Posts Tagged ‘Bomber’

“2018” a Flexible Date for USAF’s Future Bomber

January 10, 2009

 

Our military Aviation Calendar 2009 features 13 images of US and allied military aircraft in action. Buy the Aviation Calendar 2009 exclusively at the PatriArt Gallery for only $ 19.99. Worldwide delivery available.

Aviation Calendar 2009

Aviation Calendar 2009

The 2006 Quadrennial Defense Review instructed the Air Force to have a new bomber on the ramp by 2018, but the aircraft ready to fly by then will in all likelihood still be “developmental,” Air Force Magazine quotes Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz. However, the bomber program is not overly ambitious and will heavily leverage technology developed in classified programs, Schwartz said. When the program gets going, Schwartz said, it will hew closely to Pentagon acquisition chief John Young’s admonition that new-start programs be based on “mature technology.” The bomber will fit that category, Air Force Magazine quotes Schwartz. Earlier this year, Young said 2018 is a “nice planning date,” but “not a mandatory date,” for the bomber to be fielded. (For more on the new bomber, read Great Expectations.)

Spirit of Guam

December 1, 2008

A B-2 Spirit stealth bomber of the United States Air Force flies over Guam.

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B-1B Lancer

August 24, 2008

B-1B Lancer

B-1B Lancer

The US Air Force B-1B Lancer long-range strategic bomber soars over the clouds — get the B-1 Lancer poster, framed print, or calendar at the PatriArt Gallery.

Mission
Carrying the largest payload of both guided and unguided weapons in the Air Force inventory, the multi-mission B-1 is the backbone of America’s long-range bomber force. It can rapidly deliver massive quantities of precision and non-precision weapons against any adversary, anywhere in the world, at any time.

Features
The B-1B’s blended wing/body configuration, variable-geometry wings and turbofan afterburning engines, combine to provide long range, maneuverability and high speed while enhancing survivability. Forward wing settings are used for takeoff, landings, air refueling and in some high-altitude weapons employment scenarios. Aft wing sweep settings – the main combat configuration — are typically used during high subsonic and supersonic flight, enhancing the B-1B’s maneuverability in the low- and high-altitude regimes. The B-1B’s speed and superior handling characteristics allow it to seamlessly integrate in mixed force packages. These capabilities, when combined with its substantial payload, excellent radar targeting system, long loiter time and survivability, make the B-1B a key element of any joint/composite strike force. The B-1 weapon system is capable of creating a multitude of far-reaching effects across the battlefield.

The B-1 is a highly versatile, multi-mission weapon system. The B-1B’s offensive avionics system includes high-resolution synthetic aperture radar, capable of tracking, targeting and engaging moving vehicles as well as self-targeting and terrain-following modes. In addition, an extremely accurate Global Positioning System-aided Inertial Navigation System enable aircrews to autonomously navigate globally, without the aid of ground-based navigation aids as well as engage targets with a high level of precision. The recent addition of Combat Track II radios permit an interim secure beyond line of sight reach back connectivity until Link-16 is integrated on the aircraft. In a time sensitive targeting environment, the aircrew can receive targeting data from the Combined Air Operations Center over CT II, then update mission data in the offensive avionics system to strike emerging targets rapidly and efficiently. This capability was effectively demonstrated during operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

The B-1B’s self-protection electronic jamming equipment, radar warning receiver (ALQ-161) and expendable countermeasures (chaff and flare) system complements its low-radar cross-section to form an integrated, robust onboard defense system that supports penetration of hostile airspace. The ALQ-161 electronic countermeasures system detects and identifies the full spectrum of adversary threat emitters then applies the appropriate jamming technique either automatically or through operator manual inputs. Chaff and flares are employed against radar and infrared threat systems.

B-1 capabilities are being enhanced through the completion of the Conventional Mission Upgrade Program. This program has already improved lethality by adding the ability to carry up to 30 cluster munitions (CBU-87, -89, -97), a Global Positioning System receiver, an improved weapons interface that allows the carriage of Joint Direct Attack Munitions guided weapons and advanced secure radios (ARC-210). Survivability is enhanced through the addition of the ALE-50 Towed Decoy System which decoys advanced radar guided surface-to-air and air-to-air missile systems.

The CMUP adds improved avionics computers which allow the employment of additional advanced guided precision and non-precision weapons: 30 Wind-Corrected Munitions Dispensers (CBU-103, -104, -105 WCMD), 12 AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapons or 24 AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile. The B-1 will be able to carry and employ any mix of these weapons (a different type of weapon in each of the three weapons bays). The B-1 will also be the first platform to carry the extended range version of the JASSM. These modifications significantly increase B-1 combat capability.

Future planned modifications build on this foundation provided by the new avionics computers. Radar sustainability and capability upgrades will provide a more reliable system in addition to an ultra high-resolution capability that may include automatic target recognition features. The addition of Link-16 will allow the B-1 to operate in the integrated battlefield of the future. Cockpit modifications will relieve reliability problems and increase aircrew situational awareness and provide an integrated flow of information.

