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HuggyU2

B-21 Raider

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A civilian the other day asked me what a stealth bomber could do that 69x stealth cruise missiles could not. Other than range, seemed valid, I didn't have a great answer.

Is pouring our cash into a new strategic bomber a great investment or a jobs program?

For a force that can't afford to upgrade its much-used CAS arsenal, flies 50yr old tankers etc., seems like we could do other things.





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A civilian the other day asked me what a stealth bomber could do that 69x stealth cruise missiles could not. Other than range, seemed valid, I didn't have a great answer.

Is pouring our cash into a new strategic bomber a great investment or a jobs program?

For a force that can't afford to upgrade its much-used CAS arsenal, flies 50yr old tankers etc., seems like we could do other things.





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One possible issue is that the further you have to be from the target at launch (e.g. due to threats), the larger sts your cruise missile physically needs to be, which affects a few factors from carriage on airframes to end-game against threats. If you have something that can push further in, it takes care of part of that problem.

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1 hour ago, di1630 said:

A civilian the other day asked me what a stealth bomber could do that 69x stealth cruise missiles could not. Other than range, seemed valid, I didn't have a great answer.

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Dynamically target.. some cruise missiles have sensors but a human running radio, link, and a pod/radar still has an advantage. Otherwise how do you get the coords to shoot missiles at in the first place?

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Dynamically target.. some cruise missiles have sensors but a human running radio, link, and a pod/radar still has an advantage. Otherwise how do you get the coords to shoot missiles at in the first place?


If we are dynamically targeting with a "raider" inbound to a target, I would think recce-attack interface missions with faster assets designed for strike could do it safer. I just read an F-35 guided a sea launched to target.

Forgive me, I'm not well versed on the stealth bomber mission but I would assume payload is the only thing a bomber offers over a s tactical sized aircraft so I would think it'd make more sense to have 4 x stealthy fighters rather than a single large bomber for the DT stuff.

I know we will spend a lot to get this bomber designed/built. I just wonder if we are once again stuck in Cold War thinking where we'll need stealth bombers to penetrate and carpet bomb a heavily IAD defended Moscow.






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There are certain types of ordnance that are too large for a Raptor or Fat Amy to carry internally.

Also, just imagine the kinds of things a huge intercontinental stealth antenna can do when networked to fighters or unmanned assets.


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5 hours ago, di1630 said:


If we are dynamically targeting with a "raider" inbound to a target, I would think recce-attack interface missions with faster assets designed for strike could do it safer. I just read an F-35 guided a sea launched to target.

Forgive me, I'm not well versed on the stealth bomber mission but I would assume payload is the only thing a bomber offers over a s tactical sized aircraft so I would think it'd make more sense to have 4 x stealthy fighters rather than a single large bomber for the DT stuff.

I know we will spend a lot to get this bomber designed/built. I just wonder if we are once again stuck in Cold War thinking where we'll need stealth bombers to penetrate and carpet bomb a heavily IAD defended Moscow.
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Sure. How are the 4x stealthy fighters going to get to the target without a stealthy tanker? What about the ISR survivability?

We aren't going to "carpet bomb" anything, guided weapons generally give better Pk. The Russian IADS has gotten much stronger since the Cold War, plus they like to sell it to other countries now too.

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11 hours ago, b52gator said:

I'd like to think it was intentional, but a nice salute to Raider-21.  

I know there's a segment of the Buff community that does not feel the same way.  Some say it looks like Big Blue has no SA and that they tagged an aircraft with the same callsign as a jet that crashed and took the lives of six men with it. 

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1 hour ago, 08Dawg said:

I know there's a segment of the Buff community that does not feel the same way.  Some say it looks like Big Blue has no SA and that they tagged an aircraft with the same callsign as a jet that crashed and took the lives of six men with it. 

Or maybe it's a nod to the mission where we lost 16 aircraft and the lives of 7 men to attack Japan. Sorry, but your community doesn't have the lock on airmen making the ultimate sacrifice.

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11 hours ago, magnetfreezer said:

Sure. How are the 4x stealthy fighters going to get to the target without a stealthy tanker? What about the ISR survivability?

Funny you should ask that... this hit the headlines yesterday.  http://www.popsci.com/air-force-commander-dreams-stealth-tankers

"The air force will begin a study this year examining what the KC-Z tanker would look like and will start seeking investment opportunities a year after the study is completed. The USAF is considering whether the new tanker should include standoff, stealth or penetrating capabilities for an anti-access area denial environment. As the F-35 moves into denied environments, a low observable tanker should follow the fighter, [USAF Gen. Carlton] Everhart says. “We’re going to need a platform that we’ve never seen before,” he says. “The blended or hybrid wing, it’s a lifting body and it has a capability of being low observable.”

 

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2 hours ago, 08Dawg said:

I know there's a segment of the Buff community that does not feel the same way.  Some say it looks like Big Blue has no SA and that they tagged an aircraft with the same callsign as a jet that crashed and took the lives of six men with it. 

Seriously?

I don't get offended whenever I pick up a ratchet strap to tie down some gear (the Ratchet 33 crash killed 4 bros in my community, one of whom I had flown with several days prior to his death).  I'm pretty sure the MC-12 bubbas who spread to the wind don't get offended on every July 4th i.e. Independence Day (Indy 08).

This was very explicitly a tribute to the Doolittle Raiders, which Sec. James mentioned before bringing up Gen. Doolittle's co-pilot, Lt. Col. (Ret). Dick Cole on stage at age 101 to reveal the name "Raider."

Sorry if I sound crass, I know your community is still hurting from the loss of Raider 21, but look at it as an unintentionally positive tribute to those guys rather than an unintentional snub to their legacy.

