US Air Force LRS-B Bomber Thread


Scary Huh??? YAWN! AHHHHH! yeah lets all hear it for the "LITTLE, Really Sneaky Bomber", kinda a glorified cruise missle with seats and wings, oh boy??? this will suck the life outta the 6th gen for the next 20 years??? "Lawyer Proof??? don't bet on it???
pardon me, brother, are you saying 6Gen Fighter procurement will be put off because of the Bomber maybe?? or I misread? (Like for the question marks :)
 
counter-strike:
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countered :)
McCain Hammers Air Force on Bomber Cost Secrecy
Sen. John McCain is taking a new tack in his crusade against the Air Force’s B-21, slamming the service's decision to keep the new bomber’s cost under wraps.

“You are not serving the nation, the taxpayers, they don’t know how much of their taxpayer dollars are being spent,” McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, chided top Air Force officials during a March 8 hearing of the Airland subcommittee. “You and I have a very different view of our obligation to the taxpayers.”

McCain hammered Lt. Gen. Arnie Bunch, the Air Force’s deputy assistant secretary for acquisition, on the secrecy surrounding the B-21, which is expected to cost $100 billion over the life of the program. The American people have a right to know precisely how many of their dollars will go toward the bomber, McCain argued.

“Why would you not want to tell the American people how you are going to spend their dollars?” McCain asked, interrupting Bunch multiple times. “ Why shouldn’t the average citizen know the cost of a whatever — how many tens of billions of dollars — 80 to 100 billion dollar program? Shouldn’t the taxpayers know that?”

Bunch defended the Air Force’s decision to keep certain details about the B-21 classified, arguing that the decision not release the exact cost of the aircraft is an attempt to prevent hostile actors from connecting the dots.

The Air Force has released on Oct. 27 the independent cost estimate for the engineering, manufacturing and development contract awarded to Northrop Grumman, totaling $23.5 billion in fiscal 2016 dollars, Bunch noted. However, that number is higher than the actual value of the contract, a figure the service has not released.

McCain’s criticism took on almost a mocking tone at points, as he slammed Bunch’s explanation.

“Frankly I’ve never heard of this before, that they shouldn’t know how much their taxpayer [dollars] are being spent because somebody might connect the dots,” McCain said. “What is that all about?”

McCain’s criticism is the latest jab in a very public dispute between the Arizona Republican and the Air Force over the B-21. McCain railed against the Air Force’s acquisition strategy for the new bomber in late February, pledging to block funds for the plane so long as it is procured using a cost-plus contract. If McCain succeeds in blocking the funds, the Air Force may be forced to terminate the contract and rebid the program.

Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James hit back during a March 7 briefing at the Pentagon, warning of the cost in both dollars and time of terminating the contract.

“It is always possible to terminate a contract — you terminate, you pay fees to terminate, you can rebid it, which of course takes more money and time,” James said. “So these things are always possible. We certainly hope it won’t come to that.”

But James’ warning does not appear to have softened McCain’s resolve.

"I don't care what they say. The job of the United States Senate and Armed Services Committee is to authorize. That's our job,” McCain told Defense News on March 8 when asked to respond to James’ comments. “If she wants to do something unconstitutional, that's her problem, not mine.”

Top Air Force officials will continue to brief lawmakers on the B-21 in open and closed sessions on Capitol Hill, Bunch said March 8.
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Air Force Brat

Brigadier
Super Moderator
pardon me, brother, are you saying 6Gen Fighter procurement will be put off because of the Bomber maybe?? or I misread? (Like for the question marks :)
I am, I am disappointed that purportedly the B-21 may only carry one show stopper, instead of the two carried by the B-2. If something is "optionally manned", odds are that its mission could be carried out by long range cruise missles at a "substantial savings".

Like the battleship, the bomber has grown less effective than in the past, we have lots of heavy "fighter bombers" that can perform those conventional missions, and defend our heavy bombers in the process.

If a deep penetration is part of the equation, all the bad guys need is a "visual" sighting to be able to "run down, and shoot down" an aircraft that is purely defensive at that point.

by contrast I "know" we need a high end fighter, as good as F-35 is, it still in NOT a Raptor, and Raptor numbers are at bare minimum. Those Raptors need to be augmented by at least 500 Hi end aircraft, but those will NOT be coming if we throw all our resources into LRSB.

Like China is beginning to find out, these birds are "expensive, but worth it"!
 

Brumby

Major
I am, I am disappointed that purportedly the B-21 may only carry one show stopper, instead of the two carried by the B-2. If something is "optionally manned", odds are that its mission could be carried out by long range cruise missles at a "substantial savings".

Like the battleship, the bomber has grown less effective than in the past, we have lots of heavy "fighter bombers" that can perform those conventional missions, and defend our heavy bombers in the process.

If a deep penetration is part of the equation, all the bad guys need is a "visual" sighting to be able to "run down, and shoot down" an aircraft that is purely defensive at that point.

by contrast I "know" we need a high end fighter, as good as F-35 is, it still in NOT a Raptor, and Raptor numbers are at bare minimum. Those Raptors need to be augmented by at least 500 Hi end aircraft, but those will NOT be coming if we throw all our resources into LRSB.

Like China is beginning to find out, these birds are "expensive, but worth it"!
In terms of spending timeline, the heavy hitters on near term funding are the F-35, Ohio replacement and LRS-B programs. 6th gen is too early to be in the spending equation. Critically if the LRS-B program seriously get out of control then that could potentially impact the 6th gen program both in terms of funding and credibility of the USAF.

upload_2016-3-10_8-45-10.png

I understand the minimum force structure needed is about double the present number of available F-22's but you need to move on and the USAF have to live with what they have got.

Likewise China will find out there is a big difference between hand made prototypes and mass producing 5th gen fighters and more importantly there is no infinite amount of spending money.
 

Brumby

Major
Revealed: Behind the Shadowy B-21 Stealth Bomber's Veil of Secrecy
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While the Air Force is not going to say more, the service has offered up some tantalizing clues about the B-21’s capabilities with its list of subcontractors and its public statements. “When it came to the B-2, everything was new, meaning it was a new airframe, new components were going to go into that airframe and the integration challenge was enormous. So it was the equivalent of a miracle a day had to transpire,” James said. “In the case of the B-21, we do have a new airframe. Integration is always a challenge, but we are using a mature technology, so the risk is more bounded.”

Indeed, a lot can be gleaned from the list of subcontractors. GKN is well known for building assemblies for aerostructures, engine products, landing gear and wiring systems and special products including glass, acrylic and polycarbonate transparencies and ice protection systems—especially for stealth aircraft. Meanwhile, Janicki Industries is well regarded within the aerospace industry for building complex composite structures. Spirit Aerosystems and Orbital ATK make aerostructures—like fuselages and wing components for large airframers such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin. Last but not the least, Rockwell Collin is famous for its cockpit displays and avionics.

The two most interesting subcontractors are Pratt & Whitney and BAE Systems. Given Pratt & Whitney’s product range and James’s statement that the service will use mature technologies for the B-21, the company only has two active production lines suitable for a bomber application—the F100 and the F135. The F-22 Raptor’s F119 is long out of production and it is not an ideal propulsion solution for a subsonic aircraft. Meanwhile, the F100 is a dated design, but the latest -229 variant produces 17,800lbs of dry thrust. If the Air Force opted for a less efficient four-engine design, unaugmented F100s would be the best choice.

Given what is known about the B-21—which is likely to be somewhat
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—the aircraft will likely use a pair of unaugmented 28,000lbs-class F135s engines from the F-35. With some tweaks, such as an increased bypass ratio, a version of the F135 could probably produce more than 30,000lbs of thrust while potentially increasing fuel efficiency. Sixty thousand pounds of thrust should be more than adequate for a highly efficient flying wing that’s slightly smaller than the B-2.

However, the B-21 might be provisioned to accommodate whatever engine ultimately comes to fruition from the Air Force’s adaptive-cycle engine program—variously called ADVENT, AETD and AETP—for adoption at a later date. If the service is serious about an initial operational capability date around 2025, the new bomber will necessarily use an existing propulsion plant. It takes a long time and large sums of money to develop a new turbine engine. It’s also not an endeavor without risk—look no further than China’s frustrated efforts to develop an indigenous jet engine.

Meanwhile, BAE Systems—whose Nashua unit used to be Lockheed Martin’s Sanders division—
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. The BAE Systems division developed the extremely capable electronic warfare suites for the F-35, F-22 and the future Eagle Passive Active Warning Survivability System (EPAWSS) for the F-15 fleet. The company also developed the B-2’s AN/APR-50 Defensive Management System. The B-21’s electronic warfare systems are, therefore, most likely an advanced derivative of the F-35’s AN/ASQ-239 system—which is the company’s most advanced product. However, it is known that BAE Systems offered a much more capable next-generation electronic warfare suite that was rejected because of its lack of maturity. The B-21—with its open architecture design—will be provisioned to accept replacement hardware as time goes on.

What was left unsaid at the Air Force press conference, but can be inferred due to its omission is that the Northrop Grumman is building the B-21’s radar. Raytheon—the only other contractor capable of building an advanced active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar for a combat aircraft—was conspicuously absent from James’s list of contractors. Thus, it can be inferred that the B-21 probably uses an advanced derivative of the F-35’s APG-81 AESA—which despite some initial teething problems—some enormous promise for the future.
 
I am, I am disappointed that purportedly the B-21 may only carry one show stopper, instead of the two carried by the B-2. ...
common
Let the B-21 Bomber Naming Contest Begin
Super Spirit. Sky Dragon. Nighthawk II. Marauder II. Vengeance. Ghost. Shadow.

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what you think the U.S. Air Force’s next-generation stealth bomber should be called. Now tell the Air Force.

The service has officially kicked off its naming contest for the future B-21 stealth bomber, known as the Long Range Strike-Bomber, or LRS-B. Air Force Global Strike Command this week launched
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designed to collect submissions from airmen, their family members and retirees. Curiously, it doesn’t say anything about veterans.

The site’s “Name the B-21” portal lets respondents submit up to three proposed names, along with a justification of up to 200 words, name, duty status, email address and phone number.

A panel or panels of judges, depending on how many submissions are received, will whittle down the list to the top 10 entries. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James and Chief of Staff Mark Welsh will then select the winning name from the list.

The participant (or participants?) who submitted the winning name will be invited to attend the Air Force Association’s Air & Space Conference and Exhibition in September near Washington, D.C.

Unfortunately,
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doesn’t say anything about a cash prize. Indeed, it makes clear that participants have no stake in the name whatsoever:

“You agree that, by submitting a name, you irrevocably assign and transfer to Sponsor all right, title and interest in the B-21 name throughout the world, including, without limitation, all copyright, trademark or other intellectually property rights, and you agree to execute any additional documents Sponsor may deem necessary to evidence or effectuate such assignment.”

A team led by Northrop, maker of the
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and drone aircraft, in October
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another led by Boeing Co., the world’s largest aerospace company, and Lockheed Martin Corp., the world’s largest defense contractor, for the $21.4 billion initial contract as part of the LRS-B program.

The Air Force plans to buy a total of 100 of the next-generation bombers at an inflation-adjusted cost of $564 million per plane to replace its aging fleet of B-52 Stratofortresses made by Boeing Co. and a least a portion of its B-1 fleet.
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Brumby

Major
Penalty for breaking Northrop's B-21 contract is '$300 million'

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The US Air Force says it would cost the US government upward of $300 million to breaks its cost-plus contract with Northrop Grumman to develop the B-21 strategic bomber.

It might then take “20 to 30 months” to hold another competition between Northrop and the losing Boeing/Lockheed Martin team to secure the "fixed-price" development contract that outspoken Senator John McCain and other US lawmakers want.

USAF military deputy for acquisition Lt Gen Arnold Bunch was pressed on the matter several times during a Senate hearing on 8 March, since the "taxpayer" would have to pay any cost overruns Northrop might incur during the development phase. Northrop, however, will receive pay incentives if it meets or beats cost and schedule targets.

The ranking member of the Senate Armed Services airland subcommittee Joe Manchin says past cost-plus contracts that overran their cost and schedule targets, namely the Northrop B-2 and Lockheed Martin F-35 and F-22, have left “such a bad taste in everybody's mouth” and are “not real popular here”.

“I still believe it's the best choice for the contract type with the risks associated,” Bunch responds. “We are on contract with a company that's gone out and put suppliers on contract and on order, and they've started their business case.”

The air force awarded the contract to Northrop in October and recently settled a dispute with Boeing and Lockheed Martin over the source-selection process.

The service revealed the long-range strike bomber’s B-21 designation along with an artist’s rendering at an Air Warfare Symposium in Florida last month.

McCain has threatened legislation that would undo the B-21 contract unless the air force replaces it with fixed-price terms, like the Boeing KC-46A programme. The air force says Boeing is running at a 25% loss on that contract because of problems encountered during development.

Service secretary Deborah Lee James testified last month that “noteworthy failures” of fixed-price developments contracts include the McDonnell Douglas A-12 Avenger II, Tri-Service Standoff Attack Missile (TSSAM), US Army Future Combat System, Lockheed C-5 Galaxy and Boeing C-17.

“Unlike the KC-46, the B-21 has no anticipated commercial or foreign military sales market to offset any unexpected development costs,” says James, while pointing to the B-2, F-22 and F-35 as cost-plus failures. “Some of these programmes were cancelled without delivery of any war-fighting capabilities.”

Bunch says it is too late to adjust the B-21 contract type with Northrop. He would not disclose the exact contract value, but government estimates put the cost of B-21 development at $23 billion.

The total requirement for 100 stealth bombers to replace the Boeing B-52 and B-1B is worth an estimated $80 billion, with initial operational capability expected in the "mid-2020s".

Bunch says Congress has been told the contract value in a classified briefing, but the service is worried about potential adversaries like Russia and China “connecting the dots” by making the dollar value public. Seven top-tier suppliers including engine maker Pratt & Whitney were revealed on 7 March.
 

Brumby

Major
B-21 And F-35 Engines May Share Tech; Pratt Won’t Talk

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WASHINGTON: The
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probably uses some common technologies and equipment to that used for the
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We can’t be certain because no one will confirm it. But
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, head of the F-35 program, did tell the annual
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this:

“There are some things we learned from the F135 engine that will greatly benefit the
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airplane. At the same time, I think
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ought to be looking to drive the cost of the F135 engine down and I would be expecting them to.”

Pratt and Whitney spokesman Matthew Bates politely refused to be drawn as reporters prodded and teased him. Later, he provided this statement.

“We do not plan to say one word more or one word less than what the Air Force has already said about the program. Pratt & Whitney is the engine provider for the B-21 bomber.”
The Air Force said nothing.


When reporters pressed Bogdan after his presentation, he said cost savings could be achieved if an engine shared common elements, but he wouldn’t go further than his original reply to the Air Force Association’s veteran reporter John Tirpak, whose question prompted the general’s first comment
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).

The most logical conclusion is that the cores of the two engines — the heart of a high performance jet powerplant like the F135 — may have common design elements. For example, the F135 uses the core of the F119, which powers the F-22. While nothing has been said publicly about the B-21’s speed or range capabilities, I’ve heard from one source that the B-21 will be extremely fast (no, no numbers) and that would be consistent with the use of the fighter-jet core. Also, there’s the research that’s been going for more than five years into advanced engines known as the Adaptive Engine Transition Program.

Since the B-21 is supposed to use relatively mature technologies, it is reasonable to conclude that it would use something like the F119 core. Add to that, as we reported at the Paris Air Show last year, General Electric’s
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(ADVENT) project achieved the highest combined compressor and turbine temperature operation “in the history of jet engine propulsion.”

That achievement, according to Daniel McCormick, general manager of GE’s advanced combat engine programs, demonstrated the new engine can adapt for either maximum thrust — to outrun an enemy anti-aircraft missile, for example — or long-range cruise — say, to
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into
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. If Pratt, which tends to be a more secretive company, has achieved similar advances, that would seem to argue for a high-speed and fuel efficient engine with remarkable power and control. But that’s as far I’m willing too speculate.
 

FORBIN

Lieutenant General
Registered Member
New B-21 Bomber or B-2 Mod 1?

