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LRS-B Speculation Spergout Thread, AKA FB-23s Plz


Sturgeon
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LRS-B is an interesting program, because A.) there seems to be even less information about it publicly available than there was for NGB, B.) it could make or break Northrop Grumman for defense contracts, C.) the requirements are rumored to be more conservative than previous bomber programs, relying more heavily on fewer precision bombs, D.) "optionally piloted" is getting thrown around a lot, E.) it's reportedly not intended to replace the B-2, F.) the technology is supposed to be all stuff that was proven out in the F-35 program.

So basically, the Air Force is hinting that their next bomber will be medium-sized, stealthy, and based on technology proven in the F-35 program. Is this the medium bomber revenant? More importantly,

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Who needs stealthy or capable, when you have beautiful... FB-23 ain't too bad either.

 

I'd rather the US not standardize on the USMC's way of avoiding air defenses by looping outside the allowed engagement area for the exercise except for a few seconds to drop munitions if you don't mind.

 

On the other hand, who needs stealthy when you have:

 

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SU-34 is supposed to have some stealth features, but they are rather modest, as is always the case when modifying an older design to be stealthy rather than designing it from the ground up.

 

Range is an important consideration.  The ability to secure bases in friendly, or at least indifferent nations for the USAF can change easily and without warning.  Furthermore, the ability to mount strikes against fleeting targets without the ability to arrange basing ahead of time needs to be maintained as the USAF legacy bomber fleet becomes very, very old.

 

A lot will hinge on the engines.  If the USAF goes with fancy next-generation engines with absurdly high turbine inlet temperatures and pressure ratios, they may be able to make a medium-sized aircraft that has big aircraft range.

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