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USAF to Retire B-1, B-2 in Early 2030s as B-21 Comes On-Line

rooster

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In re-reading some of JHUAPL's publications on LRSO (they did some classified analysis for the Air Force on it),
they indicated that a earth penetrating warhead version of LRSO (penetration depth of 10 feet into hard rock)
might be physically too large for the bay constraints of B-2 or the B-21 but when scaled to the standoff distances
required for the B-52 might be prohibitively large or costly for that platform as well.

So maybe a split-the-difference on signature reduction approach platform is useful. If that can't be the B-1 then
the BWB might be attractive.

"NONSTRATEGIC NUCLEAR FORCES: Moving beyond the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review"
Thank you for doing the homework for us. The idea that the B-21 (likely expensive ) and smaller than the B-2 always seemed like a horrible idea.
Is it factually smaller than the "2"? Isn't the F22 smaller than the F15 by a smidge?
 

Forest Green

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The F-22 is marginally shorter but has a longer wingspan and far more wing area.
 

jsport

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In re-reading some of JHUAPL's publications on LRSO (they did some classified analysis for the Air Force on it),
they indicated that a earth penetrating warhead version of LRSO (penetration depth of 10 feet into hard rock)
might be physically too large for the bay constraints of B-2 or the B-21 but when scaled to the standoff distances
required for the B-52 might be prohibitively large or costly for that platform as well.

So maybe a split-the-difference on signature reduction approach platform is useful. If that can't be the B-1 then
the BWB might be attractive.

"NONSTRATEGIC NUCLEAR FORCES: Moving beyond the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review"
Thank you for doing the homework for us. The idea that the B-21 (likely expensive ) and smaller than the B-2 always seemed like a horrible idea.
Is it factually smaller than the "2"? Isn't the F22 smaller than the F15 by a smidge?
The issue. of course, is that a a BWB nearly the size of the B-52 (concepts were proposed) could come close to accomplishing the LRSO deep and hardened structure mission.
 

rooster

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In re-reading some of JHUAPL's publications on LRSO (they did some classified analysis for the Air Force on it),
they indicated that a earth penetrating warhead version of LRSO (penetration depth of 10 feet into hard rock)
might be physically too large for the bay constraints of B-2 or the B-21 but when scaled to the standoff distances
required for the B-52 might be prohibitively large or costly for that platform as well.

So maybe a split-the-difference on signature reduction approach platform is useful. If that can't be the B-1 then
the BWB might be attractive.

"NONSTRATEGIC NUCLEAR FORCES: Moving beyond the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review"
Thank you for doing the homework for us. The idea that the B-21 (likely expensive ) and smaller than the B-2 always seemed like a horrible idea.
Is it factually smaller than the "2"? Isn't the F22 smaller than the F15 by a smidge?
The issue. of course, is that a a BWB nearly the size of the B-52 (concepts were proposed) could come close to accomplishing the LRSO deep and hardened structure mission.
Can the US mass produce and field hundreds of very large very LO BWB aircraft that can serve as tankers and bombers in different variants? I mean in terms of costs in large composite structures and maintaining stealth coatings? Or would they be hangar queens to maintain and bankrupt the USAF? Might be a dumb question to some of you I realize.
 

Foo Fighter

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It strikes me that removing a weapons platform is a simple thing. Replacing it is a whole new ball game and much more expensive.
 

Desertfox

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Can the US mass produce and field hundreds of very large very LO BWB aircraft that can serve as tankers and bombers in different variants? I mean in terms of costs in large composite structures and maintaining stealth coatings? Or would they be hangar queens to maintain and bankrupt the USAF? Might be a dumb question to some of you I realize.
Do they have to be LO if they are replacing KC-10s and B-52s? The B-21 already has the LO role, if they will just be missile trucks perhaps LO wont be as big of a need. A BWB should have a lower RCS just on shape alone over a B-52, Im sure adding a B-1B style treatment could really drop the RCS without significantly increasing cost.
 

rooster

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Can the US mass produce and field hundreds of very large very LO BWB aircraft that can serve as tankers and bombers in different variants? I mean in terms of costs in large composite structures and maintaining stealth coatings? Or would they be hangar queens to maintain and bankrupt the USAF? Might be a dumb question to some of you I realize.
Do they have to be LO if they are replacing KC-10s and B-52s? The B-21 already has the LO role, if they will just be missile trucks perhaps LO wont be as big of a need. A BWB should have a lower RCS just on shape alone over a B-52, Im sure adding a B-1B style treatment could really drop the RCS without significantly increasing cost.
I thought people were talking about a mass produced (100s) of very LO BWB craft. Is there a point in semi stealth like a superbug? When I hear aegis can track a golf ball at hundreds of miles, semi stealth seems like why even bother with today's radars?
 

