything talk, not to mention 5075 is a test birds so there's probably plenty of orange wire in that pylon. Finally, pretty sure the old ALCM dual pylons are long gone and most certainly not compatible with a -1760 interface.
 

FighterJock

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Instrumented test rounds are already in inventory, AGM-158 is already an integrated store on the OAS, the Sniper pylon is already wired with all the connections to make everything talk, not to mention 5075 is a test birds so there's probably plenty of orange wire in that pylon. Finally, pretty sure the old ALCM dual pylons are long gone and most certainly not compatible with a -1760 interface.

The ALCMs were never carried externally on the B-1B due to the START-1 treaty with Russia in the early 1980s. Though the capability was there should the need arise, but it never was.
 

sferrin

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Instrumented test rounds are already in inventory, AGM-158 is already an integrated store on the OAS, the Sniper pylon is already wired with all the connections to make everything talk, not to mention 5075 is a test birds so there's probably plenty of orange wire in that pylon. Finally, pretty sure the old ALCM dual pylons are long gone and most certainly not compatible with a -1760 interface.

The ALCMs were never carried externally on the B-1B due to the START-1 treaty with Russia in the early 1980s. Though the capability was there should the need arise, but it never was.
Still need to build new pylons though.
 

mkellytx

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Instrumented test rounds are already in inventory, AGM-158 is already an integrated store on the OAS, the Sniper pylon is already wired with all the connections to make everything talk, not to mention 5075 is a test birds so there's probably plenty of orange wire in that pylon. Finally, pretty sure the old ALCM dual pylons are long gone and most certainly not compatible with a -1760 interface.

The ALCMs were never carried externally on the B-1B due to the START-1 treaty with Russia in the early 1980s. Though the capability was there should the need arise, but it never was.
Well aware of this, back in 2004/2005 I escorted the Russian START inspection team on their inspection of Dyess. They verified the pylons were disabled by, "A process equivalent to welding," and that the bulkheads were in the center location in the forward bay.

The black boxes to operate ALCM were never procured and other systems are now in that space, so the Bone never could use them, but got some nice souvenirs from the Russian Colonel for the lost weekend. They always seemed to pick the weekend of Taste of Abilene for the Dyess inspection...
 

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It seems unlikely to me that the money can be found to refurbish the pylon capability. Look how long it took to get around to the CONNECT upgrade on the B-52s, and that I assume is a much easier process since it is an internal, centralized bay rather a half dozen different connections to the outside of the aircraft. I also wonder what the range and ceiling restrictions would be if you loaded two dozen AGM-158s on the inside and then started dragging down the airframe with external stores on top of that (presuming you only load external stores when the inside is full).
 

mkellytx

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It seems unlikely to me that the money can be found to refurbish the pylon capability. Look how long it took to get around to the CONNECT upgrade on the B-52s, and that I assume is a much easier process since it is an internal, centralized bay rather a half dozen different connections to the outside of the aircraft. I also wonder what the range and ceiling restrictions would be if you loaded two dozen AGM-158s on the inside and then started dragging down the airframe with external stores on top of that (presuming you only load external stores when the inside is full).
Exactly, I worked CONNECT in the 2005-8 timeframe and remember sending 0036 to Wichita for modification, but that was cockpit displays and data links. That said, you are also correct that -1760 in the bay was a proposal during that same timeframe. The Bone community was definitely better at lobbying and getting their upgrades, but my hunch is B-21's would be on the ramp at EL by the time any new pylon got there...
 

mkellytx

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I thought the 1760 upgrade was part of CONNECT; my mistake.
No worries because CONNECT was linked to SOJ, it's easy to get all those programs mixed up, the latter relied on the former to work. That was another case where the Bone got their data links before the BUFF got theirs...
 

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Never knew, that a prototype of the Rockwell B-1A Lancer had a retractable FLIR turret. o_O:cool:
View: https://twitter.com/clemente3000/status/1352084159536226306?

Dear members or mods,
if this post is in the false topic, please let me know, so I can delete or move this post to a more suitable topic like the topic AMSA Program & B-1 Bomber projects.
Here's an - albeit low resolution - photo from the San Diego Air & Space Museum (SDASM) Archives of the Electro-Optical Viewing System (EVS) turret posted at Flickr.
https://flic.kr/p/7WACzT View: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sdasmarchives/4555988269/sizes/o/
 

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Ronny

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Never knew, that a prototype of the Rockwell B-1A Lancer had a retractable FLIR turret. o_O:cool:
View: https://twitter.com/clemente3000/status/1352084159536226306?