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1 hour ago, HU&W said:

Funny you should ask that... this hit the headlines yesterday.  http://www.popsci.com/air-force-commander-dreams-stealth-tankers

"The air force will begin a study this year examining what the KC-Z tanker would look like and will start seeking investment opportunities a year after the study is completed. The USAF is considering whether the new tanker should include standoff, stealth or penetrating capabilities for an anti-access area denial environment. As the F-35 moves into denied environments, a low observable tanker should follow the fighter, [USAF Gen. Carlton] Everhart says. “We’re going to need a platform that we’ve never seen before,” he says. “The blended or hybrid wing, it’s a lifting body and it has a capability of being low observable.”

 

Well that just sounds like a shit show of epic procurement proportions...

And what is the point of having a stealthy refueler if it isn't stealthy when refueling? You can't tell me dropping the boom and then connecting to a B-2/F-22/F-35/B-21 will still keep both aircraft LO.

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12 hours ago, HU&W said:

Funny you should ask that... this hit the headlines yesterday.  http://www.popsci.com/air-force-commander-dreams-stealth-tankers

"The air force will begin a study this year examining what the KC-Z tanker would look like and will start seeking investment opportunities a year after the study is completed. The USAF is considering whether the new tanker should include standoff, stealth or penetrating capabilities for an anti-access area denial environment. As the F-35 moves into denied environments, a low observable tanker should follow the fighter, [USAF Gen. Carlton] Everhart says. “We’re going to need a platform that we’ve never seen before,” he says. “The blended or hybrid wing, it’s a lifting body and it has a capability of being low observable.”

 

 

Screen Shot 2016-09-22 at 9.51.11 AM.png

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Is this an F-35 reference?

Yep.

Fat Amy is great. She knows a lot of tricks and jokes, so everyone wants her at their party. Hanging out with Fat Amy is awesome.

...but no one wants to actually get inside her.


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On September 21, 2016 at 10:48 PM, StoleIt said:

Well that just sounds like a shit show of epic procurement proportions...

And what is the point of having a stealthy refueler if it isn't stealthy when refueling? You can't tell me dropping the boom and then connecting to a B-2/F-22/F-35/B-21 will still keep both aircraft LO.

Decent chance of that but I am all for wasting money on science projects rather letting it get it spent on some non-mission related bullshit, screw new office furniture and flat screens piled up all over the bases, let's see what we can figure out...

Another article quoting the same conversation from this year's AFA on a stealth tanker or tactical tanker:

http://www.defensenews.com/articles/air-force-could-pursue-stealthy-penetrating-kc-z-tanker?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Military EBB 9-21-16&utm_term=Editorial - Military - Early Bird Brief

It's probably about 690 times more practical (not necessarily less expensive) to add humpback conformal fuel tanks to the 5th gen fighters we have now and probably not screw up their LO profile like the ones on the Advanced Capability Super Hornet but...

Conformal+Fuel+Tanks.jpg

Rather than build an LO tanker for the capability of LO AR maybe the goal should be a tanker that could operate towards the end or just inside of the WEZ of a long range SAM with high probability of survival if we actually think we will need that capability... from the article:

A KC-Z will likely need to accompany fighter jets and other assets into anti-access, area-denial battlespaces, which means it could incorporate low-observable features. Everhart said he had challenged industry to create a “cloaking device” that would disguise the aircraft’s radar signature and make the tanker appear like a much smaller object.

I'm not thinking a cloaking device but a robust set of EW pods on the tanker(s) and data links with other tankers and players to work together to degrade an enemy's EM sensors along possibly with wingman UAVs that could provide more tempting false targets / jamming in the vicinity of the AR track and moving with AR formation as required for ingress, on-station and egress.

MALD has an open source endurance listed as 45 minutes, for AR protection it might need to be more than that but if you could put 3 on added hard points on a KC-46 you could conceivably protect a modest AR on station time.

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Yep.

Fat Amy is great. She knows a lot of tricks and jokes, so everyone wants her at their party. Hanging out with Fat Amy is awesome.

...but no one wants to actually get inside her.


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Are we talking about Amy Schumer?


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3 hours ago, Majestik Møøse said:

There is not a doubt in my mind that AMC will know exactly what to do with a damn stealth aircraft flinging MALDS and jamming shit.

Given AMCs general risk aversion and head in the sand mentality when it comes to radar threats they'd probably never allow it close to any WEZ.

ETA: why are we looking to build a LO tanker isn't the point of a LO long range strike bomber to have an aircraft with legs to hit those targets in an A2AD scenario that the F-35 can't reach?

Edited by Fuzz

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7 hours ago, Majestik Møøse said:

There is not a doubt in my mind that AMC will know exactly what to do with a damn stealth aircraft flinging MALDS and jamming shit.

No doubt that there would be some bumps on the way but just because it might be hard doesn't mean it should at least be tried.  Maybe just a project and not fielding but think outside the container and do something new and innovative, not just the same old thing.  The operational environment is changing, this could be a good place for AMC to start to innovate.

Not to be cheesy or naive but this is right in line with what senior leaders have spoken of publicly and I will take them at their word, an AF born in innovation.

3 hours ago, Fuzz said:

Given AMCs general risk aversion and head in the sand mentality when it comes to radar threats they'd probably never allow it close to any WEZ.

ETA: why are we looking to build a LO tanker isn't the point of a LO long range strike bomber to have an aircraft with legs to hit those targets in an A2AD scenario that the F-35 can't reach?

Maybe and there is likely more operational utility in just having strike aircraft carry more gas than an LO or WEZ penetrating capable taker but we should try to innovate.  

New technology, tactics and operational concepts will come out of challenging our assumptions.

What would Billy do?

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Edited by Clark Griswold
history and stuff

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