B-21 Raider To Replace B-1B & B-2A

B-21 Raider To Replace B-1B & B-2A

Postby Tommy on Mon 12 Feb 2018, 6:00 pm

AvWeek broke news over the weekend that the new B-21 Raider is now slated to replace the B-1B and B-2A fleets in the USAF. Retirements for those machines being brought forward to "no later than" 2036 for the B-1 and 2032 for the B-2. The retirements for both was previously 2041 & 2058 respectively. A vast reduction in service life for those bombers, the B-2 especially.

The plan seems to be for the B-21 to operate alongside the B-52s (which are looking likely to reach their 100th birthdays in USAF service :shock: ).

The AvWeek link I found doesn't seem to work atm, but Tyler Rogoway has written a summary and couple of his own thoughts about it: http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/18 ... a-good-one

I suspect the plan will meet some resistance, but it's a clear indictment on what/how the USAF wants its bomber force to look like in the next couple of decades.
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Re: B-21 Raider To Replace B-1B & B-2A

Postby CJS on Mon 12 Feb 2018, 10:18 pm

100years in active military service...just say that out loud and hear how it sounds. Just mental.

Can we start a bucket collection for the "Bone to the sky" preservation trust now please? ;-)
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Re: B-21 Raider To Replace B-1B & B-2A

Postby capercaillie on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 9:22 am

CJS wrote: Can we start a bucket collection for the "Bone to the sky" preservation trust now please? ;-)


It will never work without a contingency plan for the aircraft, and I think a hangar for its retirement should be the first erection they think about. :whistle:
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Re: B-21 Raider To Replace B-1B & B-2A

Postby st24 on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 9:37 am

As long as it goes to Bruntingthorpe... :up:
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Re: B-21 Raider To Replace B-1B & B-2A

Postby Tommy on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 10:54 am

CJS wrote:Can we start a bucket collection for the "Bone to the sky" preservation trust now please? ;-)


Oh Christ, now look what you've done. :cuppa:
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Re: B-21 Raider To Replace B-1B & B-2A

Postby speedbird2639 on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 11:09 am

It doesn't look like the USAF are massive fans of the B-2 if they are prepared to right off 24 years of service potential and all the extra costs that will incur.

Much though I like the B-52 I would've thought the sensible thing would have been to retire the B-52s and keep the newer B-1Bs and B-2s. With only around 20 B-2s being built they were always a bit of a niche thing and that normally makes it liable to replacement when the bean counters get hold of it.
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Re: B-21 Raider To Replace B-1B & B-2A

Postby harkins on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 11:20 am

Could the B-52's preference over the B-1B be down to it's nuclear capability? Wasn't the Lancer made nuclear incapable in 1995?
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Re: B-21 Raider To Replace B-1B & B-2A

Postby CJS on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 11:23 am

Tommy wrote:
CJS wrote:Can we start a bucket collection for the "Bone to the sky" preservation trust now please? ;-)


Oh Christ, now look what you've done. :cuppa:


There's no need to call me that Tom, plain old Chris is fine :wink:

speedbird2639 wrote:It doesn't look like the USAF are massive fans of the B-2 if they are prepared to right off 24 years of service potential and all the extra costs that will incur.



I don't imagine the current PUSA would be able to tell the difference, so perhaps they'll just quietly do it on his watch

"What's with all these goddam funny shaped airplanes? Replace them, replace them now, with other very similar shaped ones. Then send a load to that village fete in Glow-sester-shyer so the good people of England can see them. I am the greatest."
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Re: B-21 Raider To Replace B-1B & B-2A

Postby FarnboroJohn on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 11:34 am

speedbird2639 wrote:It doesn't look like the USAF are massive fans of the B-2 if they are prepared to right off 24 years of service potential and all the extra costs that will incur.

Much though I like the B-52 I would've thought the sensible thing would have been to retire the B-52s and keep the newer B-1Bs and B-2s. With only around 20 B-2s being built they were always a bit of a niche thing and that normally makes it liable to replacement when the bean counters get hold of it.


From my strategy armchair I guess also the B2 is in fact the capability that the B21 is intended to upgrade: which makes the B2 and by implication the already obsolescent B-1B (surely nobody any longer believes that "speed is life"?) prime targets for retirement as soon as the replacement capability is available (also freeing up future year dollars). Maybe they see threat issues that we can't?

By contrast the B-52 remains an effective low-threat environment high-payload bomb truck ideal for asymmetric conflicts. So the wrinkly is permitted to stagger on....

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Re: B-21 Raider To Replace B-1B & B-2A

Postby pb643 on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 11:41 am

An interesting article giving some comparative costs, operational availability and reliability statistics for each of the existing bomber types. It seems to be a clear cut choice, based on that information.

