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Squawks & HeadlinesNew USAF Bomber Program 'Underway' But Cloaked in Secrecy

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New USAF Bomber Program 'Underway' But Cloaked in Secrecy

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ORLANDO: America's new long-range bomber program is "underway," will involve somewhere between 80 and 100 planes and will be delivered sometime in the mid-2020's. (defense.aol.com) More...

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Dubslow
Bill Winslow 6
@Everybody: Yes, the B52 is an awesome plane, but it is still 60 year old technology. Whatever this new plane is will probably burn half the fuel to do the same mission.
weatherman04
David Hasso 3
Everyone needs to realize the B-52 was designed with 50's tech, the B-1 was designed with 60's and 70's tech and the B-2 was designed with 70's and 80's tech. Even though the systems can be upgraded, we still need a cutting-edge Air Force with more current tech. After all, how many people use computers that are even ten years old?
dbrooks84
David Brooks 1
There was a bit about this in this weeks Aviation Week & Space Technology in which it indicates the project is cancelled or will be cancelled due to lack of funding. Who knows where the truth really is.
preacher1
preacher1 1
It is a hell of a note that they have kept the B-52 upgraded through the years and they can still hit anything in the world from Barksdale(they didn't talk about their IRAQ mission that much); they ought to be able to do the same thing with the B-2's. They ain't nowhere near obsolete yet. Why in hell are they even thinking about something new? All the gov't knows to do is spend.
chalet
chalet 1
Not too long ago I read that the B-52 -one of the greatest airplanes ever made- had logged an average a mere 2,500 flight hours each. They have been pretty well maintained and upgraded and on top of that they were designed for some 20,000 flight hours so they have a lot of time to go before they are pronounced "dead" and that needs a replacement, but then again how else the USAF is going to spend the dimes saved in the (theoretical and ambiguous) recently announced "reconfiguration of the Air Force needs" that is sending out to pasture at Davis Montham AFB several F-16s, C-130s and killed the C-27 program. We have to be extremely greatful to USAF for such a prudent management of our (limited) financial resources. We also have to be quite thankful to the Defense Industry Gang of 4 for being so patriot in helping the DOD to spend untold billions (in case you don´t remember, the B-2 ended us costing US$ 300 million a opiece when contracted in the 1990s, so the new toy is easily going to cost a cool billion a piece too. Keep on working your rear ends off to sustain this monstruosity with your taxes.
preacher1
preacher1 1
"So, we have a system that's "underway," is secret and about which we know very little other than it will be amazing and be relatively cheap, somehow. Hmmm".

That sounds like the proverbial bottomless pit.
durandcruz
Manuel Cruz 1
Too bad I'll never getr to read te article 'cause of the bubbli from air defense .com intrusion that will not allow me to select NO!
jrembold
jerry rembold 1
This press release came out of the most logical place of course. The program will after all be a "Mickey Mouse" production.
dbrooks84
David Brooks 2
One of the things I have noted of the years, that the military is always looking for new weapons - no matter wether or not there is a need or not. One plane that has not seen combat to the best of my knowledge is the B-1B. Yet the B-2 has been used on a select few missions. The B-52H continous to be a work horse for the USAF as it can deliver about anything needed (ordance). There is also the not-invented-here syndrome in the USAF (my personall experiences). Also, the aerospace world has to be feed. It was President Eisenhower in the 1950s warned about the military-aerospace complex. I hate to imagine how many billions have been wasted in the DoD. The USAF (other branches too) have to spend money in order to ask for more money. I personnally have experienced the situation where there might be a surplus of dollars left over close to the end of the fiscal year and there would be a mad rush to sepend the money. There logic is if you don't spend all of it, you wont get the same or more money in the next and future budgets. I'll shut up now!
weatherman04
David Hasso 3
All three bombers currently serving in the USAF have seen combat. All three have also been stationed at Diego Garcia while flying missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. The B-2 has been used to slip in first and take out air defenses. It fired the opening shots in Iraq in 2003, and more recently three of them took off from Whiteman AFB and wiped out the Libyan Air Force. Although the B-1 has seen combat missions, it is no longer nuclear-capable. Oh, and I can back you up on the part about spending the money. As a college student, I also worked for the university and I remember everyone spending their entire budgets in the final weeks of the fiscal yaer just to ensure they will get that money the following year.
dbrooks84
David Brooks 1
I had never heard that the B-1B had seen combat. Must have been kept quite. B-2 has been in the news on combat missions.
Dubslow
Bill Winslow 1
"In the 1990s, the B-1B was converted to conventional bombing use. It first served in combat during Operation Desert Fox in 1998 and again during the NATO action in Kosovo the following year. The B-1B continues to support U.S. and NATO military forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. ...The B-1B is expected to continue to serve into the 2020s, when it is to be supplemented by the Next Generation Bomber." -- Wikipedia
Dubslow
Bill Winslow 1
And the Wiki article relevant to the original squawk:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Next_Generation_Bomber

