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  #1  
Old 13 Nov 17, 17:02
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Northrop's B-21 bomber

Not sure if there is a thread on this already, so here goes ...
A top secret desert assembly plant starts ramping up to build Northrop's B-21 bomber

http://www.latimes.com/local/califor...htmlstory.html
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  #2  
Old 13 Nov 17, 17:14
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Interesting. I hope they get this one right.

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Old 13 Nov 17, 19:51
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Sixty years of trying, and the BUFF still reigns supreme...
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Old 13 Nov 17, 20:21
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The plant doesn't appear to be very "top secret" to me.
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Old 13 Nov 17, 20:25
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Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
Interesting. I hope they get this one right.

Pruitt
They're doing another quantum leap forward. Given the development time, I would say the odds are against them, but we can hope.
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Old 14 Nov 17, 15:36
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Originally Posted by johns624 View Post
The plant doesn't appear to be very "top secret" to me.
Seems the "top secret" part is getting a job there, getting inside, and knowing about what is done inside.
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Old 14 Nov 17, 15:39
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Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
Interesting. I hope they get this one right.

Pruitt
From the text of the linked article, it sounds like better planning for ungrade and improvements to be made to the "basic" design as tech advances.

The B-2 is a design of the @1980s and didn't reflect the rapid growth of IT and electronics that would occurr in the decades following.
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Old 14 Nov 17, 16:43
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The B-52 was designed in the late 40's and the Air Force still uses them. What made the design so good was there was lots of room inside to upgrade/replace equipment and it could do many things. Most of the Bombers since then that could fly faster are long gone. The radar signature is considered huge by today's standards as well.

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  #9  
Old 14 Nov 17, 20:55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
The B-52 was designed in the late 40's and the Air Force still uses them. What made the design so good was there was lots of room inside to upgrade/replace equipment and it could do many things. Most of the Bombers since then that could fly faster are long gone. The radar signature is considered huge by today's standards as well.

Pruitt
The BUFF/B-52 may well go down in history as one of the most usable~effective~cost-effictive "bang for buck$" aircraft designs given it's late design of the 1940-50s era and use 70-80 years later into the 21st century!

Now into the 21st century, seems to me, that the USAF needs an upgraded Dual Bomber Capability, which would revolve around two divergent aircraft designs:

1) NEW "Bomb Truck" ~ The BUFF/B-52 has served for 70+ years and may do so for another decade or two. In the "Meantime" the USAF needs a newer, less worn-out airframe and should look towards a modification/upgrade of existing design commercial/freight carrier designs to provide a "bomb truck" with long range/loiter-time capability as well as large~20+x 500 pound bomb load capability. "Arc Strike" remains as much a viable morale~resistance breaker device now as it did near two decades ago in "Operation Freedom" against Iraq/SH as in current "GWOT" efforts. 7x7 airframes come ready to mind for "nex gen.".

2) Special Mission/Deep Penetration Platform. Continues goal sought with B-1, B-2 designs where payload sacrifices for range to "get-through" more hostile anti-air environments for special missions and/or nuke triad back-up. Here a dedicated "deep-strike" bomber has appeal, providng a flux between tactical/operation use in conventional warfare along with ability to sustain Strategic~Nuke abilities. This is where the next-gen B-21 plays, but we still need to look for a "lower level conflict" "bomb truck" replacement for the BUFF/B-52. That "dog" is long in the leg and about to be "worn-out".

IMO!
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Last edited by G David Bock; 14 Nov 17 at 21:08..
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Old 24 Nov 17, 11:36
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Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
The B-52 was designed in the late 40's and the Air Force still uses them. What made the design so good was there was lots of room inside to upgrade/replace equipment and it could do many things. Most of the Bombers since then that could fly faster are long gone. The radar signature is considered huge by today's standards as well.

Pruitt
The one that comes to mind...the B-58 Hustler.
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Old 27 Nov 17, 16:05
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One thing that needs to be looked as far as the weapons to be carried on the B-21 is a small airborne laser to be carried inside the bomb bay. This would be very useful against missiles while they're in their silos or on their launch vehicles.
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Old 29 Nov 17, 08:00
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One thing that needs to be looked as far as the weapons to be carried on the B-21 is a small airborne laser to be carried inside the bomb bay. This would be very useful against missiles while they're in their silos or on their launch vehicles.
DIRCM is already in service on helicopters. It needs to be on the fuselage, not the bomb-bay, or its FoV will be too small.

They may be considering this, but if your strategic bomber is under fire from IR missiles you are already in very deep trouble.
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Old 29 Nov 17, 12:56
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The one that comes to mind...the B-58 Hustler.
The B-58 was replaced by another aircraft that is no longer in use, the FB-111.
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Old 29 Nov 17, 13:12
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Isn't there plans for the B-52 replacement to come on line sometime in the late 2030s? With the inevitable delays, I wouldn't bet against the B-52 out living the B-21 as well!
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Old 29 Nov 17, 15:29
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Strange...the photo is of the B-2, but is captioned as the B-21. BTW, that number would be way out of sequence.

Comparison here: https://www.bing.com/images/search?v...=28&ajaxhist=0
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