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The Air Force Is Exploring A Deadly New Role For The B-1B Lancer


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The B-2 was entirely superfluous because of ALCM and air launched-MRBM technology.

 

You will recall a big part of the justification for the B-2 was that it could operate over vast tracts of Russia, tracking down road and rail-borne ICBMs with its synthetic aperture radar.

 

And we all know how that idea panned out in 1991....

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Picky Picky Picky. :D

 

The real problem in 1991 wasnt that we couldnt pick up the targets. Supposedly the Iraqi's had bought a job load of East European dummy TEL's to act as mobile targets. Imagine the poor sap volunteered to do THAT job. :) Many of the TEL's the SAS claim to have knocked out seem to have been dummies, although there is a fair case for saying they kept them on the move and so slowed down their launch rate.

 

 

I think the B2 with maybe 130 copies would have picked up a fair number of mobile ICBM's. The problem is that i think that would have been almost certainly have their launched, because there was discussion at the time that although the B2 may have been all but invisible to air defence radars, it it certainly wasnt to some of the larger OTH ones. So they would have known it was coming. A first strike weapon it wasnt.

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Iraq had also cunningly decided to move milk around the country in articulated road tankers to act as decoys. Shame on them!

 

Seriously Stuart, by the time the B-2As got to the immense tracts of Russia they were meant to be searching (assuming they were not destroyed on the ground), it would all have been over. I don't buy into the whole "nuclear warfighting" bollocks that the MIC used to come up with reasons to waste a gazillion dollars in the 80s.

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the B-17's best naval attacks were against enemy harbours. That is kind of a coastal defense I guess? ;)

 

 


 

B-52's used to carry Harpoon. Nothing new under the sun.

So did the Orion

 

Does. ;) Still in servce outside the US Navy.

 

But the P-3 is a maritime patrol aircraft, so not unexpecte to carry AShM. I guess they put the HArpoon on the B-52, because why not? You can shoot Harpoons at ships and land targets.

 

P-3 still carries Harpoon to the best of my knowledge. In fact I think even P-8 is cleared for them. And carrying AShMs is absolutely a job for an MPA; they just would be expected to attack loners from a stand off distance or ships with no significant AA with shorter ranged stuff. I think P-3s in any warzone typically carry Maverick instead, but then they aren't fighting a peer over open water right now.

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I'd always hoped for an anti-ship version of the ALCM -- about 10x the range of a harpoon, a 3,000 lbs class warhead, LO from the front (IIRC) and on top of all that the B-52 could carry vastly more (20 vs 8). As long as you had some way of externally feeding targeting data, it's hard to imagine the vast amounts of ocean a wing could cover.

LRASM only has a range of 200+ miles, but that should keep the bombers safe in anything but the most contested environment. Warhead is more than enough for anything short of a CV, and even then you can choose where on the ship that it hits. Putting one in the hangar underneath the landing area ought to start quite a fire and nix the arresting gear.

 

B-1s can carry up to two dozen LRASM, just like AGM-158A/C, so a pair of bombers could put out a very convincing strike.

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And they won't know LRASM is on the way unless they keep their air surveillance radars on essentially all the time*, which would mean a visit from AARGM etc.

 

*Unless operating under cover of highly effective AEW, which poses its own problems.

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Iraq had also cunningly decided to move milk around the country in articulated road tankers to act as decoys. Shame on them!

 

Seriously Stuart, by the time the B-2As got to the immense tracts of Russia they were meant to be searching (assuming they were not destroyed on the ground), it would all have been over. I don't buy into the whole "nuclear warfighting" bollocks that the MIC used to come up with reasons to waste a gazillion dollars in the 80s.

 

There was a lot of strange thinking in SAC from the late 1960's on. Its not often appreciated by the SR71 was initially procured by SAC as a post strike recce system, so that SAC would be able to do reattacks on missed targets. Overlooking that from the mid 1960's on, the Soviets had more than enough ICBM's to make any such policy impossible.

 

Im told that every B2 built had a rapid start button by the crew hatch.Which kind of shows how dated the thinking about the nuclear triad had become. They would have done better to have dispersed to allied airfields, and perhaps re institute a limited airborne alert.

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Iraq had also cunningly decided to move milk around the country in articulated road tankers to act as decoys. Shame on them!