Interesting also to note that it seems the DoD is apparently going to extreme measures to ensure that the B21 does not follow in the footsteps of the B2, by becoming a very delayed, financial disaster. They intend to produce an on schedule, on budget programme.

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/18410/usafs-controversial-new-plan-to-retire-b-2-and-b-1-bombers-early-is-a-good-one
pb643

Re: B-21 Raider To Replace B-1B & B-2A

Postby Berf on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 11:50 am

pb643 wrote:
Interesting also to note that it seems the DoD is apparently going to extreme measures to ensure that the B21 does not follow in the footsteps of the B2, by becoming a very delayed, financial disaster. They intend to produce an on schedule, on budget programme.




That might be their intention!
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Re: B-21 Raider To Replace B-1B & B-2A

Postby iainpeden on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 1:53 pm

One of each for Duxford, please.
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Re: B-21 Raider To Replace B-1B & B-2A

Postby pb643 on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 2:01 pm

Berf wrote:
pb643 wrote:
Interesting also to note that it seems the DoD is apparently going to extreme measures to ensure that the B21 does not follow in the footsteps of the B2, by becoming a very delayed, financial disaster. They intend to produce an on schedule, on budget programme.




That might be their intention!


Absolutely. :lol:
pb643

Re: B-21 Raider To Replace B-1B & B-2A

Postby Marathon Milkshake on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 3:10 pm

iainpeden wrote:One of each for Duxford, please.


:lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao: :lmao:

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Re: B-21 Raider To Replace B-1B & B-2A

Postby st24 on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 3:19 pm

iainpeden wrote:One of each for Duxford, please.

For Flying Legends yes??.... :snack:
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Re: B-21 Raider To Replace B-1B & B-2A

Postby Smog Monster on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 4:26 pm

st24 wrote:
iainpeden wrote:One of each for Duxford, please.

For Flying Legends yes??.... :snack:


Come on... B1's and B2's are impressive kit... but they're hardly in the same league as an Alphajet! ;-)
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Re: B-21 Raider To Replace B-1B & B-2A

Postby aviodromefriend on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 7:43 pm

CJS wrote:100years in active military service...just say that out loud and hear how it sounds. Just mental.
Last year on RIAT's Friday, during the tour around the bomb bay, the man that gave the tour said the BUFF's OSD was 2040, but when I asked about the possible centenary of the type in active service, he didn't rule this out. I have to say, 2040 has been mentioned for over ten years now.
CJS wrote:Can we start a bucket collection for the "Bone to the sky" preservation trust now please? ;-)
Only if they roll it on every take off, and clear the area behind the machine from living creatures by its afterburners.
harkins wrote:Could the B-52's preference over the B-1B be down to it's nuclear capability? Wasn't the Lancer made nuclear incapable in 1995?
Definately not all of them. Said at RIAT '97's video, the difference between Air National Guard B-1s and Air Force B-1s (both sent a static and flying machine, ANG for the USAF 50th, USAF for the tiger event) was that the Air National Guard was not allowed anywhere near the nukes. That means, at least up to that year Air Force machines were capable to use nukes.
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Re: B-21 Raider To Replace B-1B & B-2A

Postby T_J on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 10:38 pm

A large portion of the B-52H fleet are also non-nuclear. Some 41 in total are to be conventional only under the treaty with the Russians.

Under the treaty, the Air Force is required to modify 41 B-52H bombers to a conventional-only role -- 29 operational bombers and 12 of which are in storage. In written testimony provided July 14 to the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee, Gen. Robin Rand said as of June 27 the service has converted 18 of the 29 operational bombers.


https://insidedefense.com/insider/air-f ... art-treaty

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... li-417022/

Apparently there is a visual aid on the conventional only B-52Hs to comply with the treaty. Has anyone seen it yet? Supposed to be a box.

Air Force Global Strike Command will begin denuclearizing 30 B-52H bombers to conventional-only configuration within the next nine months to meet limits under the New START agreement. “We’ll be starting that process and it's basically going to be a box … it will be outboard visible … so you’ll be able to tell which ones are modified,” AFGSC boss Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson said on Thursday. “We’ve already looked at it, tested it, and now [we] just need to get it in production,” he added at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando. Under the New START agreement both the United States and Russia must cut nuclear arsenals to 1,550 deployed warheads, 700 deployed launchers, and 800 deployed and non-deployed launchers by February 2018. Wilson said AFGSC will “easily make that” deadline and actually plans to meet New START limits by 2017, to give room for unexpected complications. “We?'re on a path both with the bombers and the ICBMs … but there’s still a significant amount of labor that has to be done,” he said.


https://insidedefense.com/insider/air-f ... art-treaty
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