Early Retirement for B-1 and B-2

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FlightDreamz

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Unread post18 Sep 2018, 03:35

I was thinking about the M.O.P. (-sorry-)! Thanks wrightwing and hkultala! It seems like the current plan is to retire the B-2 Spirit and keep an all (upgraded)B-52 and B-21 Raider force. I'm just wondering about loss of capability. :shrug:
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wrightwing

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Unread post18 Sep 2018, 06:04

There's been nothing to suggest that the B-21 can't carry the GBU-57.
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Unread post01 May 2019, 14:17

I love B-1B, it is so sad that it will retire early
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sferrin

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Unread post01 May 2019, 14:57

wrightwing wrote:There's been nothing to suggest that the B-21 can't carry the GBU-57.


But there's a lot that's been written that suggests it won't be able to do this:

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Unread post02 May 2019, 02:17

How much is B-1B/B-2A retirement more Boeing corporate welfare?

The B-1B is higher cost, but vastly more flexible in operations. The B-1B can also fly considerably faster. With new engines it could get way better range and performance without major intake re-engineering using the same variable-cycle technology coming to F-35. The engines of F135 alone would be a major boost over the antiquated F101 that accounts for a fair amount of its current cost projections. And with engines in a pod layout, you actually could RE-engineer them to prevent any reflector surfaces without adding complicated moving surfaces using modern diverterless supersonic inlet technology. Keep it simple, stupid, and low maintenance. Not happening with B-52 no matter the wishful thinking. B-1B was built for smart weapons from the start, so it has more going for it operationally. B-52 is for permissive environments, which are shrinking around the globe.
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Unread post02 May 2019, 11:53

madrat wrote:How much is B-1B/B-2A retirement more Boeing corporate welfare?

The B-1B is higher cost, but vastly more flexible in operations. The B-1B can also fly considerably faster. With new engines it could get way better range and performance without major intake re-engineering using the same variable-cycle technology coming to F-35. The engines of F135 alone would be a major boost over the antiquated F101 that accounts for a fair amount of its current cost projections. And with engines in a pod layout, you actually could RE-engineer them to prevent any reflector surfaces without adding complicated moving surfaces using modern diverterless supersonic inlet technology. Keep it simple, stupid, and low maintenance. Not happening with B-52 no matter the wishful thinking. B-1B was built for smart weapons from the start, so it has more going for it operationally. B-52 is for permissive environments, which are shrinking around the globe.


All three bombers have unique advantages. For example, neither the B-1B nor B-2 can carry large missiles. The B-52 could have carried 4 Skybolts had they not cancelled the program. With renewed interest in large, hypersonic weapons, those external pylons will be of interest.

Skybolt.jpg


Other examples:

landis_D-21s_On_B-52_05.jpg


Boeing+B-52G-105-BW+Stratofortress+58-0216+armed+with+two+North+American+Aviation+AGM-28+Hound+Dog+ALCMs_+(U_S_+Air+Force).jpg
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Unread post03 May 2019, 15:10

madrat wrote:How much is B-1B/B-2A retirement more Boeing corporate welfare?

The B-1B is higher cost, but vastly more flexible in operations. The B-1B can also fly considerably faster. With new engines it could get way better range and performance without major intake re-engineering using the same variable-cycle technology coming to F-35. The engines of F135 alone would be a major boost over the antiquated F101 that accounts for a fair amount of its current cost projections. And with engines in a pod layout, you actually could RE-engineer them to prevent any reflector surfaces without adding complicated moving surfaces using modern diverterless supersonic inlet technology. Keep it simple, stupid, and low maintenance. Not happening with B-52 no matter the wishful thinking. B-1B was built for smart weapons from the start, so it has more going for it operationally. B-52 is for permissive environments, which are shrinking around the globe.


I'm all for as many B-21's as possible, but not fond of this idea of doing away with B-1's (and perhaps even B-2's).

Let's say we build 100 B-21's. OK, good start. But why retire an aircraft as capable as the B-1? We could downsize to perhaps 50 of them, giving us a healthy supply of spares. Re-engine them and with a few small modifications, you have an arsenal plane everyone's been talking about on the cheap. Not stealth? OK, but it doesn't need to be if launching long range standoff and stealthy cruise missiles. As a CAS platform in a permissive environment? Dynamite. Wide area/high speed anti-ship platform. Fantastic. Plus the E/W suite is legendary. Doubtful it would require Growlers or similar type aircraft to operate in most environments. Plus, I don't think the B-1's external stores have been utilized anywhere near their potential. With plenty of power given even the current engines, it'll carry a lot to altitude and doubly so if those are AMRAAM's.

The B-2 I can see retiring because the B-21 will do everything it can and better.

B-52's? OK, but how on earth is its CPFH so much lower than the others? I thought as aircraft got older, they only got more expensive to operate. But if we want to keep some of these around too, I'm fine with that. I think most would find the re-engined B-1B's are just as capable though, for the new missions envisioned.

I'm really not a fan of an "all" B-21 (or F-35, pick an airframe) force. Why? The logistics might be more complicated, but once an enemy has solved for the B-21 threat - then what? That goes for the F-35 too. Hack into their software/hardware and the whole force is beaten or greatly compromised.

Just my 2 cents..
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Unread post03 May 2019, 16:15

mixelflick wrote:The B-2 I can see retiring because the B-21 will do everything it can and better.


Really? Can it deliver 2 GBU-57 MOPs? 80 500lb JDAMs?
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Unread post03 May 2019, 19:04

mixelflick wrote:
madrat wrote:How much is B-1B/B-2A retirement more Boeing corporate welfare?

The B-1B is higher cost, but vastly more flexible in operations. The B-1B can also fly considerably faster. With new engines it could get way better range and performance without major intake re-engineering using the same variable-cycle technology coming to F-35. The engines of F135 alone would be a major boost over the antiquated F101 that accounts for a fair amount of its current cost projections. And with engines in a pod layout, you actually could RE-engineer them to prevent any reflector surfaces without adding complicated moving surfaces using modern diverterless supersonic inlet technology. Keep it simple, stupid, and low maintenance. Not happening with B-52 no matter the wishful thinking. B-1B was built for smart weapons from the start, so it has more going for it operationally. B-52 is for permissive environments, which are shrinking around the globe.


I'm all for as many B-21's as possible, but not fond of this idea of doing away with B-1's (and perhaps even B-2's).

Let's say we build 100 B-21's. OK, good start. But why retire an aircraft as capable as the B-1? We could downsize to perhaps 50 of them, giving us a healthy supply of spares. Re-engine them and with a few small modifications, you have an arsenal plane everyone's been talking about on the cheap. Not stealth? OK, but it doesn't need to be if launching long range standoff and stealthy cruise missiles. As a CAS platform in a permissive environment? Dynamite. Wide area/high speed anti-ship platform. Fantastic. Plus the E/W suite is legendary. Doubtful it would require Growlers or similar type aircraft to operate in most environments. Plus, I don't think the B-1's external stores have been utilized anywhere near their potential. With plenty of power given even the current engines, it'll carry a lot to altitude and doubly so if those are AMRAAM's.

The B-2 I can see retiring because the B-21 will do everything it can and better.

B-52's? OK, but how on earth is its CPFH so much lower than the others? I thought as aircraft got older, they only got more expensive to operate. But if we want to keep some of these around too, I'm fine with that. I think most would find the re-engined B-1B's are just as capable though, for the new missions envisioned.

I'm really not a fan of an "all" B-21 (or F-35, pick an airframe) force. Why? The logistics might be more complicated, but once an enemy has solved for the B-21 threat - then what? That goes for the F-35 too. Hack into their software/hardware and the whole force is beaten or greatly compromised.

Just my 2 cents..


1. We do not know anything about the B-21 at all. Period. Payload. Engines. Speed. Range. For all we know it might be anything from an aircraft with an F-111 or F-15E payload to having the payload of the B-2. It might have supersonic capability. No one knows anything.

So you can't say 100 is a good start. It's not a good start if it only matches the payload of one of the strike fighters mentioned. It's a good start if a true successor to the B-2.

2. Retiring 12 B-1 will give the USAF a healthy supply of spares? There are already dozens in storage. It's very expensive to upgrade a few dozen airframes with engines and avionics - economies of scale.

3. I think you are saying you are concerned someone will crack the stealth nut and render the B-21 useless. The B-52 and B-1 are not stealthy at all and have served for decades. The B-2 was designed for low level penetration should the need have arisen to fly a non-stealth flight profile at medium to high altitudes. The F-22 and F-35 are credible aircraft with or without stealth, though I would rather have had many more F-22 for air superiority. I don't think anyone here would contest the F-35 to be better than an F-22 at a2a. But "dogfighting" is basically not needed with modern missiles so the F-35 is longer ranged, so who knows for sure.

I would hope that the USAF had common sense enough to build the B-21 to be a credible aircraft even if stealth is somehow rendered useless because of some breakthrough technology. Low level and high speed seems like the best flight profile for a large non-maneuvering aircraft.

In theory we will also have a SR-72 that will have built in strike capability. Hopefully that means the ability to carry a couple of nuclear weapons and hence even if we only have 20-30 of them, that it still likely more than we had of the B-2. So you can rest a little better knowing we will hopefully have an SR-72 to supplement the B-21 if needed as a strike platform.

If stealth is defeated, it will be defeated for everyone and we will back where we were in the 90s and 2000s with unstealthy air forces on all sides. Basically its impossible to design a solid heat emitting object that is invisible to all wavelengths and sensors.

If stealth is defeated, what do you want a new bomber to be? We tried high speed and high altitude route with the XB-70 and B-1A, but they are vulnerable to SAMs. We did the low altitude penetration route with the B-1B, but that has problems too. That is why a long time ago it was said the bomber is dead and long live the ICBM.
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Unread post03 May 2019, 19:33

crosshairs wrote:1. We do not know anything about the B-21 at all. Period. Payload. Engines. Speed. Range. For all we know it might be anything from an aircraft with an F-111 or F-15E payload to having the payload of the B-2. It might have supersonic capability. No one knows anything.


We know that it's subsonic. We know that it's smaller than the B-2 with less payload. (Okay, I don't recall it being "official" but everything that's been said indicates a subsonic aircraft that is smaller than the B-2.)
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Unread post04 May 2019, 02:46

sferrin wrote:
mixelflick wrote:The B-2 I can see retiring because the B-21 will do everything it can and better.


Really? Can it deliver 2 GBU-57 MOPs? 80 500lb JDAMs?

Not that we know anything, but indications are that two B-21’s will carry anything one B-2 can.
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Unread post04 May 2019, 03:20

count_to_10 wrote:
sferrin wrote:
mixelflick wrote:The B-2 I can see retiring because the B-21 will do everything it can and better.


Really? Can it deliver 2 GBU-57 MOPs? 80 500lb JDAMs?

Not that we know anything, but indications are that two B-21’s will carry anything one B-2 can.


It hardly qualifies as "do everything it can and better" if you have to use two B-21s to get the same ability as one B-2A. I'm amazed this needs to be pointed out. Would you say an F-15 is better than an F-22 if you need five of them to equal one F-22?
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Unread post04 May 2019, 14:38

sferrin wrote:
mixelflick wrote:The B-2 I can see retiring because the B-21 will do everything it can and better.


Really? Can it deliver 2 GBU-57 MOPs? 80 500lb JDAMs?


Don't know.

But if you're publicly saying you're going to retire B-1's and B-2's, you'd be a fool NOT to include this capability - right? I mean, it's not going to do us any good if only a B-52 or C-130 can carry the GBU-57. The 80 JDAM figure is more defendable, but are you really going to risk B-21's bombing en mass let's say, ground troops? That would seem to be a much better job for the B-52 once air superiority has been established.

But perhaps the SR-72 has been given the GBU-57 MOP function. That would make a lot of sense IMO. The B-21 would hit "everything else" with a mix of JDAM's and/or cruise missiles. One thing's for sure: It's going to be plenty busy given what they're asking of it. In any case, we'll be getting our first glimpse of it soon.

Exciting :)
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Unread post04 May 2019, 15:59

mixelflick wrote:
sferrin wrote:
mixelflick wrote:The B-2 I can see retiring because the B-21 will do everything it can and better.


Really? Can it deliver 2 GBU-57 MOPs? 80 500lb JDAMs?


Don't know.

But if you're publicly saying you're going to retire B-1's and B-2's, you'd be a fool NOT to include this capability - right?


When has that ever stopped the DoD? It's been decades since the USN cancelled Sea Lance and deprived the warfighter of Subroc capability. They retired the AGM-129 stealth cruise missile with no replacement. Hell, if they hadn't done that we might not even an LRSO for another decade. They retired the SR-71 with no replacement. They retired the F-14/AIM-54 with no replacement.
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Unread post04 May 2019, 16:53

EB-1B, now that sounds way better than EB -52.
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