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LRS-B... The B-21

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LRS-B... The B-21

Old 2nd Sep 2020, 08:39
  #141 (permalink)  
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https://www.airforcemag.com/8th-af-b...2-re-engining/

8th AF Boss on Hypersonics, B-21, Long-Range Strike, and B-52 Re-Engining

....
On the B-21, Weatherington said the first bomber, which is now under construction, will fly “no earlier than ’22,” which is slightly beyond a late 2021 estimate offered by Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen W. “Seve” Wilson last year. Otherwise, though, he said the new secret bomber is “on track, on schedule,” and coming in at “a little less” than the predicted unit cost.

He confirmed that the Air Force is considering accelerating the program—not its development, but the rate at which the service buys the airplane. That would allow the Air Force to more quickly eliminate the B-2 and B-1 bombers, reducing the logistics and training footprint of the bomber force and helping it become more efficient. “If we get a steeper ramp, then you’ll see an earlier IOC,” or initial operational capability date, he said.

Weatherington said it’s likely the bomber force will contract before it begins to grow again. That will create a challenge for building a seasoned bomber pilot force, so Global Strike Command is working with Air Education and Training Command to push more B-1 Weapon System Officers into pilot training. There were two B-1 WSOs in the first Pilot Training Next class last year, he noted. “We have to leverage the talent” already in the force, he said.

The arrival of the B-21 will change the complexion of the bomber fleet considerably, Weatherington noted. “Your bomber force will become two-thirds low observable, from one that is only 20 percent LO today.” This is a “big change” and affects “how we plan, operate, the facilities we use, everything.”

“Spreading the stealth enterprise “across multiple bases instead of just one base, currently at Whiteman (Air Force Base, Mo.), will force us to organize and operate differently than we do now,” he said.

While he’s aware of calls to cancel the Long Range Standoff missile on the grounds that a cruise missile with either conventional or nuclear warheads would be destabilizing, Weatherington said it has been that way for decades with the Air-Launched Cruise Missile. Adversaries also seem to “embrace ambiguity” in capabilities, “from ‘little green men’ to cruise missiles to ballistic missiles,” he said. The LRSO is “not escalatory.”

“I’m sure they would be delighted” if the U.S. unilaterally moved to limit its bomber capabilities, Weatherington asserted. Cruise missiles, he said, “are not new,” and he lamented that “we get trapped in these intense theoretical debates” that limit U.S. capabilities needlessly. As for the escalatory nature of cruise missiles, “we message intentions. We monitor telltale signs” of adversary movements toward a first strike, he said.

The LRSO program downselected from two contractors to one earlier this year, and that step was also early. This in turn means the program could be accelerated, Weatherington pointed out. “The sole source [decision] in April provided an opportunity to accelerate some of the milestones; Milestone B or IOC by about a year each,” he said. “Global Strike Command … will look for opportunities to accelerate it.” He said the missile has “good funding and support.”......

Weatherington said that when the B-52 engine replacement program gets going, the fleet will see some “30-40 refurbs per year” of their powerplants, suggesting the installation program could happen over a period of three or so years instead of the 10 that AFGSC has previously mentioned. However, he noted the B-52 will also be getting a new radar, is finishing a connectivity upgrade, and will see improvements to its internal weapon carriage capability. The latter could provide the capacity equivalent of 20 additional bombers, he said.......
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Old 15th Jan 2021, 23:43
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2nd airframe

Number 2 is under construction as first Flight is next year..

https://www.airforcemag.com/second-b...TFd314uL6XgR50
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Old 19th Feb 2021, 09:25
  #143 (permalink)  
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https://www.afgsc.af.mil/News/Articl...-b-1-aircraft/

AFGSC paving way for B-21, begins retirement of B-1 aircraft

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Old 19th Feb 2021, 10:04
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While the remaining B-52s are set to get new engines.
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Old 19th Feb 2021, 12:02
  #145 (permalink)  
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The B-52s are like Trigger's broom - constantly repaired with parts and wing skins replaced. Whilst from what I have read some parts of the B-1are either impossible or prohibitively expensive to replace.

