U.S. Air Force releases artists rendering of proposed new long range bomber   Leave a comment


The Northrop Grumman B-21 is a bomber aircraft under development by Northrop Grumman. As part of the Long Range Strike Bomber program (LRS-B), it is to be a long-range strategic bomber for the United States Air Force, intended to be a heavy-payload stealth aircraft capable of carrying thermonuclear weapons. A request for proposal to develop the aircraft was issued in July 2014. The Air Force plans to purchase 80–100 LRS-B aircraft at a cost of $550 million each (2010 dollars).  A development contract was awarded to Northrop Grumman in October 2015. A Defenseone report states that the bomber could also be used as an intelligence gatherer, battle manager, and interceptor.

At the 2016 Air Warfare Symposium, the LRS-B was formally designated B-21 signifying the aircraft as the 21st century’s first bomber. Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James stated that the B-21 is a fifth-generation global precision attack platform that will give the US networked sensor-shoot capability, thus holding targets at risk. The head of the US Air Force Global Strike Command expects that 100 B-21 bombers is the minimum ordered and envisions some 175-200 bombers in service. Initial Operating Capability is expected to be reached in the mid-2020s.

b-21

The B-21 very closely resembles the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber below:

B-2 Bomber overhead

21 B-2’s bombers in service.

bombers_b2_0010

The B-21 is to replace the B-52 Stratofortress (top). The B-52 has been flying since the 1950’s, it is expected to still be in the USAF inventory into the 2030’s. It will be 80 years old. Constant upgrades keep it flying.

B-52: current inventory 85 airframes.

The B-1 Lancer bomber (middle) is also an integral part of the USAF bomber fleet.

B-1: current inventory 62 airframes.

Posted February 27, 2016 by markosun in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: