US Air Force LRS-B Bomber Thread

Jura

General
noted
Air Force announces bases that will test, maintain the new B-21 stealth bomber
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

The
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
, the Air Force’s next stealth bomber, has its first homes.

The Air Force on Friday announced it has chosen Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma to maintain and
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
, and Edwards Air Force Base in California to handle testing and evaluation of the advanced
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
.

In a release, the Air Force said the Air Logistics Complex at Tinker, part of the Air Force Sustainment Center there, has the knowledge and expertise to handle the Northrop Grumman bomber’s depot maintenance.

“With a talented workforce and decades of experience in aircraft maintenance, Tinker AFB is the right place for this critical mission,” Secretary Heather Wilson said in the release.

Robins Air Force Base in Georgia and Hill Air Force Base in Utah will support Tinker on maintaining, overhauling and upgrading the B-21, the Air Force said. The bases will also be equipped to rebuild parts, assemblies or subassemblies of the bomber, and test and reclaim equipment when needed to activate depots.

Edwards was chosen for the B-21′s Combined Test Force because it is home to the Air Force Test Center. That center handles the Air Force’s testing and evaluation to make sure aircraft and equipment meet the service’s standards.

“From flight testing the X-15 to the F-117, Edwards AFB in the Mojave Desert has been at the forefront of keeping our Air Force on the cutting edge,” Chief of Staff Gen. Dave Goldfein said. "Now, testing the B-21 Raider will begin another historic chapter in the base’s history.

The Air Force expects to buy at least 100 B-21s, and each aircraft is expected to cost about $638 million. The service expects to stand up the first B-21 operational units around 2025.
 

Jura

General
now
Air Force Secretary: B-21 Bomber Completes Another Review, Remains on Schedule
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

The B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber program recently completed a developmental review and remains on schedule, the top civilian of the
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
said at the Reagan National Defense Forum.

"Our most recent review was last week, and the B-21 is on schedule and performance," Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said during the forum in Simi Valley on Saturday.

While Wilson noted the development process is in its early stages, "We are pleased with how that program is going forward," she said.

Officials have said the Northrop Grumman-made B-21 is expected to reach its
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
in December. It was not immediately clear whether the review Wilson spoke of is the same one.

"It's a good example of how to run a major acquisition program well and why delegation of authority back to the services … works to get high quality and to do so quickly," Wilson told reporters after her panel discussion.

In recent budgets, the Air Force has received more acquisition authority from Congress to push decisions down to program officers so they can spend more time managing their designated projects "than managing the Pentagon," Wilson has said.

Wilson and Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen "Seve" Wilson touted the service's progress
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
, pointing to the additional acquisition authorities and rapid prototyping endeavors as examples of enhancing
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
new equipment or weapons.

It's about the "speed of relevance," the vice chief said Saturday of the B-21. "We empowered people with the right authorities and responsibility, and they produce great capability and that's why they're successful."

Last month, the service announced it had selected
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
, California, and
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
, Oklahoma, to
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
for test and evaluation and maintenance and sustainment, respectively, for the program.

The announcement was a new sliver of public information in the longstanding, highly classified program to create the Air Force's next long-range stealth bomber, known as the Raider.

Northrop's Melbourne, Florida, facility is the site of the Raider design and development headquarters.

Currently, the B-21 is in its
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
. The bomber, the Pentagon's latest multibillion-dollar program, passed its
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


The Air Force awarded Northrop the contract,
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
, in 2015.

Total program costs are
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


The first B-21 is expected to reach initial operating capability in the mid-2020s.
 

Jura

General
hey
Blink and you’ll miss it: The B-21 bomber accomplishes another big review
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

The Air Force’s super-secret new bomber
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
, an Air Force official confirmed Dec. 6.

The official, who was not authorized to speak on the record on the program, offered no further details about the status of the
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
. However, Air Force officials had stated that the milestone was slated to occur by the end of 2018 —
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
to begin fielding aircraft around 2025.

During the Reagan National Defense Forum on Dec. 1, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told reporters that the program had recently accomplished a key review, although it was not immediately clear whether it was the critical design review.

She said that the program continued to move forward
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
, and praised its steady progress, according to
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
.

"It's a good example of how to run a major acquisition program well and why delegation of authority back to the services … works to get high quality and to do so quickly," Wilson said.

The Air Force has only sparsely released information about the Northrop Grumman-produced bomber, and details about the exact status of the plane’s development — such as whether a prototype exists or has been flown — continue to be shrouded in mystery.

The service plans on buying at least 100 B-21s, but airpower advocates are hopeful that the requirement will grow in light of the Air Force’s stated desire to grow its number of bomber squadrons from 9 to 14 by 2030.

The program is managed by the service’s Rapid Capabilities Office, a small shop separated from the Air Force’s larger acquisition apparatus that is able to use special authorities to more quickly develop and field new technologies.

