B-21 (LRS-B) Thread

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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popcorn

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Unread post10 Mar 2018, 01:12

LOL.. we're relying on a leaky congressman for drip-drips of info on the new bomber.
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Unread post10 Mar 2018, 04:00

popcorn wrote:I guess he felt he just had to share... :roll:


http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/19 ... let-design


The Congressman is talking like an engineer. I like it! As long as he doesn't blabber too much of course.
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Unread post10 Apr 2018, 15:28

Air Force "Bomber Vector" Strategy Sees New Attack Weapons, Tactics

Warrior Maven

The Air Force’s Bomber Vector calls for wide range of new technologies & attack weapons

https://www.themaven.net/warriormaven/a ... V7Fctjc6w/
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Unread post21 Apr 2018, 03:19

B-21 has an aggressive timetable but so far no hiccups. Still a long road ahead though. If they execute as promised it will be easier to justify additional units.

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... -d-447860/

USAF eyes more orders as B-21 finishes preliminary design review


19 APRIL, 2018 SOURCE: FLIGHTGLOBAL.COM BY: GARRETT REIM LOS ANGELES
Northrop Grumman has finished preliminary design review of the B-21 Raider stealth bomber.

The heavy bomber is now moving towards a critical design review, says Lt Gen Arnold Bunch, the air force's military deputy for acquisition during an 18 April Senate Armed Services hearing. Critical design review is the next step before assembly of the first aircraft can begin.

Northrop Grumman has also delivered the first set of software for the B-21 programme, said Bunch.

“We are making good progress,” he said. “I am comfortable today with were we are at, the progress that Northrop Grumman is making on the programme.”
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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Unread post26 Jun 2018, 00:23

Long article

The new B-21 Raider could hit a big milestone this year

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force’s super secret B-21 bomber program is gliding toward a major development milestone known as the critical design review, which is set to wrap up by the end of 2018, the director of the Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office said Monday.

“We’ve been through the preliminary design review, so we’re on a path to go into a more critical design and move on with the production of not only the test aircraft, but if I have my way, make sure that we get the development done properly leading up to an on-time start of production,” Randall Walden said at a Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies event. Walden’s office, the RCO, is in charge of developing the B-21 and ensuring the program’s success.

“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...

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/06 ... this-year/
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Unread post23 Sep 2018, 10:31

Defense One update article.

The Must-Haves of the Next Strategic Nuclear Bomber

By Patrick Tucker Technology Editor Read bio

September 21, 2018

Air Force officials opened up — just a bit — about at the thinking that’s informing the design process.

Almost nothing is known about the new bomber in development, the B-21 Raider, the most important Air Force project of the new century. But it will differ from previous bombers in one critical feature: rapid upgradability, according to Air Force Gen. Tim Ray, who leads the service’s Global Strike Command. In essence, there will be no single bomber but an ever-evolving platform that will change as technology and circumstances change as well.

So the B-21 will be modifiable in four key areas: sensors, communications, electromagnetic signature, and defensive capability, Ray said during the recent Air Force Association conference, just outside of Washington, D.C.

That means the Air Force and prime contractor on the project, Northrop Grumman, need to build a plane that can exhibit a wide variety of attributes depending on the mission and even the current state of technology. That will require changes in the way that the service acquires technology. Said Ray, “all of these things are moving much faster than our acquisition approach.” Another change: the Air Force is planning upfront to spend more to acquire and keep the intellectual property it needs as part of the program, particularly in information technology. “I’m not interested in letting intellectual property sit outside my family,” Ray said.

Air Force leaders see the future bomber as a critical component of nuclear deterrence but deterrence has changed a lot from the height of the Cold War when the government saw the three legs of the nuclear triad—ICBMs, nuclear-missile-armed submarines, and bombers—as sufficient to deter the Soviet Union from launching a nuclear war.

Both the Russians and the Chinese have developed new capabilities, including better radar, cyber, and electronic warfare tactics and longer-range missiles, that will make it harder for U.S. aircraft to penetrate enemy defenses.

Additionally, emerging technologies like quantum radar threaten to scuttle conventional advantages that the United States has enjoyed for years, such as stealth. That means that designing new craft with no rounded edges to defeat conventional aircraft won’t yield as much return on investment as it has in the past.

It’s a problem that the Air Force has only begun to wrap its arms around. Gen. James Holmes of Air Combat Command was asked about the future effects of quantum radar on next-generation craft design.

“I have a quantum physicist in the family, my daughter, so I understand what she’s able to patiently explain to me… we’re trying figure out what the problems are and where the threats are.”

Right now, the design strategy is: increase the versatility of all the aircraft that might be tasked with penetrating enemy air defenses, according to Gen. Stephen Wilson, the Air Force Vice Chief of Staff. That means making strategic bombers that can also carry conventional weapons and arming the F-35 with the long-range standoff nuclear cruise missile. Next-generation electronic warfare effects and long-range sensing, of the sort that give the F-35 its core value, would also factor into the mix.

