US Air Force unveils new B-21 Raider nuclear stealth bomber

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The first new bomber in 30 years could cost nearly $700m (£569m) each and can carry nuclear and conventional weapons.

As expected, specific details of the aircraft remain shrouded in secrecy.

But US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said it was "a testament to America's enduring advantages in ingenuity and innovation".

The B-21 Raider was unveiled during a ceremony on Friday at manufacturer Northrop Grumman's facility in California.

Mr Austin said the plane would offer significant advances over existing bombers in the US fleet, stating that "even the most sophisticated air defence systems will struggle to detect the B-21 in the sky".

"Fifty years of advances in low-observable technology have gone into this aircraft," he said.
It will eventually replace the B-1 and ... Bloomberg.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-63845082

They also said it might be made so it could fly without a crew. That would have a great savings in flight pay for the Air Force.

They mention it is replacing the B-1 and B-2 bombers, that are using fifty years of stealth technology. They don't mention the main heavy bomber used in most of our recent conflicts was built in October 1962. So the B-52 still in service is 60 years old. But, there is no mention of replacing the B-52.
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.-Huxley
"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." ~ Louis Brandeis,

Re: US Air Force unveils new B-21 Raider nuclear stealth bomber

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It was unveiled at a Northrop-Grumman facility in Palmdale, located in the northern desert area of Los Angeles County.
Northrop-Grumman’s design won the Air Force’s Long Range Strike-Bomber (LRS-B) competition due to lower promised costs. The design reportedly integrates mature technologies based on the company’s experience developing and upgrading the B-2 and possibly the secrecy-shrouded RQ-180 drone.

The B-21 was pegged for a unit cost of $553 million in 2010 dollars (ie. already around $750,000 by 2022!). Still, only an after engineering/development cycle is projected to cost $21.4 billion, for which the actual total remains unclear. That may seem just as pricy as the B-2 but it comes to a significant decrease when inflation is factored in.

To be sure, downsizing the B-2 order from 132 aircraft to just 21 was responsible for skyrocketing unit price—and the B-21’s cost is surely premised on procuring at least 100. However, congressional overseers have generally praised its surprising success remaining on cost and on schedule, unlike the F-35 stealth fighter’s notoriously rocky development. Reportedly, digital design tools have allowed flaws to be fixed in just 1-2 months instead of requiring an entire year.
https://www.19fortyfive.com/2022/12/b-2 ... ive-guide/


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B-21 bomber with its payload including air-to-air missiles. (U.S. Air Force)
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: US Air Force unveils new B-21 Raider nuclear stealth bomber

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TrueTexan wrote: Sun Dec 04, 2022 12:46 pm So the B-52 still in service is 60 years old. But, there is no mention of replacing the B-52.
Yup the B-52H Stratofortress which is the latest model are still the workhorses of our bomber wings, still 58 in the US inventory. They have 8 P&W engines and the new B-21 will have two P&W engines. The B-52 cost $84 million each and the new B-21 will cost $651 million each. The B-52 has a crew of 5 and the new B-21 has a crew of 2 and they have the capability to be unmanned.

Huge behemoths, B-52s are something to behold in the air or on the ground.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: US Air Force unveils new B-21 Raider nuclear stealth bomber

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highdesert wrote: Sun Dec 04, 2022 9:15 pm
TrueTexan wrote: Sun Dec 04, 2022 12:46 pm So the B-52 still in service is 60 years old. But, there is no mention of replacing the B-52.
Yup the B-52H Stratofortress which is the latest model are still the workhorses of our bomber wings, still 58 in the US inventory. They have 8 P&W engines and the new B-21 will have two P&W engines. The B-52 cost $84 million each and the new B-21 will cost $651 million each. The B-52 has a crew of 5 and the new B-21 has a crew of 2 and they have the capability to be unmanned.

Huge behemoths, B-52s are something to behold in the air or on the ground.
After the dust settles, probably more like $750million+ each...so a wing of B-21s, 3 squadrons, 6 A/C each...about the same as a CV WITH it's airwing..Yup, important to be part of the nuclear triad...about the only mission the USAF still has. AND before somebody says how 'vulnerable' a CV is..not exactly easy to find an airfield moving around at 30 knots. Can't use sats, gotta be an aircraft, which is vulnerable..

