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


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It seems likely any radar guidance would be used above the atmosphere* (like Pershing), and there after the missile would rely on its speed to reach the target before it could cover significant distance. I would think IR guidance would be a nonstarter though.

 

ETA: *well the thickest part of the atmosphere at least.

Edited by Josh
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Pershing 2 had a 30 metre CEP. Assuming it could evaluate the motion of the target to achieve the required lead, a submunition warhead or one like the MLRS alternative warhead, but with larger fragments, might work well against a CVN.

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Late cold war soviet super sonic sea skimmers were touted to operate with a master-slave capability. Where a single missile would act as the leader at medium/low altitude whilst the remainder of the flight would approach at ultra low level and accept mid course updates from the master, when/if the master was defeated another missile in the flight would take its place. The terminal phase consisted of a popup with EO guidance.

RF jamming would of course be a factor tho its effect minimized due to an extremely low time of flight within the CBG's radar horizon. Sacrificial or lead missiles/UAV directing saturation missile attacks is an extremely cost effective means to achieve the desired threat capability.
If casino cameras can identify a face on a body, classify it against known problem gamblers and then act (send security to eject) all in what is effectively real time on low end COTS hardware. Identifying and classifying a FFG, DDG, CG or CV is the least of your worries.
Edited by Tranquil
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With turbulence and heating on that nose cone. How easily can an electronically steered radar system deal with severe vibrations?

The radar on Pershing 2 appeared to work.

 

 

That would have made its approach a LOT slower than a long range ballistic missile. I remember a project to use the first few stages of a Saturn5 as a conventional attack missile, and they reckoned the impact would be enough to cause an earthquake on impact. Certainly enough to destroy major targets just through the kinetic energy imparted.

 

Similarly the Soviets supposedly had a camera that fitted in the nose of a Scud B, but they have never managed to demonstrate the same technology in Iskander or anything bigger.

Edited by Stuart Galbraith
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I don't see how optical or IR work over any significant ranges in a weapon at that speed or altitude. But if you're willing to slow down, LRASM and NSM both not only ID their target visually but pick their impact point. I suspect this isn't a viable thing at Mach 5 plus, but on the other hand I doubt the aim point is especially relevant at those speeds either so long as you can hit the right target.

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I don't think any of us really have any qualification to be saying one way or another on that. Certainly IR and orange, red, yellow of the optical spectrum seem to be out. Green purple, blue, or ultraviolet? Unknown. What seems more certain is that one does bother building a mach 10 missile just to slow down approaching impact.

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You may be surprised at how "low end" the processors are in military equipment.

+Lot

As long as it can do required differential equations in real time what is a reason for better? :)

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You may be surprised at how "low end" the processors are in military equipment.

+Lot

As long as it can do required differential equations in real time what is a reason for better? :)

 

The circuit plans aren't the issue in many cases, but the technology used is often so old that there's little suitable production capacity left (if any). That's an issue regarding spare parts supply.

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Kinda sorta, but not really.

 

Inventory is kept sufficient for notional (contractual) system availability for the system lifetime, unless there is a built-in MLU, in which case a lot of that goes into replacing obsolete LRUs. It's usually an opportunity for functional upgrades too as replacement hardware will usually have more capability.

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https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/aviation/a29003482/b1b-bomber-long-range-weapons/

 

 

The bomber, belonging to the 412th Test Wing, includes an improved middle bomb bay expanded from 15 feet to nearly 22.5 feet. That's large enough to carry a future hypersonic weapon. Hypersonic missiles travel at speeds of Mach 5 and above, giving enemy forces little time to react.

 

The second improvement involves carrying weapons externally. The B-1B was designed to carry nuclear-tipped Air Launched Cruise Missiles on external pylons, but doing so would have compromised the bomber's stealthy design and the Air Force never trained with them. Now the service wants to resurrect that capability, giving the bomber the ability to carry 16 missiles on six external pylons.

 

A B-1B can already carry 24 Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missiles (JASSM), and an upgraded B-1B could carry 40 JASSMs. Two B-1Bs launched 19 JASSM missiles against chemical weapons facilities in Syria in April 2018. In the future, just two B-1Bs could launch up to 80 missiles. The B-1 fleet could likely carry an identical number of Long Range Anti-Ship Missiles (LRASM), a new ship-killing missile based on the JASSM.

 

 

 

Thoughts /comments?

 

Is the potential reactivation of the external weapons pylons related to the death of the INF Treaty?

 

Either way, that's a whole lot of missiles - especially the LRASM version of the JASSM. Just a handful of Bones could wipe out a significant portion of the Chinese fleet - which is good because apparently we only have a handful of FMC airframes.

 

 

-K

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The hypersonics are easier to integrate on the B-52, and the fleet has better range and availability. Since hypersonics have ranges in the thousands of km, penetration is of little value.

 

The external hard points could be useful, but only if there actually is a need for that many weapons to be concentrated on one platform - currently the USAF only has around 40 LRASM, for instance. Also the RCS and performance of the B-1 would be greatly compromised. Two dozen missiles internally was already about the heaviest payload option available for the aircraft.

 

I believe the original START treaty banned external ordnance, but that probably doesnt apply since the fleet has been denuclearized and New START has replaced it.

 

I would love to hear CalvinB1Navs opinion though.

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The hypersonics are easier to integrate on the B-52, and the fleet has better range and availability. Since hypersonics have ranges in the thousands of km, penetration is of little value.

 

The external hard points could be useful, but only if there actually is a need for that many weapons to be concentrated on one platform - currently the USAF only has around 40 LRASM, for instance. Also the RCS and performance of the B-1 would be greatly compromised. Two dozen missiles internally was already about the heaviest payload option available for the aircraft.

 

I believe the original START treaty banned external ordnance, but that probably doesnt apply since the fleet has been denuclearized and New START has replaced it.

 

I would love to hear CalvinB1Navs opinion though.

RCS isn't an issue as RCS maintenance hasn't been done on the B-1 in decades and so it doesn't meet the original specification anyways. It would cause the jet to burn a lot more fuel though (the external tanks that were tested caused enough drag that they weren't worth it). I'm not sure how we are getting around the treaties but they must have found a way.

 

Carrying that many missiles would free up other platforms for other missions.

 

At any rate, too bad we wore out the B-1 fleet in the Mid-East. Shoulda bought AT-6s/Tucanos (or even a bomber variant of the Navy P-8) 10-15 years ago.

Edited by Calvinb1nav
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