US commits $80 billion to new strategic bomber to replace B52s

MM, I bow (not facetiously) to your hands-on experience.

I'm well aware of the anti-RADAR countermeasures incorperated in the design. I'm suggesting that for a RADAR c/s, the '71 was all but invisible, but across the spectrum, it appears that most knew roughly WHERE they were but couldn't pin-point exactly. Hence, alomst 1,000 SAM's being fired at them, and not a single hit, never mind actual damage caused. Apparently, the heat signature identified where the airframe was, more than RADAR.

The closest I have come to a '71 was at Duxford. The skin feels... rubbery... but slippery at the same time. Whether this is the actual RADAR-absorbant paint they used or not, I cannot tell.
Originally rumoured to contain tiny iron spheres. The theory was known to the Germans in ww2.
 
Iirc there's a limitation what can be carried externally - some sort of treaty restriction.
Not sure how it works.
That said it does beat the buff on internal capacity.
I seem to recall it was part of the START treaty (a quick google search returned nothing) negotiations. Limits with numbers of warheads each bomber could carry (as, IIRC a bomber is counted the same as a missile).

One result of the google search was the origin of its name - I always knew it was called the Lancer, but also called the bone. The nickname Bone comes from corruption of B-one. Yes, I am a moron sometimes...
 

Slime

LE
A concept used, surprisingly, in the early anti-climb paints.
I can't see how that was ever going to deter criminals.
Crims actually want to avoid appearing on police radars :)



Ok, hat, coat etc.
 
Lots of work went into airframe design post-Vietnam. This included looking at lots of data on where and how aircraft were hit. Some came back shredded, others were taken down literally by a single round (a hit in a hydraulic reservoir will do that...). A lot of work also went into non-jammable controls - in the pre-fly-by-wire days, that meant cables, etc. that wouldn't stop working just because there was damage to the surrounding airframe.

The F-15, and the fact that the airframe was recoverable in the incident we see here, was one of the beneficiaries and a product of that research.
I remember reading of work done in WW2 when Boffins where tasked with making a/c more survivable.
Instead of searching returned bombers to see where they'd been hit, they took note of where they'd NOT been hit - because the former were clearly survivable, but the ones hit in places that were fatal, didn't.
 
Tried-and-tested doesn't advance the state of the art. Granted this project's 'mature' technologies are still comparatively bleeding edge, though.

I'd like to think that it could provide a model for future procurements. Living in hope, and all that.

The drama with advancing the state of the art is that it's cost a f**king bomb......
 
James Stewart, bomber squadron commander in WW2 and flew in Korea and did some ops in Vietnam as a 1* in the reserve. Strategic Air Command, B36s and B47s.
Seems like a real gentleman and a very modest man, didn't know of his post WWII service.

His son was in the USMC and killed in Vietnam IIRC.
 
The SR-71 ws NOT a "stealth" aircraft at all due to its heat signature and extremely large - and predictable - flight path due to the speed it travelled at. Here's some data. Although redacted in parts, the flight manual is avilable at the link :

"The SR-71 had a minimum turning radius at altitude of about 80 nautical miles (NM)...
At a turn radius of 80 NM, the SR-71 would cover about 145 miles, taking about 4 minutes in the process of making a 180 degree turn.Details are provided in the SR-71 flight manual handbook, which is now declassified"
Not doubting you but I recall the design team bemoaning the fact that when the F14 came out it had a significantly bigger RCS.

So I think that it was designed to be stealthy if not stealth for the very reasonable reasons that you gave.



And MM gets in there first, what happens when you take a day off arrse! !!!
 
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...it appears that most knew roughly WHERE they were but couldn't pin-point exactly...Apparently, the heat signature identified where the airframe was, more than RADAR...
Therein arguably lies the definition of 'stealth': the bad guys know you're up there somewhere but can't refine that knowledge to the extent that they can do much about it.

The bad guys could see the SR-71 on radar and often tracked it. However, just as I experienced, late acquisition and it's speed and altitude meant that this was fleeting and they were unable to engage the aircraft successfully.

IR meanwhile is an extremely ineffective way of tracking a target from the ground, particularly one flying at extreme altitude. Firstly, clouds completely deny any attempts to acquire a high flyer by IR, irrespective of its speed. Atmospheric distortion, dust, pollution, sunshine and other IR sources add to the challenges for the defender. I'm unaware of any ground or air based IR system which could've tracked the SR-71 beyond radar detection ranges.