Plus it spent a lot of time in a high stress low=level role - and strangely spending a long term loitering at high level with the wings swept forward - for which it was not designed, as proved as punishing.

https://www.airforcemag.com/b-1s-can...along-the-way/

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...-to-this-point
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Old 6th Mar 2021, 23:13
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Shelter gives indication of size

At Ellsworth AFB, a temporary experimental, temporary shelter for the B-21 recently erected.

https://www.airforcemag.com/b-21-bom...of-secret-jet/




I reckon all being well, and looking ahead when say it deploys here to Fairford,could fit four in the existing infrastructure on base.

and also

https://www.b21eis.com/index.aspx



Last edited by chopper2004; 11th Mar 2021 at 16:08.
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Old 8th May 2021, 08:04
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Progress Discussion

https://www.edwards.af.mil/News/Arti...t-force-takes/

‚Gen. Timothy Ray, the Commander of Air Force Global Strike Command and Air Forces Strategic-Air, U.S. Strategic Command, visited several organizations across the bomber test enterprise to receive first-hand updates on the progress of the B-21 program during a visit to Edwards Air Force Base and Plant 42, in California, May 5-6.

His first stop was to Edwards AFB, where he met with the 419th Flight Test Squadron, Global Power Bomber Combined Test Force. He was updated on the organization’s continued efforts to test upgrades to the B-2 Spirit in order to modernize the B-2 and integrate future weapons systems.

He then visited the 420th Flight Test Squadron, B-21 CTF. Ray was briefed on the construct for the Combined Test Force and the benefits it will bring to bear for the B-21 program. The B-21 CTF is an integrated team of test professionals from Northrop Grumman, 420th FLTS and Detachment 5, Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center. The B-21 CTF provided a comprehensive update on the team’s readiness to support the B-21 program when it transitions into flight test.

On the following day, Ray visited the Northrop Grumman facilities on Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, California, and saw the significant progress made on the build of the first flight test aircraft that will one day make its way to Edwards AFB for flight testing. Northrop Grumman personnel updated Ray on build progress and the value of building those test articles using the same production line, tooling and procedures that will manufacture the final production aircraft.






Cheers

Last edited by chopper2004; 8th May 2021 at 08:21.
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Old 20th Sep 2021, 22:34
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More tidbits coming out.

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...HrRQw5SofM66kY
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Old 8th Nov 2021, 17:58
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Old 9th Nov 2021, 07:17
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Probably will cost $1 million per unit................
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Old 9th Nov 2021, 18:07
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Originally Posted by ORAC
Whilst from what I have read some parts of the B-1 are either impossible or prohibitively expensive to replace.
IIRC, Ken V posted that on a similar discussion (or perhaps this one?) some time ago (when he was still a regular). Apparently the same is also true of the B2, while the more conventional construction of the B-52 allows relatively easy and cost effective structural repairs and updates.

I sure hope those retired Bones end up in good homes (i.e. museums) rather than simply being scrapped. To my eyes, the B-1 is one of the best looking big aircraft ever (especially with the wings fully swept) - a classic example of form following function. Certainly the best looking of the jet powered big bombers.
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Old 9th Nov 2021, 19:33
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How about converting them to drones if the structural life is nearing it's end? Keep them ready and utilize them low hours only.
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Old 10th Nov 2021, 07:23
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"Certainly the best looking of the jet powered big bombers."

No - that was the Victor
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Old 10th Nov 2021, 17:47
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Originally Posted by Asturias56
"Certainly the best looking of the jet powered big bombers."

No - that was the Victor
I guess we're going to have to disagree on that - I think the Victor looks awkward and badly proportioned.
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Old 10th Nov 2021, 18:44
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The original Victors looked great, but then later versions got all the upgrades mounted on the outside rather than inside which spoilt the lines more than a bit.
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Old 10th Nov 2021, 23:49
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Originally Posted by Asturias56
"Certainly the best looking of the jet powered big bombers."

No - that was the Victor
Sorry, can’t drink the Victor pretty or skinny.

Now if you mean best looking like the way a F4 looked, we might find agreement.
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Old 11th Nov 2021, 10:24
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Originally Posted by West Coast
Sorry, canít drink the Victor pretty or skinny.

Now if you mean best looking like the way a F4 looked, we might find agreement.
Lots of aircraft are "cool" or pretty but the Victor looks like alien technology to me. Less run of the mill and therefore interesting to look at.
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Old 11th Nov 2021, 14:42
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Originally Posted by t43562
Lots of aircraft are "cool" or pretty but the Victor looks like alien technology to me. Less run of the mill and therefore interesting to look at.
Yah, I can see that aspect. Interesting if not aesthetically pleasing.
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Old 11th Nov 2021, 15:20
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RA-5C Vigilante is my all time favourite
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Old 3rd Jan 2022, 18:48
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Drone mothership and Unveiled later this year

Happy New Yaar all

It should be unveiled within the year maybe autumn?

In the throes of a Dale Brown novel with the Old Dog the B-21 could be a drone mothership

https://www.popularmechanics.com/mil...st-drop-bombs/

cheers
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