"In 2012 it was renamed the Long-Range Strike-B (LRS-B).[4] On February 24th Air Force Secretary Michael Donley announced that a competition was underway with a target delivery in the mid 2020s.[5]"
dbrooks84
David Brooks 1
After the Desert Storm war, the B-1B at that time had been equipped for nuclear war. Recognizing that current wars would be using conventional munitions, the USAF started that process you mention Bill.
Wingscrubber
Wingscrubber 1
Just click outside the box and it dissapears on my browser.
durandcruz
Manuel Cruz 1
Kawaiipoint2
Kawaiipoint2 1
I am all for a new bomber, but if this thing turns out to be a UAV, i'm going to be pissed off. I hate those damn R/C planes.
mikezc128
Thats just really really sad! More unmanned planes that are taking away from accual pilots who are better suited to know what is going on with the plane than computer screens telling you what to do from 12,000 miles away. Thats just plain sad!
JetMech24
JetMech24 3
It is really sad when there is no chance of losing a pilot, isn't it?
SkyBaby2
Kira Andreola -2
And how long will it take for Obama to cancel this I wonder. I hear this bomber isn't even going to be made by an American company, if this is the one I'm thinking of. I thought I heard bombardier is doing it.
weatherman04
David Hasso 4
Boeing and Lockheed Martin have expressed interest in the next-gen bomber. Given that it will more than likely build on tech developed during the B-2 program, I wouldn't be surprised if Northrop becomes involved. Hopefully obama doesn't have enough time left to have much of a say in the program!
frontrange
Amen to that!
alistairm
alistairm 2
Bombardier??? As much as they are a great aircraft manufacturer, they don,the know the first thing about making a bomber. if they were going to build it, they would need major backing by the Canadian government and the Canadian government has no need for this kind of aircraft, so it will never be bombardier. They may make part of the aircraft, but that is it.
Wingscrubber
Wingscrubber 1
Ironic considering the name, that BOMBardier can't make bombers :)
They are actually building ECS warface type surviellance aircraft though.

The new bomber will be built by one of three companies, or possibly a consortium, Boeing, Lockheed or Northrop Grumman - and if it's really super-top secret the contract bid process might not be aired publically. My money's on Northrop, they built the B2.
weatherman04
David Hasso 1
I honestly wouldn't be surprised of Northrop gets the contract, or at least gets a joint contract with someone such as Boeing. I do wonder about Boeing's capacity right now. I know they have been working on designs for the bomber, but with projects such as the KC-46, and the closing of facilities like the one in Kansas, I don't know if they can meet the needs of the Air Force. Lockheed is busy with the F-35, but Northrop doesn't have any big aircraft projects for the military right now.
HunterTS4
Toby Sharp -5
we need this like we need hot air balloons in the military
stol701
stol701 0
Exactly. Although hot air balloons obviously dominate the upper ranks of the Air Force....as always. We deserve better lack of leadership than this!