 

Seriously Stuart, by the time the B-2As got to the immense tracts of Russia they were meant to be searching (assuming they were not destroyed on the ground), it would all have been over. I don't buy into the whole "nuclear warfighting" bollocks that the MIC used to come up with reasons to waste a gazillion dollars in the 80s.

 

There was a lot of strange thinking in SAC from the late 1960's on. Its not often appreciated by the SR71 was initially procured by SAC as a post strike recce system, so that SAC would be able to do reattacks on missed targets. Overlooking that from the mid 1960's on, the Soviets had more than enough ICBM's to make any such policy impossible.

 

Im told that every B2 built had a rapid start button by the crew hatch.Which kind of shows how dated the thinking about the nuclear triad had become. They would have done better to have dispersed to allied airfields, and perhaps re institute a limited airborne alert.

 

 

The problem with airborne alert would be the same now as in the past - thermonuclear weapons + aircraft + people = accidents. Accidents = nuclear contamination = bad press = no more airborne alert.

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I suppose I may drop this here

http://defense-and-freedom.blogspot.com/2017/03/the-y-20-and-transport-bombers-in.html

 

Once you buy into the idea that ALCMs or air-launched ballistic PGMs work you can make do without dedicated bombers altogether.

 

Once you buy into the idea that ALCMs or air-launched ballistic PGMs work, you also start to realise what an incredibly poor investment a conventional navy is.

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Iraq had also cunningly decided to move milk around the country in articulated road tankers to act as decoys. Shame on them!

 

Seriously Stuart, by the time the B-2As got to the immense tracts of Russia they were meant to be searching (assuming they were not destroyed on the ground), it would all have been over. I don't buy into the whole "nuclear warfighting" bollocks that the MIC used to come up with reasons to waste a gazillion dollars in the 80s.

 

There was a lot of strange thinking in SAC from the late 1960's on. Its not often appreciated by the SR71 was initially procured by SAC as a post strike recce system, so that SAC would be able to do reattacks on missed targets. Overlooking that from the mid 1960's on, the Soviets had more than enough ICBM's to make any such policy impossible.

 

Im told that every B2 built had a rapid start button by the crew hatch.Which kind of shows how dated the thinking about the nuclear triad had become. They would have done better to have dispersed to allied airfields, and perhaps re institute a limited airborne alert.

 

 

The problem with airborne alert would be the same now as in the past - thermonuclear weapons + aircraft + people = accidents. Accidents = nuclear contamination = bad press = no more airborne alert.

 

 

Its not viable with the force they have, im just saying that with the 130 plus aircraft they were talking about building, maybe about 4 or 5 in the air at a time on alert would hardly have been a stretch. 21, it clearly isnt, and there is no requirement currently for them to be anyway.

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I suppose I may drop this here

http://defense-and-freedom.blogspot.com/2017/03/the-y-20-and-transport-bombers-in.html

 

Once you buy into the idea that ALCMs or air-launched ballistic PGMs work you can make do without dedicated bombers altogether.

 

Once you buy into the idea that ALCMs or air-launched ballistic PGMs work, you also start to realise what an incredibly poor investment a conventional navy is.

 

 

Right up till you realise quite how hard it is to find a navy at sea. I war-gamed the 1973 naval standoff with the Soviets during the October war, and the one thing I noticed is quite how hard it is to find a carrier battlegroup even in something the size of a Mediterranean, with assets that are survivable. yes, you can use satellites. But they arent always in place, and they cost an arm and a leg when they do.

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I suppose I may drop this here

http://defense-and-freedom.blogspot.com/2017/03/the-y-20-and-transport-bombers-in.html

 

Once you buy into the idea that ALCMs or air-launched ballistic PGMs work you can make do without dedicated bombers altogether.

Once you buy into the idea that ALCMs or air-launched ballistic PGMs work, you also start to realise what an incredibly poor investment a conventional navy is.

 

Well, I'm on record proposing the disbanding of the useless German navy.

I'm on record bashing the idea of land attack navies, too.

Finally, I'm also on record questioning the utility almost all of the Mediterranean surface fleets.

 

You should still have some scheme for protection of maritime transoceanic transportation and another one (not necessarily ship-based) for securing certain coastal lanes. NATO should at least have the seeds of a quickly (3 years) expandable Atlantic convoy system. It's difficult to make the case that such a transoceanic scheme would work in face of for example the Russian or Chinese bomber fleets before the latter get reduced by air strikes, though.