The US Air Force has published
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of the next-generation bomber, formerly known as LRS-B (Long Range Strike Bomber). Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James revealed the image
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and gave it its official designation: B-21.

The “21” refers to the 21st Century and is intended to signal cutting-edge technology and capability. (Last time the Pentagon named a major defense program after the 21st Century was the SSN-21, the Navy’s Seawolf-class attack submarine. That program was canceled after only three boats.)

But just how different the B-21 is remains to be seen. The B-21 image shows the new bomber is not a significantly new design but looks more like an upgrade of the B-2. The main focus may have been to improve stealth and sensors. The Air Force has promised to disclose more details in March. They’ll certainly have to, if they want all the money they’re asking for it.

Preliminary Design Comparison
A preliminary comparison of the B-21 and B-2 bomber images suggests a very similar overall design, perhaps a little smaller, but with some significant modifications.

The most apparent difference is that the B-21 has a clean diamond-shaped center body section in contrast to the B-2’s more jagged rear center wing outline. The indents in the B-2’s rear center wing were created by the engine exhausts, a design feature that appears to be absent from the B-21. Engine exhaust is an important source of detectable heat. It is unknown if the engine exhausts have been moved below the body, integrated better into the edge of the wing, or omitted from the drawing because it is still a secret.

B-21 compare.jpg

And the wings on the B-21 appear a little more backswept than the wings on the B-2 resulting in a pointier aircraft nose, although that could be an optical illusion from the the quality of the images.

Another difference is that the air-intakes of the two engines have been extended forward and the edges angled, presumably to further reduce the aircraft’s radar signature.

Whatever else is “hidden under the hood,” the Air Force says that the design “allowed for the use of mature systems and existing technology while still providing desired capability” but with “an open architecture allowing integration of new technology and timely response to future threats across the full range of military operations.” (Emphasis added.)

It Doesn’t Have A Name

The new bomber has a designation (B-21) but not yet a name. The B-2 is called the Spirit. The B-52 is called the Stratofortress. The B-1 is called the Lancer. So Secretary James
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to come up with a name. There are already many suggestions – some serious, some gung ho, others highly critical:

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and there is a growing list of suggestions in the comments to
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. Just to mention a few:

Spirit II, Deliverance, Thunderbolt, Sand Melter, Nightwing, Stormbringer, Flying W, Batwing, The Obama, Lemay, Regurgitating Pigeon, Flying Money-Pit, 2-Bad (the Cold War never really ended), Boondoggle, Budgetbuster, or Another Flying Turd from Northrop Hunk Of Overpriced Under-Performing Long Delayed Useless Waste of Taxpayers Money.

Or how about Resurrection? The Air Force didn’t get its 132 B-2 bombers, only 21 because they were too expensive. So now the Air Force tries again with what looks like a modified B-2: the B-21.

Looming Costs

The Air Force
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each B-21 will “only” cost $564 million (in FY2016 money) plus $23.5 billion for overall program development, or a total of nearly $80 billion for 100 bombers.
The Air Force also
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the average procurement cost of each B-21 will be approximately a third of what the B-2 cost was.

These cost projections are already being met with considerable skepticism. Based on the Air Force’s own projections, according to
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, the cost of major Air Force aircraft programs “is projected to peak in FY2023 at nearly twice the FY2015 level of funding, adjusting for inflation, and is a driving factor behind the overall defense modernization bow wave.”

Senator John McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee that has to approve B-21 funding, has already
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to key provisions in the current B-21 contract. This should make for some interesting hearings on the Hill later this spring.
And new defense programs historically
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, which would put further pressure on the Air Force’s budget.

If so, the total cost for developing and producing 100 B-21 bombers might reach $96 billion to $104 billion. Oh, and don’t forget to add the costs of integrating
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nuclear guided bomb and
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on the B-21 as well.

I just wonder what the Air Force’s fallback plan is. Delay? Fewer bombers? Less advanced design? Fewer fighters? Fewer satellites? Fewer tankers? No LRSO? Fewer ICBMs? Absent a major infusion of additional money into the defense budget, the Air Force’s current modernization plan seems unsustainable.

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