The future bomber will have to be well-integrated with the rest of the military’s jets, drones, ships, and satellites, all of that within a massive data-sharing networking. Air Force officials talk repeatedly about the need to create a massive nervous system of communication to defeat enemy electronic warfare defenses across the domains of sea, air, land, space, and information. But those lofty plans for massive information sharing among heterogeneous platforms look distant against today’s low-bandwidth secure communications (the commonly used Link 16 secure data link generally sends data at just 115.2 kilobits per second.) And while the Air Force’s next-generation aircraft will feature more modern communication gear, they will still need to be able to link to older aircraft.

Defense One asked Holmes about bridging the gap between today’s encrypted communications gear and the ones he wants to see on future aircraft.

We think there’s three core capabilities that we have to pursue as we transition to a multi-domain capability against peer adversaries. One is multi-domain awareness,” meaning a near-perfect understanding of how every satellite, ground or sea vehicle or cyber operator is affecting the mission and how vulnerable each of them is, Holmes said. “We’re moving from a world where air combat command presented a threat to your air sensors primarily and only your air sensors to thinking about how you use space sensors, how you use air sensors, publicly available information, and how do we sort through all of the information that’s out there to give us multi-domain” awareness.

The next one, he said, is advanced battle management, meaning how do you take all of the information about the objects on the field, across the domains, and construct a strategy of attack. “The third part is agile, resilient [communications]: How do we make sure that we can link that multi-domain info with advanced battle management?”

When communication between these nodes fails because of the way the enemy is using cyber or electronic warfare, the fourth component will be “how do we teach our people to take the information that they have to make a decision and act and drive an [operations tempo] that forces the enemy to keep up with you.

Read that to mean: no matter how advanced the next bomber is, and how smart the aircraft flying alongside it are, there will be moments when communication is incredibly sparse. All of the platforms, and the operators using them, will have to use rare moments of clarity and data sharing to maximum effect.


https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2 ... d-topstory
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Unread post10 Dec 2018, 10:54

B-21 Program stealthily making progress.

https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/12 ... ig-review/

Blink and you’ll miss it: The B-21 bomber accomplishes another big review

WASHINGTON — The Air Force’s super-secret new bomber recently completed its critical design review, 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 B-21 Raider. However, Air Force officials had stated that the milestone was slated to occur by the end of 2018 — putting the program on pace to begin fielding aircraft around 2025...

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.
"When a fifth-generation fighter meets a fourth-generation fighter—the [latter] dies,”
CSAF Gen. Mark Welsh
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Unread post03 Mar 2019, 18:11

3-2-19

“Sen. Rounds: B-21 Bomber announcement coming ‘any day’”


More breadcrumbs? This was just a local report out of S Dakota, no other sources I can find to backup the quote.
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Unread post04 Mar 2019, 15:17

Has to be the first flight.

In fact (given a fielding date of 2025), I'd be shocked if it hasn't already flown. Still, this may be opening up daytime flights at Edwards and the ensuing first look so to speak, for the general public.

Exciting times. The Raider is going to be our new "big stick". I just hope nobody pulls a Gates, and we build it in meaningful numbers..
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Unread post04 Mar 2019, 16:28

mixelflick wrote:Has to be the first flight.


I'd guess that's still several years away. They haven't even done CDR yet.
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Unread post04 Mar 2019, 17:17

sferrin wrote:
mixelflick wrote:Has to be the first flight.


I'd guess that's still several years away. They haven't even done CDR yet.

Pretty sure they completed CDR last year
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Unread post04 Mar 2019, 17:23

mixelflick wrote:Has to be the first flight.

In fact (given a fielding date of 2025), I'd be shocked if it hasn't already flown. Still, this may be opening up daytime flights at Edwards and the ensuing first look so to speak, for the general public.

Exciting times. The Raider is going to be our new "big stick". I just hope nobody pulls a Gates, and we build it in meaningful numbers..


Definitely hasn't flown. Look at when the business was awarded and the date today. It takes longer than that to tool up a complex aircraft and build it - slow build at that.

I think the USAF has said that in a manner of speaking the B-21 has already flown in that the off the shelf technology in it has flown already. Heavy emphasis on I think the USAF said something like that.
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Unread post04 Mar 2019, 17:23

sprstdlyscottsmn wrote:
sferrin wrote:
mixelflick wrote:Has to be the first flight.


I'd guess that's still several years away. They haven't even done CDR yet.

Pretty sure they completed CDR last year


Yeah, didn't realize how old the post was that I was looking at up the page. Still, even if they completed CDR fall of '18 I wouldn't expect a first flight until 2020/21-ish.
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Unread post04 Mar 2019, 18:46

Everything about this programs schedule has been aggressive. I would not be surprised to learn that the aircraft already began assembly prior to CDR and that as long as nothing safety related turned up it would continue as a prototype, and that if nothing was turned up in CDR then they have the first production example in progress.

IIRC a similar thing happened with the B-2. The first flying prototype ended up being so close to the production version that it was modified after the fact to become the 21st B-2A.
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Unread post05 Mar 2019, 00:00

Or just an official AF announcement that Ellsworth will host the B-21 (possibly the first base to host it).
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