Re: US Air Force unveils new B-21 Raider nuclear stealth bomber

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F4FEver wrote: Mon Dec 05, 2022 7:40 am
After the dust settles, probably more like $750million+ each...so a wing of B-21s, 3 squadrons, 6 A/C each...about the same as a CV WITH it's airwing..Yup, important to be part of the nuclear triad...about the only mission the USAF still has. AND before somebody says how 'vulnerable' a CV is..not exactly easy to find an airfield moving around at 30 knots. Can't use sats, gotta be an aircraft, which is vulnerable..
USAF mission is more than nuclear. The nuclear goes right along with tactical air support and ground support with its fighters and c-130 gunships. Don't forget the ground supply support with its cargo planes. Also the bombers have a greater range and payload than naval aircraft. The bombers can carry conventional weapons along with nuclear weapons for a longer range than a carrier based aircraft.
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.-Huxley
"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." ~ Louis Brandeis,

Re: US Air Force unveils new B-21 Raider nuclear stealth bomber

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tonguengroover wrote:The pima air and space museum has one you can walk up and touch.
There's also some in the boneyard. I used to work in the boneyard pulling parts off aircraft and the B-52s w e re totally off limits.
MPs would sneak around spying on us.
I used to go to DMAFB all the time for work but I haven’t been there since around 2015 or so … it was really cool to see them rebuilding all the A-10s to A-10Cs


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US Air Force unveils new B-21 Raider nuclear stealth bomber

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TrueTexan wrote:
F4FEver wrote: Mon Dec 05, 2022 7:40 am
After the dust settles, probably more like $750million+ each...so a wing of B-21s, 3 squadrons, 6 A/C each...about the same as a CV WITH it's airwing..Yup, important to be part of the nuclear triad...about the only mission the USAF still has. AND before somebody says how 'vulnerable' a CV is..not exactly easy to find an airfield moving around at 30 knots. Can't use sats, gotta be an aircraft, which is vulnerable..
USAF mission is more than nuclear. The nuclear goes right along with tactical air support and ground support with its fighters and c-130 gunships. Don't forget the ground supply support with its cargo planes. Also the bombers have a greater range and payload than naval aircraft. The bombers can carry conventional weapons along with nuclear weapons for a longer range than a carrier based aircraft.
Having been a Naval Officer and currently work for the USAF I can offer some insight. Both the USAF & USN bring very capable forces to the joint fight; but each have their capabilities and limitations.

While sea power and naval strike from a Carrier Strike Group (CSG) is highly mobile, powerful and effective strike force for sea and littoral dominance; there are never more than 4-5 CSGs deployed at any one time; and they have to cover several regions at a time. That’s a very limited amount of air power that has to achieve many missions in addition to strike, power projection ashore and sea control. The carrier is also a high value target that once even damaged in a minor way, the whole CSG is out of the fight. The other ships are constantly being pulled off for other missions. Theater ballistic missile defense, ASW, Maritime interdiction—- the list goes on. It is also a feat of logistics to keep an operational CSG at sea, in an operational state. I required a multitude of tankers, replenishment ships, and the sea base to support them. If you can’t hit a target within the range of an F-18 sortie or a TLAM strike you can’t hit it. (I’m taking conventional non-nuclear strike so excluding the SSBNs.) Everything else requires some sort of basing.

Tactical & strike aircraft from the USAF based overseas provide a much more enduring and persistent air power - at a much higher volume. There are many more F-15s, F-16s & F-35 in USAf service deployed in overseas bases or ready to deploy than Naval strike aircraft on the 1-2 carriers Max in any region. The logistic support can be in place for 90- 180 days of high tempo operations. Another mission that the USAF pretty much completes for the entire NATO and major non-nato Allie’s is almost all aerial refueling. A complete necessity for long range strike, transport and ferry missions. The USN tactical refueling in the form of F-18s and shire based C-130sbut largely relies on the USAF.

All you need to do is look at Putin’s complete failure to achieve air superiority over Ukraine and that should sell you on an offensive Air Force and a robust Air Defense.