Dear members or mods,
if this post is in the false topic, please let me know, so I can delete or move this post to a more suitable topic like the topic AMSA Program & B-1 Bomber projects.
Here's an - albeit low resolution - photo from the San Diego Air & Space Museum (SDASM) Archives of the Electro-Optical Viewing System (EVS) turret posted at Flickr.
https://flic.kr/p/7WACzT View: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sdasmarchives/4555988269/sizes/o/
Why they removed it for the sniper-XR though, such a shame
 

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The B-1B was supposed to be a low cost interim bomber to be built relatively quickly, so they cut a lot of corners that they probably really shouldn't have. Regarding the decision to procure the Sniper-XR pod itself in the 2000s (not solely for the B-1 fleet it should be noted), from the late '80s up until around the late 2000s, podded sensor, Electronic Warfare, and other such systems for combat aircraft were popular, at least among the bean counters, because it was believed they would be less expensive to procure, and more economical to maintain in the long term, than having organic sensor, EW, etc. suites integrated into every front line aircraft. It was also thought that systems could be easily moved around between different aircraft, meaning only a few pods would need to be purchased overall (of course, the proponents of podded systems tended to forget about little things like combat attrition). Needless to say, things didn't quite work out the way they thought they would.
 

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mkellytx

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Why they removed it for the sniper-XR though, such a shame

It was never installed in the first place, this is more like the 1970's AN/ASQ-151 system installed on the G&H model than Sniper which is more for low level navigation than targeting. Completely different than Sniper.
 

mkellytx

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The B-1B was supposed to be a low cost interim bomber to be built relatively quickly, so they cut a lot of corners that they probably really shouldn't have. Regarding the decision to procure the Sniper-XR pod itself in the 2000s (not solely for the B-1 fleet it should be noted), from the late '80s up until around the late 2000s, podded sensor, Electronic Warfare, and other such systems for combat aircraft were popular, at least among the bean counters, because it was believed they would be less expensive to procure, and more economical to maintain in the long term, than having organic sensor, EW, etc. suites integrated into every front line aircraft. It was also thought that systems could be easily moved around between different aircraft, meaning only a few pods would need to be purchased overall (of course, the proponents of podded systems tended to forget about little things like combat attrition). Needless to say, things didn't quite work out the way they thought they would.

Pods are almost as old as LGB's, the big step up with LANTIRN was podding the TFR, but nothing we didn't already know... Sniper was the next gen TGP side of the original LANTIRN. The Bone got Sniper in 2007 because half the time they were called to provide CAS they couldn't drop due to lack of secondary confirmation. Sniper fixed that and allowed it to lase for LGB's. I was part of the test accel and got to play with the flight hardware in the SIL, it was pretty good kit.
 

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Quick question - why did they swap sides on the Sniper pylon mounting? (The Sniper & pylon were mounted on the left side of the fwd weapons bay on the test install on a/c 075 and on the right side on the production installation.)
 

mkellytx

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Quick question - why did they swap sides on the Sniper pylon mounting? (The Sniper & pylon were mounted on the left side of the fwd weapons bay on the test install on a/c 075 and on the right side on the production installation.)

You're guess is as good as mine. It was always on the right side when I was around, off course it's been over 13 years since I was around, so things change.
 

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Heh. I'd read about the self-darkening ports like. .. back in the 80s but hadn't seen anything about them since then. They're like the auto-darken welding hoods you can get. Speaking of long-forgotten details (to me) does the B-1B have the button on the back of the nose gear that the crew can hit on their way to the cockpit that starts all four engines?
 

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I think the B-2 was originally designed with same. I’d love to know if the it was retained, though since the B-1 was denuclearized I can’t imagine the capability was maintained.
 

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I think the B-2 was originally designed with same. I’d love to know if the it was retained, though since the B-1 was denuclearized I can’t imagine the capability was maintained.
 

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mkellytx

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Heh. I'd read about the self-darkening ports like. .. back in the 80s but hadn't seen anything about them since then. They're like the auto-darken welding hoods you can get. Speaking of long-forgotten details (to me) does the B-1B have the button on the back of the nose gear that the crew can hit on their way to the cockpit that starts all four engines?
It was still there 16 years ago, but never used.
 

