US Air Force LRS-B Bomber Thread


Jeff Head

General
Staff member
Super Moderator
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  • #43
IMHO, the X47-B UCAS form is the fuselage form that is playing most heavily into the LRS-B.

tumblr_noj2lwqNmT1qz5xzfo2_1280.jpg

X-47B-Gear-Up-2.jpg

Of course the LRS-B is going to be much larger, with the engines over the wings and a crew compartment, whereas the X-47B UCAS has the engine intake where the LRS-B will have the crew.
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
absolutely Although how similar is up, In 2012 Popsci floated a Article that mentioned that Northrop Grumman had a Variant design with Canards.
RETRACTABLE WING
In one design from Northrop Grumman, engineers included a canard wing on the plane's nose, which would provide extra lift during takeoff and flight, allowing a smaller bomber to carry a heavier weapons payload. Because its straight lines and hard angles would reflect radar, the canard wing will most likely be designed to fold flush with the bomber's body as the craft comes within range of defense systems.
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Bernard

Junior Member
Why Northrop Won The LRS Bomber
By
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on November 03, 2015 at 4:01 AM
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Northrop Grumman Long Range Strike Bomber concept (LRSB)

How did Northrop beat world’s largest defense companies, the Boeing-Lockheed Martin team, in the crucial competition for
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?

First, and probably most importantly, Northrop Grumman is the only company in history to design, develop, manufacture, and maintain a long-range stealth bomber—
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Thanks to pre-award briefings, we know that the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office managing the acquisition saw the LRS-B program as a way of advancing the application of new stealth technologies, not only in survivability but also in producability and maintainability. Northrop Grumman has advanced the state of the art in all- aspect stealth aircraft from modernizing the B-2, developing the stealthy X-47B unmanned aircraft (a candidate to help solve the U.S. Navy’s long-range strike dilemma),and working other programs.

We also knew before the recent announcement that the LRS-B program was designed to combine the very best practices in integrating advanced propulsion, imbedded antennas, self-defense systems, electronic and communication suites, and manufacturing techniques. Northrop Grumman brought to the competition not only corporate expertise in these areas, but also extensive expertise in the subsystems so critical to stealthy aircraft.

The company not only owns and maintains the B-2, but builds the radars and communications systems for the low-observable F-22 and F-35. Manufacturing and integrating systems that rely on electronic emissions compatible with stealth raises many challenges, but Northrop Grumman has decades of successful experience to leverage. Savvy observers noted that Lockheed Martin comes to Northrop Grumman for that expertise.

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10 percent of the nation’s B-2 bomber fleet — totaling just 20 aircraft — is in this photo.

Northrop Grumman also has an ace up its sleeve in the manufacturing capabilities inherent in the company. Northrop Grumman not only has a factory designed to build B-2 bombers, but that factory is producing F-35 stealth fuselages today on an award-winning automated assembly line. Boeing has never produced an operational stealth aircraft. Furthermore, the Air Force has announced that the initial buy will be in five lots for a total of 21 aircraft, or about four aircraft per lot.

Northrop Grumman is uniquely qualified to drive efficiencies out of similar production rates. From the E-2D, to Global Hawk, and Triton, Northrop Grumman is very comfortable producing at that rate. Boeing is much more focused on higher rate production and very seldom, if ever, produced aircraft in that low quantity, let alone aircraft that will be as sophisticated (read stealthy) as the LRS-B.

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E-2D Hawkeye

Why is the LRS-B program so critical to U.S. national security? Experts in American defense policy point to the increasing inability of U.S. forces to deploy forward in the face of growing “anti-access/area denial” (A2/AD) capabilities of our potential adversaries, to include China, Russia, and Iran.

These and other foreign militaries are attempting to counter the traditional plans and patterns of projecting American military power into a vital region by not only prohibiting our relatively short range air and naval air forces from deploying to forward bases, but also by preventing their freedom of action and maneuver in close-in areas of military operations. Just this week, Secretary of Defense Dr. Ashton Carter has called the new bomber “the backbone of the Air Force’s future strike and deterrence capabilities.”

Evolving threats to American security guarantees in the Pacific Rim and Persian Gulf regions place a premium on platforms combining the range, payload, and survivability needed to underwrite U.S. commitments. Long-range aircraft are able to launch from bases outside the reach of adversaries. Heavy bombers can utilize their large and varied payloads to hold any potential target at risk.

State-of-the-art stealth technology enables the synergy of low-observability and tactics to ensure the survivability of the platform in contested air environments characterized by integrated air defenses. Unfortunately, the capabilities needed to execute these missions successfully are in short supply in the existing long-range bomber force. Except for the 20 B-2s, of which only 16 might be available for combat operations, the remaining 76 B-52s and 63 B-1Bs legacy bombers cannot survive in this contested air environment.

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B-52

Given the critical nature of the program it is not surprising that the Air Force “followed a deliberate and disciplined process” which was “scrutinized via DoD peer reviews” as Air Force Secretary Deborah James noted in the award announcement.

Given the challenges of anti-access/area denial environments, the requirement to hold various high-value targets at risk in this contested airspace, and the shortfalls of our current long-range bomber force, it is essential that the United States demonstrate the capability to conduct sustained power projection operations to deter and defend against hostile aggression for decades to come.