Background
The B-1A was initially developed in the 1970s as a replacement for the B-52. Four prototypes of this long-range, high speed (Mach 2.2) strategic bomber were developed and tested in the mid-1970s, but the program was canceled in 1977 before going into production. Flight testing continued through 1981.

The B-1B is an improved variant initiated by the Reagan administration in 1981. Major changes included the addition of additional structure to increase payload by 74,000 pounds, an improved radar and reduction of the radar cross section by an order of magnitude. The inlet was extensively modified as part of this RCS reduction, necessitating a reduction in maximum speed to Mach 1.2.

The first production B-1 flew in October 1984, and the first B-1B was delivered to Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, in June 1985. Initial operational capability was achieved on Oct. 1, 1986. The final B-1B was delivered May 2, 1988.

The B-1B holds almost 50 world records for speed, payload, range, and time of climb in its class. The National Aeronautic Association recognized the B-1B for completing one of the 10 most memorable record flights for 1994. The most recent records were made official in 2004.

The B-1B was first used in combat in support of operations against Iraq during Operation Desert Fox in December 1998. In 1999, six B-1s were used in Operation Allied Force, delivering more than 20 percent of the total ordnance while flying less than 2 percent of the combat sorties. Eight B-1s were deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. B-1s dropped nearly 40 percent of the total tonnage during the first six months of OEF. This included nearly 3,900 JDAMs, or 67 percent of the total. All of this was accomplished while maintaining an impressive 79 percent mission capable rate.

General Characteristics
Primary Function: Long-range, multi-role, heavy bomber
Contractor: Boeing, North America (formerly Rockwell International, North American Aircraft); Offensive avionics, Boeing Military Airplane; defensive avionics, EDO Corporation
Power plant: Four General Electric F101-GE-102 turbofan engine with afterburner
Thrust: 30,000-plus pounds with afterburner, per engine
Wingspan: 137 feet (41.8 meters) extended forward, 79 feet (24.1 meters) swept aft
Length: 146 feet (44.5 meters)
Height: 34 feet (10.4 meters)
Weight: approximately 190,000 pounds (86,183 kilograms)
Maximum Takeoff Weight: 477,000 pounds (216,634 kilograms)
Fuel Capacity: 265,274 pounds (120,326 kilograms)
Payload: 75,000 pounds ( 34,019 kilograms)
Speed: 900-plus mph (Mach 1.2 at sea level)
Range: Intercontinental
Ceiling: More than 30,000 feet (9,144 meters)
Armament: 24 GBU-31 GPS-aided JDAM (both Mk-84 general purpose bombs and BLU-109 penetrating bombs) or 24 Mk-84 2,000-pound general purpose bombs; 8 Mk-85 naval mines; 84 Mk-82 500-pound general purpose bombs; 84 Mk-62 500-pound naval mines; 30 CBU-87, -89, -97 cluster munitions; 30 CBU-103/104/105 WCMD, 24 AGM-158 JASSMs or 12 AGM-154 JSOWs.
Crew: Four (aircraft commander, copilot, and two weapon systems officers)
Unit Cost: $283.1 million (fiscal 98 constant dollars)
Initial operating capability:  October 1986
Inventory: Active force, 65 (test, 2); ANG, 0; Reserve, 0

Data: USAF

B-52H reaches retirement

August 3, 2008

Posters, art prints and greeting card sets of the B-52 Stratofortress bomber and other military aircraft — find them at The PatriArt Gallery.

The first B-52H Stratofortress reaches retirement after more than 45 years of dedicated service to the United States July 24 at Minot AFB (ND) on its final flight to Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ.

“It is a truly sad time when we decommission a plane,” said Lt. Col. Bill Stahl, 5th Maintenance Group deputy commander. “But, the aircraft has served her country well.”

The B-52H with tail number LA1023 was built in 1961 and assigned to the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale AFB, La., but was here due to parking shortages at Barksdale AFB. It is the first of 18 B-52Hs selected by Air Combat Command to retire. Every two weeks a B-52H will be retired, alternating between here and the 2nd BW in an effort to maximize funding for the aging assets.

“It is easier and cheaper to modify and maintain 76 planes, than to keep all 94 up and running,” said Master Sgt. Curtis Jensen, 5th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron production superintendent.

While funding was a primary point of the decision process, there were other concerns involved.

“A choice was made between the Air Force and Congress stating that at this point we need fewer operational B-52s,” said Colonel Stahl.

“The decision to pick the selected aircraft was based on a number of criteria that looked at the aircraft as a whole,” he added. “It’s not like the aircraft are all rusted and corroded; it’s just that the selected 18 are not as airworthy as the first 76. The remaining planes are split equally between here and Barksdale AFB.”

“Our job now is to make sure we keep the planes left here flying,” said Tech. Sgt. Paul Nixon, 5th AMXS electronic warfare element chief.

Benjamin Stratton

B-2 Spirit Bomber Video

July 4, 2008

The “How stuff Works” folks have posted a great video of the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber.F-117 Freedom Fighter

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