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sferrin

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View: https://mobile.twitter.com/TheDEWLine/status/1365646837391237121


I personally think we never got our money's worth on B-1B. If they'd sold the idea of a $150 million bomber in the 1980s on it becoming an amazing CAS platform for land-locked Afghanistan, I doubt it would have been approved. And it could never do the mission it was designed for.
I guess he thinks the only thing the B-1B has ever done in it's career is drop bombs on camels in Afghanistan. :rolleyes:
 

mkellytx

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I guess he thinks the only thing the B-1B has ever done in it's career is drop bombs on camels in Afghanistan. :rolleyes:
Now, now, they did pull some SIOP alert and spent a bunch more time broke on the ramp. Then Desert Fox and Kosovo, where it distinguished itself by letting a malfunctioning towed decoy chase one of them out of theater. All that said, useless dirt I, II, III... saved the airframe. When I showed up to Dyess in Summer 2002 the rest of the fleet was on the chopping block (this was after retiring 1/3 of the fleet). BLOS, JDAM, lack of access close to Iraq/Afghanistan and TST saved the Bone.
 

sferrin

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And what
I guess he thinks the only thing the B-1B has ever done in it's career is drop bombs on camels in Afghanistan. :rolleyes:
Now, now, they did pull some SIOP alert and spent a bunch more time broke on the ramp. Then Desert Fox and Kosovo, where it distinguished itself by letting a malfunctioning towed decoy chase one of them out of theater. All that said, useless dirt I, II, III... saved the airframe. When I showed up to Dyess in Summer 2002 the rest of the fleet was on the chopping block (this was after retiring 1/3 of the fleet). BLOS, JDAM, lack of access close to Iraq/Afghanistan and TST saved the Bone.
And what did Russia give up to remove it's nuclear capability? How much damage could those weapons have caused? Sounds like a good investment to me.
 

mkellytx

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And what did Russia give up to remove it's nuclear capability? How much damage could those weapons have caused? Sounds like a good investment to me.
That's a bit of a non sequitur as USAF was happy to give up that capability with START I in 1995. While they technically did IOC at the end of 1986 they never were a full up round (so to speak). Up until the early 90's the AFCS problems cut into the range, not to mention the DAS wasn't working right, 1990 engine fires grounded them, summer of 1990 SRAM's were pulled from alert aircraft, 1991 SRAM II was canceled, 1993 SRAM was permanently retired and the ALCM boxes were never purchased. START gave up SIOP in 1995, by that time all they could carry were B-61's and B-83's, the DAS still wasn't fixed, they were still hanger queens, seven years later the fighter boys in the five sided puzzle palace still were looking to get rid of them to buy more F-22's but CENTCOM/CC loved having a big stick that he could directly wield via BLOS through the CAOC. So, the fighter generals ground their teeth and murmured under their breath while the folks from DY/EL got regular vacations to the sandbox.

Now it could be considered a success in that it caused the former USSR to spend money it didn't have on defensive systems to counter it.
 

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I believe anything that makes the other side spend more money than they need is a good investment, probably why the Chinese are so good at it.
 

Flyaway

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I believe anything that makes the other side spend more money than they need is a good investment, probably why the Chinese are so good at it.
Other than the fact it probably caused Russia to develop a similar aircraft that’s probably better. Not sure you’d call that a win.
 

sferrin

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I believe anything that makes the other side spend more money than they need is a good investment, probably why the Chinese are so good at it.
Other than the fact it probably caused Russia to develop a similar aircraft that’s probably better. Not sure you’d call that a win.

A dubious claim that, when you factor in their unit-cost, becomes downright comical.
 

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I didn't our side were the ones doing it. the Russians and the Chinese sure get value for money, especially when they get the rest to pay for the research too.
 

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I didn't our side were the ones doing it. the Russians and the Chinese sure get value for money, especially when they get the rest to pay for the research too.
I doubt their equivalents spend so much time in repair bays than in the air. No wonder the USAF can’t wait to be shot of it and would rather keep the far older but more reliable B-52.
 

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I think it would be quite a stretch to describe the B-1 as a successful program. They ended up seeing a lot of use because of their endurance, but I don't think they ever ended up doing anything a B-52 couldn't. They had a fairly short amount of time serving as a deterrent force. They are stunningly beautiful aircraft though, with no shortage of range and payload. I've no doubt that they would have been effective low level penetration bombers (when a given airframe was combat capable), had they been used in that role, but it disappeared post cold war.
 

Flyaway

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I think it would be quite a stretch to describe the B-1 as a successful program. They ended up seeing a lot of use because of their endurance, but I don't think they ever ended up doing anything a B-52 couldn't. They had a fairly short amount of time serving as a deterrent force. They are stunningly beautiful aircraft though, with no shortage of range and payload. I've no doubt that they would have been effective low level penetration bombers (when a given airframe was combat capable), had they been used in that role, but it disappeared post cold war.
They look great design wise but everything I’ve read in the area says they are nightmare to keep in the air.
 

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Indeed, anecdotally I've heard a B-2 is easier to keep flight worthy. I've also heard that the B-1 fleet could vary very drastically from airframe to airframe and that it was a rather bespoke plane in practice despite technically being a serial run of a hundred.
 

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