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And they won't know LRASM is on the way unless they keep their air surveillance radars on essentially all the time*, which would mean a visit from AARGM etc.

 

*Unless operating under cover of highly effective AEW, which poses its own problems.

LRASM has a very low radar cross section, so it probably would be hard to detect until it made its terminal low altitude run. At that point the limiting factor would be radar horizon I would imagine - the power of any shipboard air search radar I would imagine is enough to find it once it comes into the field of view.

 

However the other problem with LRASM is that it hunts ships by their radar emissions. If you don't have an airborne radar, you have a very hard choice to make.

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Once you buy into the idea that ALCMs or air-launched ballistic PGMs work, you also start to realise what an incredibly poor investment a conventional navy is.

You can't take back islands with a SSBN. You can with a conventional navy which can ALSO perform nuclear strike.

 

Tool boxes don't just need a big hammer.

Edited by rmgill
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Once you buy into the idea that ALCMs or air-launched ballistic PGMs work, you also start to realise what an incredibly poor investment a conventional navy is.

You can't take back islands with a SSBN. You can with a conventional navy which can ALSO perform nuclear strike.

 

Tool boxes don't just need a big hammer.

 

 

Yes, but you can't take back islands with ships that are at the bottom of an ocean. Essentially, you are stuck with the problem that someone describing the problem of protecting the US DoD from hacking once used in a TV documentary. In order to protect the Pentagon from burglary, it is necessary to secure every single door and window in the building against burglars. In order to burgle the Pentagon, the burglar only has to find one door or window that is unsecure. It seems pretty unlikely that any AD system is going to work 100% reliably against modern AShMs and ballistic missiles and the experience navies have had with AShMs so far does not bode well for the future. If one gets through, it's pretty much curtains for the platform it hits - at ;east for the duration of that conflict. For the price of one modern DDG, you can buy about modern 1200 anti ship missiles and they are only one of the threats modern surface units have to contend with. The math isn't going to get any better for the surface units in the near future.

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Yes, but you can't take back islands with ships that are at the bottom of an ocean. Essentially, you are stuck with the problem that someone describing the problem of protecting the US DoD from hacking once used in a TV documentary. In order to protect the Pentagon from burglary, it is necessary to secure every single door and window in the building against burglars. In order to burgle the Pentagon, the burglar only has to find one door or window that is unsecure. It seems pretty unlikely that any AD system is going to work 100% reliably against modern AShMs and ballistic missiles and the experience navies have had with AShMs so far does not bode well for the future. If one gets through, it's pretty much curtains for the platform it hits - at ;east for the duration of that conflict. For the price of one modern DDG, you can buy about modern 1200 anti ship missiles and they are only one of the threats modern surface units have to contend with. The math isn't going to get any better for the surface units in the near future.

This is why you have more than one carrier.

 

;)

 

 

A bunch of anti-ship missiles mounted on trucks can't cross a channel and go secure a bridgehead. To go on the offensive you have to take risks and you have to expose your ships to enemy defenses.

 

That's why you bring more than one ship and have capacity to suffer casualties. If you can't then you've already lost.

Edited by rmgill
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I was kind of hoping this was a re-kindling of the counter-air B1B proposed (new radar software, rotary phoenix launcher)

Trying to do that with a newer Phoenix class missile even seems a little unworkable, given the likely future prevalence of very long range 'AWACS killer' AAM. I think if you were going to do it today, it would use one of the Standard missiles (Rim-174 ?) and would have ABM/ACM capability, i.e. an airborne area SAM system. This is close to the Russian approach discussed elsewhere.

 

 

Oh I like that idea!

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There was a lot of strange thinking in SAC from the late 1960's on.

 

Brother you said a mouthful. Don't get me started on the weapon straight out of Hell itself that would've been the Pluto supersonic cruise missile...

 

brr.

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Im still astonished they took the B58 our of service when they did. I love what SAC did, but you cant help but think whilst they were emeshed in the Vietnam war, they allowed their technical thinking to lapse, certainly in their primary mission.

 

As for project pluto, bad ideas clearly come in circles....

 

https://www.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/1205006/russias-nuclear-powered-cruise-missile/

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