_Del_

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Yes, there is. The lower your signature, the more effective your countermeasures.
 

marauder2048

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Building a missile truck BWB with B-1B like signature reduction is going to be justifiable if (and probably only if):

a. Campaign modeling shows a massive shortfall in strategic airlift that can't be mitigated (e.g. leasing/borrowing/boneyard)

and

b. Fuel probing tacair and buying/joint owning the MQ-25 and/or B-21 with buddy refueling system in the bomb bay is cost prohibitive

and

c. The target set for earth penetrating weapon posited above or similar (i.e. too large for B-21 but too costly to range extend to B-52s standoff reqs)
can't be serviced any other way.
 

kaiserd

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Can the US mass produce and field hundreds of very large very LO BWB aircraft that can serve as tankers and bombers in different variants? I mean in terms of costs in large composite structures and maintaining stealth coatings? Or would they be hangar queens to maintain and bankrupt the USAF? Might be a dumb question to some of you I realize.
Do they have to be LO if they are replacing KC-10s and B-52s? The B-21 already has the LO role, if they will just be missile trucks perhaps LO wont be as big of a need. A BWB should have a lower RCS just on shape alone over a B-52, Im sure adding a B-1B style treatment could really drop the RCS without significantly increasing cost.
I thought people were talking about a mass produced (100s) of very LO BWB craft. Is there a point in semi stealth like a superbug? When I hear aegis can track a golf ball at hundreds of miles, semi stealth seems like why even bother with today's radars?
It really goes back to the roles such an audience craft was intended for and the threats it was intended to survive against.
But I agree conceptually this all sounds somewhat muddled; why do these airlifter/ tankers need “semi-stealth” (pardon the terminology) while all your other airlifters and tankers lack this given the effect this will have on cost and capacity (for example necessarily buried engines eating into internal volume) - if every other tanker and airlifter is dead then are your logistics irretrievably broken anyway, how stealthy and survivable can any loitering taker with a flying boom be (does “semi-stealth” really offer much benefit versus the cost in this tanker scenario), in replacing the B-52 as a cruise missile carrier how much “stealth” is really required in the carrier aircraft (and depending on that answer why not just buy more B-21s) -how much should you instead build such aspects into its missiles (including longer range if required) etc.

BWB probably needs to sell itself as being a step change in pure tanker/ airlift capacity.
Trying to sell it on “stealth”/ LO given that, for example, it is likely to have great big exposed turbofan engines (or trade off a lot of its natural advantages by burying them in otherwise valuable and costly gained internal volume) sounds misconceived given that while it will likely be better in this regard than the conventional airliner or airlifter configurations it may not make that much difference and be all that more survivable.
 

Forest Green

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If that's the case then what country does have a 'go-to' bomber?

US
B-1, B-2, B-52

Russia
Tu-95, Tu-160

China
H-6
 

TomcatViP

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The argument here is that NONE OF both Tu-160 and H-6 have been used to the bones :rolleyes: by a decade of front-line deployment.

Edited (capitals).
 
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Foo Fighter

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If the B1 and the B2 are ageing, what the H is the B-52 doing? Starting at the beginning again?
 

rooster

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If the B1 and the B2 are ageing, what the H is the B-52 doing? Starting at the beginning again?
I think the issue from reading is the bones swing wings and cracks. Plus low altitude flight is rough in the thicker air.
The b2 i read is ageing very slowly because its basically a slow speed high altitude cruiser unlike the bone.
The b52 I imagine was over engineered in the days of slide rulers.
Does that sound right to anyone?
 
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