America’s new bomber, reportedly well along the acquisition path in terms of major testing and risk reduction, will leverage mature technologies and systems to minimize development risk and cost growth while sustaining a U.S. advantage in a long-term military competition. Northrop Grumman has the design and manufacturing capability and capacity to deliver LRS-B at the lowest risk. Boeing may be bigger, but Northrop was better.

Robert Haffa, a retired Air Force colonel, is the former director of the Northrop Grumman Analysis Center. Northrop Grumman does business with Haffa Defense Consulting.

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Brumby

Major
absolutely Although how similar is up, In 2012 Popsci floated a Article that mentioned that Northrop Grumman had a Variant design with Canards.

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I have a different take on where the LRS-B is heading in terms of emphasis. Whilst I expect there will be incremental stealth in the new design, it will not be profound because of diminishing returns. As such shaping and the external aspect will not be radical in my view. The thrust of the design and investment IMHO will be the internals as logically you can't sustain a competitive edge for 50 years through external shaping. Electronics and cyber warfare will be the future in this design and it dovetails in my view with the third offset strategy. For example, if you can use active electronics warfare to destroy C4ISR, the need for in the design of higher weapons payload becomes less of an issue. The LRS-B will be a game changer but not in the way present conflicts will be engaged. My 2 cents on the strategic pathway of this program.
 

FORBIN

Lieutenant General
Registered Member
Northrop Grumman selection
I think it is mostly a question of knowledge Northrop have build the B-2 an amazing Bomber only things except price matter very difficult to maintain with her RAM coating but in more i suspect the Boeing/LM project according view we have see different maybe be more ambitious, maybe too... remenber ATF programm the most futuristic YF-23 ( the more Stealth never build especially for rear but less agile ) lost vs YF-22 same thing after with the JSF and the X-32 vs X-35, X-32 ( in more very ugly ) and it is possible that history repeat again.
 

TerraN_EmpirE

Tyrant King
Bumby, the root of the LRS-B was a concept originally called Bomber 2018. As Bomber 2018 it was intended as a intermediate solution for the US Bomber fleet to plug the mission needs and requirements until the next major step Bomber 2037.
Bomber 2037 was aimed towards a truly impressive concept a hypersonic low observable platform for global strike meant to phase out all the existing bombers in the USAF.
So to a degree Bumby you are not that far off the mark.LRS-B is meant as more of a utility bomber, a bomber based on existing mature technologies to fill out the USAF and retire the oldest platforms in the fleet. Well the truly disruptive technologies are aimed to 2037. Note here that the years listed were aimed for there entail flights not service entry.

Now that all said this new bomber LRS-B will likely use extensive Low observable shaping, we know this as the two offerings were procured through the white and both came with models and concept line art based on flying wings. We also know that the USAF is still heavily invested in stealth technology as are the PRC, RF, SK, Japan, Europe and even the Iranians. Claims that stealth shaping is a fad are foolishness to hypocrisy if those claiming such are at the same time out of the other side of their mouth trying to sell another stealthily aircraft or missile or man of war.
Its likely that this Bomber will use lessons learned from the past 30 years of B2. Including LPOI AESA Radar, thermal stealth management, advances in communications and computing, likely a electro optics system (possibly EOTS block 2 common with F35 Block 4). Advanced stealth coatings and materials. Beyond that who knows.
Now as to Jamming or electronic warfare functions, its possible again and part of the Long range strike family of systems does include some form of such. But what form is unknown as yet. It might be a EB-3 capacity in the new bomber or it might be a EF35 Jammer retrofit or perhaps both or maybe something totally different.
 

Brumby

Major
Now that all said this new bomber LRS-B will likely use extensive Low observable shaping, we know this as the two offerings were procured through the white and both came with models and concept line art based on flying wings. We also know that the USAF is still heavily invested in stealth technology as are the PRC, RF, SK, Japan, Europe and even the Iranians. Claims that stealth shaping is a fad are foolishness to hypocrisy if those claiming such are at the same time out of the other side of their mouth trying to sell another stealthily aircraft or missile or man of war.
I am not even remotely suggesting that stealth shaping is a fad. I am simply suggesting that whilst we can expect to see further improvement in that area, I think we may be beginning to see a limit to significant advances short of a break through in cloaking. In my view, the likely emphasis and driver is towards disruptive technologies just as we are seeing with rail guns and lasers. Electronics and cyber warfare are my bet because the armed services leadership had been talking about these and spectrum domination. It would just take the meaning of precision strike to a new level by taking out your adversary's C4ISR by digital beaming rather than using PGM's.
 

kwaigonegin

Colonel
I am not even remotely suggesting that stealth shaping is a fad. I am simply suggesting that whilst we can expect to see further improvement in that area, I think we may be beginning to see a limit to significant advances short of a break through in cloaking. In my view, the likely emphasis and driver is towards disruptive technologies just as we are seeing with rail guns and lasers. Electronics and cyber warfare are my bet because the armed services leadership had been talking about these and spectrum domination. It would just take the meaning of precision strike to a new level by taking out your adversary's C4ISR by digital beaming rather than using PGM's.
I can also see plasma stealth technologies implemented to augment shaping as well in regards to physical VLO applications. To me that's a natural progression of stealth technologies until we reach apogee which is total cloaking.
 

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