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LRS-B... The B-21

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LRS-B... The B-21

Old 26th Feb 2016, 15:18
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LRS-B... The B-21

Looks familiar from somewhere...



From Combat Aircraft Mag...

And suggestions are invited for a name... How about the B-2a

Secretary of the US Air Force Deborah Lee James has revealed an artist impression and designation of the LRS-B. Inviting people to name the new bomber during her speech at the Air Force Association Air Warfare Symposium.

The public disclosure of B-21 follows the US Government Accountability Office denying Boeing’s protest over the award of the $60 billion LRS-B contract award to Northrop Grumman. The decision was announced on February 16 following a 100-day review.
Boeing said it will review its legal options to continue its protest.
The GAO said it found ‘no basis to sustain or uphold the protest’. US Air Force chiefs welcomed the news and clearance to proceed with the program, which had been on hold since the Boeing protest was lodged.
Boeing reiterated that it feels it is offering the best LRS-B solution with its partner Lockheed Martin. It could take its complaint to the US Court of Federal Claims, but risks further inconveniencing its important USAF customer.

The USAF is keen to stress that it isn’t fighting the last war and that it is focused on the future threat that will evolve through the introduction of advanced air defense systems and development of more capable surface-to-air missile systems. It says that these demand a long-range, highly survivable bomber capable of penetrating and operating in tomorrow’s anti-access/area denial (A2/AD) environment. The LRS-B will replace the B-1B and B-52H fleets to provide the strategic ability to strike any target on the face of the planet at any time in both conventional and nuclear roles.

The B-21 looks uncannily like the B-2, also built by Northrop Grumman. The initial LRS-B contract is composed of two parts. The EMD phase is a cost-reimbursable type contract with cost and performance incentives. These effectively incentivize industry to achieve cost, schedule and performance goals. The second part of the contract involves options for the first five low-rate initial production lots, comprising 21 aircraft out of the total planned fleet of 100 bombers. Unit cost is an important measure here, and each B-21 is required to be equal to or less than $550 million per aircraft in 2010 dollars, based on the procurement of 100 aircraft. That comes in considerably cheaper than a B-2, which some calculate as being around $1.5 billion per airframe!
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Old 26th Feb 2016, 16:08
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Cost of the B-2 included all the R &D, to quote Global Security.
...."Northrop had estimated that it would cost between $2 billion and $4 billion to reopen the production line, including nonrecurring costs. Each new aircraft would cost about $500-700 million for a production run of 40 aircraft...... In 2001 Northrop Grumman Corporation offered to build 40 more aircraft at a cost of $735 million apiece"....
That included the cost of reopening the line, so deduct $100M per airframe, to get it down to $635M each.

The price of the LRSB? It is smaller and simpler, the risk is lower and tech more proven, and the costs spread over 80-100 aircraft instead of 40, so say another $100M off each aircraft, to about $500-550M each?
"...In the briefing Tuesday, the Air Force announced it will pay $564 million per bomber for the first 21 aircraft, for a total initial procurement cost of $11.8 billion. Research and development for the first bombers is expected to cost $23.5 billion, the Air Force said."

......."The service requested that two independent government cost estimators look at the program. The two groups projected that each bomber will cost $511 million in 2010 dollars on average if 100 planes are built, Air Force officials told reporters on Tuesday substantially less than the original $550 million target cost set by then Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. This translates to $564 million per plane in fiscal year 2016 dollars."
Oh!!! And, why you may ask, the B-21 rather than the B-3? Well, makes senses as it seems a derivative. But also remember, no-one is allowed to mention the B-3 bomber......

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Old 26th Feb 2016, 16:14
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Well, to borrow from a former US senator from Illinois: "A half billion here, a half billion there, and pretty soon you're talking real money."
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Old 26th Feb 2016, 16:14
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Looks about as plausible as the "stealth " Blackhawk.
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Old 26th Feb 2016, 17:50
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Why's that implausible? You think the CIA decided to transport some junk to Abbotabad as a disinformation tactic?
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Old 26th Feb 2016, 17:54
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"and the costs spread over 80-100 aircraft instead of 40"

that is the whole nub of the issue - if they can build 100 it'll be cheaper -

if they get into the cost/cancellation spiral......................
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Old 26th Feb 2016, 18:48
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Why's that implausible? You think the CIA decided to transport some junk to Abbotabad as a disinformation tactic?
In simple language:
Yes.
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Old 26th Feb 2016, 19:20
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What would be the point of transporting the 'junk' for other countries to see and presumably wonder what the helicopter looked like before the 'crash' when complete renderings and drawings were already available online before the OBL raid?

Would the idea be that the Americans saw pictures online of the stealth helicopter they didn't actually have, then made a rear end section to look exactly like the published articles. Then on the day of the raid they transported the fake rear end to the raid site and left it there.
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Old 26th Feb 2016, 19:28
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Barnstormer. yes, obviously - why wouldn't they?

wake up Sheeple etc..
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Old 26th Feb 2016, 20:53
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So ... this is the 'enhanced B-2'? So the ziggy-zaggy trailing edges were a waste of time/money? Cool ... the B-21 looks nice.

[And calling it the B-3 would indeed be a give-away, as would B-4]
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Old 26th Feb 2016, 21:00
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"So ... this is the 'enhanced B-2'? So the ziggy-zaggy trailing edges were a waste of time/money?"

The "ziggy-zaggy trailing edges" on the B-2 were in the vicinity of the topside engine exhausts, which the B-21 does not seem to have either. I posit that the pic is a bit of fiction, anyway. Why would such sensitive details be released publicly so soon?

It is a think of beauty, I agree, so the US Navy won't want it. (just joking)

Last edited by GlobalNav; 27th Feb 2016 at 03:10.
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Old 27th Feb 2016, 00:13
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And suggestions are invited for a name... How about the B-2a
Or, "How the B-29D Became the B-50."

The frustrating thing for me is that back in the late '70s, when the B-1 was going through one of its periodic cancellations, I (a B-52 EW) tried to persuade SAC to consider instead a low-reflectivity flying-wing platform with the engine inlets and exhausts on top and gold-plated windows to keep radar from bouncing off the pilot's fillings. The response I got was basically 'If we want ideas, we'll hire a civilian to have 'em.'

The satisfaction of having been right is much overrated.
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Old 27th Feb 2016, 01:02
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Perhaps the press corps just missed placement of the decimal point?

Just like the A-11, A-12, and RS-71 (the SR-71 speech mistake of President Johnson)

Was it perhaps instead meant to be "B-2.1" ??

O
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Old 27th Feb 2016, 14:08
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Nice to see North American back in the business. Mind, that artists' impression looks nothing like the real thing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_...an_XB-21_4.jpg
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Old 27th Feb 2016, 15:31
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Originally Posted by Haraka View Post
In simple language:
Yes.
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Old 27th Feb 2016, 15:53
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Says it all really above , for the contribution from such obviously well informed aviation Tech Int. Analysis comment.
But then of course, what could I possibly know in the light of such self proclaimed expertise?
Haraka Out.
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Old 27th Feb 2016, 16:02
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Go on then, educate me: What evidence at all is there that such a thing was done, and/or that there was an operational imperative that night to do it?
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Old 27th Feb 2016, 16:10
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Boss eyed,
I have no intention whatsoever of trying to illuminate you .Time will tell I think , not me.
Goodnight.
H.
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Old 27th Feb 2016, 17:56
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Ah. None then. Fair enough.
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Old 27th Feb 2016, 20:45
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Barnstormer - where did you see the "complete renderings and drawings" of the Blackhawk before the raid?

Genuinely curious.
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