...is the "new" thinking with smart bombers on the lines of that for the B-2, ie. "single vehicle, multiple targets", or is there a step beyond that already? F'rinstance, non-orbital MIRV's in bombs (single bomb body, multiple targetable warheads) or similar?
Smart sub-munitions exist but tend to be pretty specialised in nature.

Regards,
MM
 
Thinking back over pix I have seen of the B-52 has it not been re-engine already over time?

As to numbering, now that there are rather few types compared to when B-nnn started, it might be nice for the USAF to resurrect old and famous numbers like B-17 and B-24 ... oops .. won't work .. one was Boeing and the other Lockheed!
B-24 was a Consolidated , not Lockheed design
 
Pfffft, Sopwith Camels is where it's at. Lots of wood and linen, low radar reflections you know.
Not enough weapon load capability. Zeppelin with stand off capability is a winner - using a different buoyancy gas though
 
Seems like a real gentleman and a very modest man, didn't know of his post WWII service.

His son was in the USMC and killed in Vietnam IIRC.
Ronald Walsh Mc Lean
First Lieutenant
2ND PLT, A CO, 3RD RECON BN, 3RD MARDIV, III MAF
KIA June 8th, 1969 by small arms fire
Silver Star Citation
Silver Star Awarded posthumously for actions during the Vietnam War The President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to First Lieutenant Ronald W. McLean (MCSN: 0-105587), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Company A, Third Reconnaissance Battalion, THIRD Marine Division in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam.

On 8 June 1969, First Lieutenant McLean's six-man reconnaissance team was patrolling eleven miles northwest of the Vandegrift Combat Base in Quang Tri Province when it became heavily engaged with an enemy force. Realizing the Marines needed a more tenable position, First Lieutenant McLean unhesitatingly exposed himself to the hostile rounds impacting around him and fired his M-79 grenade launcher into the midst of the enemy, killing two hostile soldiers and enabling his team to maneuver to a more defensible position. After the dead soldiers had been searched and the team had retrieved documents of intelligence value, the Marines were attacked by a platoon-sized hostile force.

Reacting immediately, First Lieutenant McLean fired his grenade launcher at the enemy and killed five more hostile soldiers. Observing one of his men fall wounded, he boldly ignored the hostile rounds directed at him to give medical assistance to his comrade. As he was rendering first aid to the injured man, he alertly observed a hostile soldier preparing to fire on their position. Completely disregarding his own safety, he shoved his companion down and was mortally wounded by the enemy fire. His bold initiative and heroic efforts inspired all who observed him and accounted for eight enemy soldiers killed.

By his courage, aggressive leadership and steadfast devotion to duty, First Lieutenant McLean upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country. Action Date: June 8, 1969 Service: Marine Corps Rank: First Lieutenant Company: Company A Battalion: 3d Reconnaissance Battalion Division: 3d Marine Division (Rein.), FMF
 
Thank you for that. The interview I saw with James Stewart had him crease up with grief about this or his wife.

In an industry that seems to be dominated by the shallow he truly stands out for me.

Sorry for the thread drift
 

lert

LE
IR meanwhile is an extremely ineffective way of tracking a target from the ground, particularly one flying at extreme altitude. Firstly, clouds completely deny any attempts to acquire a high flyer by IR, irrespective of its speed. Atmospheric distortion, dust, pollution, sunshine and other IR sources add to the challenges for the defender. I'm unaware of any ground or air based IR system which could've tracked the SR-71 beyond radar detection ranges.

Regards,
MM
That's only partly true. Atmospheric attenuation can actually be used to an observers advantage in IR detection. IR is not a single band on the EM spectrum but goes from Short Wave IR just beyond the visible part of the spectrum to relatively low energy Long Wave IR. Designed properly an IR system can use atmospheric conditions and phenomena as 'filters' to tune out background IR radiation and increase it's ability to detect signatures in certain parts of the IR range. Those parts of the range that a supersonic or afterburning aircraft might emit in for example.

I don't have much knowledge of ground based systems but the US have had the DSP IR detection satellites up from 1970ish. Later iterations of the system are certainly quoted as being sensitive enough to track aircraft. Again, I have no direct knowledge but I would be staggered to learn that the Russians and Chinese have no similar capability.

None of the above suggests that a space based IR system could produce a targeting solution of course. But you know, isn't that how LO is supposed to work?
 
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