Earlier this year, RCO head Randall Walden acknowledged that office has begun component testing and put a subscale model of the bomber through wind tunnel tests.

“From my perspective, this is about producing 100 bombers, not about just getting through development,” he added. “Development is a phase that leads into the fielding of this critical need. So my focus is getting the production started, but I can’t do that until we understand what the design looks like.”

In November,
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
that it had picked Edwards Air Force Base in California to handle testing and evaluation of the advanced long-range strike bomber and Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma for depot maintenance of the B-21. Robins Air Force Base in Georgia and Hill Air Force Base in Utah will also play a role in sustaining the aircraft.
 

Jura

General
in the US Thread
13 minutes ago
And if you assume $2.5B to$3B for FY24 and FY25, you roughly get the number FG posted.

However, if we're going down /this/rathole, may I suggest we move it to the LRSB thread?

I posted here asking if you thought it was underfunded vs expectations as a comparison to the NGAD.
well the current F-X funding appears to be low in comparison to the current LRSB funding based on your own post LOL
Sep 4, 2018
NGAD Budget:

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


LRSB Budget:
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


The LRSB started with a baseline of $300M (+/-) annual through FY14. Then a jump to $900M FY15. When we had a jump to $1.2B and a contract award. Since then it has grown to $1.3B FY17, $2B FY18, $3B FY19 continuing until FY23 when it falls to $2.4B. FY24 is when the IOC is supposed to be done for the B-21. Supposed to be.

Now then.

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


NGAD goes from $23M in FY17 to $294M FY18 to $500M FY19. FY20 is projected to be $1.3B. FY21, $1.9B. FY22, $3B. FY23, $2.9B.

That pattern ought to look really, really familiar. The NGAD just jumps up faster, probably because they are not planning on shifting gears like the LRSB had to. Based on the budget numbers, I'd guess a contract award in FY21, possible, but not likely to be in FY20.

Anyone can browse through the budget here:

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


As a reference, the US Navy's Next Gen Fighter Budget just sorta dorks around at $5M:

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


Now as for what the aircraft will be, I'll get to tomorrow. Getting a bit tired and its affecting my google-fu.
 

anzha

Junior Member
Registered Member
in the US Thread
13 minutes ago

well the current F-X funding appears to be low in comparison to the current LRSB based on your own post LOL
Sep 4, 2018
That's because the NGAD is at the start of the ramp-up. They are about 2 or 3 years behind the LRSB in the funding profile and the ramp up/funding profile matches pretty closely though.

FY14: $348B
FY15: $913B
FY16:$1.2B

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


And, tbh, I'd hope a fighter doesn't cost as much as a bomber.
 

Jura

General
That's because the NGAD is at the start of the ramp-up. They are about 2 or 3 years behind the LRSB in the funding profile and the ramp up/funding profile matches pretty closely though.

FY14: $348B
FY15: $913B
FY16:$1.2B

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!
just to do the homework, using what's in Today at 7:43 PM :

2014 394m
2015 914
2016 1246
2017 1290
2018 2004
2019 2314
2020 3009
2021 3056
2022 2945
2023 2665
_________
sum 19792


And, tbh, I'd hope a fighter doesn't cost as much as a bomber.
on a hunch, I think the opposite (I mean development cost)
 

anzha

Junior Member
Registered Member
on a hunch, I think the opposite
Historically, that's not been the case.

The B-1, B-2 and B-52 were all more expensive than the then current fighter generations.

The F-35 doesn't have an equivalent for bomber being developed at the same time. However, as I have said, the F-35 was a overly ambitious program and then badly run, IMO. Fair enough aircraft, good avionics probably in the end, but...geezus, the price and delays.
 

Jura

General
Historically, that's not been the case.

The B-1, B-2 and B-52 were all more expensive than the then current fighter generations.

The F-35 doesn't have an equivalent for bomber being developed at the same time. However, as I have said, the F-35 was a overly ambitious program and then badly run, IMO. Fair enough aircraft, good avionics probably in the end, but...geezus, the price and delays.
OK but who knows what will go into 6Gen aircraft

kinda assuming the Pentagon will be able to pay for it, with LockMart churning out F-35s and supporting them
 

anzha

Junior Member
Registered Member
OK but who knows what will go into 6Gen aircraft
We don't know. Not yet. It's intended to fight China. So. What does that tell us?

We know it needs far, far longer range than the F-22 without tanker support. We know it needs much better stealth against the Chinese, since their sensors are better than the Russians now. We know it needs a deeper magazine, because sorties will take a long time from a 'safe' base to the target. It, like the B-21, is likely to use the ADVENT-like engines, but then the fighter sized ones are likely to be retrofited into the F-35As, if not Cs.

Past that...who knows. We can speculate based on what has been said and discussed, but...it's just fun speculation.

And I have to wonder if we need a different thread again. geez. This isn't a bomber. lol.
 
Top