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Re: US Air Force unveils new B-21 Raider nuclear stealth bomber

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TrueTexan wrote: Mon Dec 05, 2022 11:18 am
F4FEver wrote: Mon Dec 05, 2022 7:40 am
After the dust settles, probably more like $750million+ each...so a wing of B-21s, 3 squadrons, 6 A/C each...about the same as a CV WITH it's airwing..Yup, important to be part of the nuclear triad...about the only mission the USAF still has. AND before somebody says how 'vulnerable' a CV is..not exactly easy to find an airfield moving around at 30 knots. Can't use sats, gotta be an aircraft, which is vulnerable..
USAF mission is more than nuclear. The nuclear goes right along with tactical air support and ground support with its fighters and c-130 gunships. Don't forget the ground supply support with its cargo planes. Also the bombers have a greater range and payload than naval aircraft. The bombers can carry conventional weapons along with nuclear weapons for a longer range than a carrier based aircraft.
BUT, need 8-10,000 foot vulnerable runways to have effective air superiority via the USAF..Which means favorable political relationships where those runways are and a LOT of tanker assets. Those 'AC-130s are a great big fat target w/o air superiority first. W/O SEAD(look it up). Same for cargo, tankers, AWACS. Same for these 'bombers' who MUST have air superiority to operate. When balloon went up, CVs to threaten the 'Soviet' flanks way up north above Norway and way out west around Kamchatka..
NO USAF could do that w/o long runways and a ton of tankers. Both very vulnerable. USAF still training like it's the 20th century waiting for Soviet hordes to race across the central plains of Europe.

For invictus above..Assuming 1-3 CVs deployed but in a protracted conflict expect that to double or triple.

BTW-I am retired USN, flew F-4, F-14 onboard 3 different CVs. Plus an exchange tour with the USAF flying F-4D...so I have seen how complex the USAF 'system' is to get anything done . On my base, there were more O-6s on the wing staff than in 5-6 CVs..even WITH the CG commander's staff onboard. USAF VERY top heavy and mired in protocol and bureaucracy. A simple tanker mission took weeks to design/plan...and it had so many moving parts, something simple would screw the entire thing up.

Re: US Air Force unveils new B-21 Raider nuclear stealth bomber

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Fun facts, I didn't know we had this many CVN's.
Is this correct? Eleven?
As of December 2022, there are 47 active aircraft carriers in the world operated by fourteen navies. The United States Navy has 11 large nuclear-powered fleet carriers—carrying around 80 fighters each—the largest carriers in the world; the total combined deck space is over twice that of all other nations combined

And The Navy owns 11 of the world's 43 active aircraft carriers -- and that doesn't count its nearly two dozen flat-decked amphibious ships that might well be considered carriers in their own right..
https://www.military.com/navy/us-navy-ships.html
Happiness is a worn gun. - Dan Baum

Re: US Air Force unveils new B-21 Raider nuclear stealth bomber

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We should not wonder why the US Navy is rarely fucked with--our whole military, for that matter. That we swap this prowess for under performing schools, lack of universal health care, a crumbling infrastructure, and a terrible tax system of benefit to the hyper rich must be rigorously debated in Congress. I want a pony, also.

CDFingers
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While the firelight's aglow strange shadows from the flames will grow
'Til things we've never seen will seem familiar

Re: US Air Force unveils new B-21 Raider nuclear stealth bomber

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Invictus and others are much more knowledgeable than I am. The thing to keep in mind is that not all aircraft carriers look like American ones or are as large, most have smaller superstructures and flight decks. 11 sounds about right for the US.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_a ... ed_Kingdom
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

US Air Force unveils new B-21 Raider nuclear stealth bomber

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tonguengroover wrote:Fun facts, I didn't know we had this many CVN's.
Is this correct? Eleven?
As of December 2022, there are 47 active aircraft carriers in the world operated by fourteen navies. The United States Navy has 11 large nuclear-powered fleet carriers—carrying around 80 fighters each—the largest carriers in the world; the total combined deck space is over twice that of all other nations combined

And The Navy owns 11 of the world's 43 active aircraft carriers -- and that doesn't count its nearly two dozen flat-decked amphibious ships that might well be considered carriers in their own right..
https://www.military.com/navy/us-navy-ships.html
Yes, 11 flat tops (CVNs) Plus, the flat top “Amphibs” or “Gators,” LHAs and LHDs which can handle F-35 Bs as far as fixed wings go. They mostly have rotary winged AC. The Flat top anphib leading an Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) isn’t nearly as capable as as a CSG but it’s mission is more amphibious assault, for deploying and supporting a a Marine Expeditionary group ashore. It can do other missions and is excellent for humanitarian relief. It doesn’t really do sea control or air superiority as well as a CSG. Usually made up of a marine air wing, a marine expeditionary unit, an LHD or LHA, LPD (one of the ships I served on), LSD and a DDG (destroyer.) it’s a powerful, flexible unit but relies on US sea control and air superiority by the CSG, USAF and US Submarine and USN land based patrol air craft.

The F-35 B can defend itself against air threats but it is primarily, a strike aircraft. The F-16, F-15 & F-22 & F-18 are multi-role fighters that are better for air-to-air than a VSTOL like F-35 B that is a flying “brick.”

The U.S. military is large and complex & needs each component (Air Land Sea) to support the Regional Combatant Comander’s missions.

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Re: US Air Force unveils new B-21 Raider nuclear stealth bomber

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Reading this thread I am reminded of President Eisenhower's Cross of Iron speech of 1953. Almost seventy years have passed and not much has changed.

https://www.americanrhetoric.com/speech ... ofiron.htm

To follow on I am also reminded of his farewell address especially this quote.:
Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense. We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security alone more than the net income of all United States corporations.

Now this conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence—economic, political, even spiritual—is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet, we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved. So is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.[1]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eisenhowe ... ll_address

Sixty plus years and we still haven't heeded his call.
Last week, the Department of Defense revealed that it had failed its fifth consecutive audit.

“I would not say that we flunked,” said DoD Comptroller Mike McCord, although his office did note that the Pentagon only managed to account for 39 percent of its $3.5 trillion in assets. “The process is important for us to do, and it is making us get better. It is not making us get better as fast as we want.”

The news came as no surprise to Pentagon watchers. After all, the U.S. military has the distinction of being the only U.S. government agency to have never passed a comprehensive audit.

But what did raise some eyebrows was the fact that DoD made almost no progress in this year’s bookkeeping: Of the 27 areas investigated, only seven earned a clean bill of financial health, which McCord described as “basically the same picture as last year.”

Given this accounting disaster, it should come as no surprise that the Pentagon has a habit of bad financial math. This is especially true when it comes to estimating the cost of weapons programs.
https://responsiblestatecraft.org/2022/ ... -in-order/

Back in the early 1960s there was an anti-war song with the lyrics, "Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing?. ". We could rename it for the DoD with "Where have all the monies gone long time passing?".

I'm all for a strong military, I grew up in the military as a SAC Brat. But I also remember my dad, a career warrant officer in the USAF, complaining about the waste of funds and lack of support equipment, as things were shifted by people trying to show how much they controlled, to get a promotion. The DoD and its contractors are probably the most wasteful part of the Federal government. Reminds me of the quote “A million here and a million there and pretty soon we are talking about real money.” - U. S. Sen. Everett McKinley Dirksen.
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.-Huxley
"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." ~ Louis Brandeis,

Re: US Air Force unveils new B-21 Raider nuclear stealth bomber

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tonguengroover wrote: Wed Dec 07, 2022 9:21 am Fun facts, I didn't know we had this many CVN's.
Is this correct? Eleven?
As of December 2022, there are 47 active aircraft carriers in the world operated by fourteen navies. The United States Navy has 11 large nuclear-powered fleet carriers—carrying around 80 fighters each—the largest carriers in the world; the total combined deck space is over twice that of all other nations combined

And The Navy owns 11 of the world's 43 active aircraft carriers -- and that doesn't count its nearly two dozen flat-decked amphibious ships that might well be considered carriers in their own right..
https://www.military.com/navy/us-navy-ships.html
Correct and as mentioned, that doesn't include the LPHs, which can field Helos, Ospreys and F-35B. ALL CVs are now nukes..CV-68(Nimitz) thru USS Ford(CVN-78)...
China or Russia could level an entire carrier group any time they want to.
Ahh, no. Particularly Russia these days..Gotta find 'em and when the CVBG goes 'lights out', VERY hard to find them. NOT going to be found with Sats, not with aircraft(targets), not with a sub that isn't tailed by a USN one. ..so 'any time they want to' isn't quite accurate. 'Maybe' with a nuke but that's a whole different ball o' wax.

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