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    B-1B Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress:

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    Austin
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    Upgrades to keep B-52s flying through 2040

    Post  Austin on Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:52 pm

    Upgrades to keep B-52s flying through 2040

    The Air Force’s venerable half-century-old Boeing B-52 bomber is getting its biggest makeover yet.

    A host of ongoing and planned upgrades will keep the 76 jets flying for three more decades, service officials said.

    “The B-52, as a bomber, still has a nuclear mission in combination with the Air Launched Cruise Missile,” said Maj. Gen. William Chambers, the Air Staff strategic deterrence and nuclear integration officer. “The continued upgrade of the B-52’s electronics and the effort we have underway for a new cruise missile are both examples of where we’re taking very old systems and making them last longer.”

    The planned upgrades total three:

    • The CONECT program will put a digital backbone and communications suite into the largely analog aircraft.

    • A new 1760 databus architecture will allow the old bird to drop modern smart weapons from its internal weapon bays.

    • Strategic radar will replace the B-52’s antiquated 1960s-vintage system.

    In the past decade, the B-52 was fitted with the LITENING targeting pod, which allows the crew members to designate their own targets and send video to ground stations.

    The various upgrades increase capability and make it easier — and, in some cases, cheaper — to maintain an aircraft with various subsystems and parts that went out of production long ago.

    “The airframe itself is very solid, very reliable,” with enough life left in it to fly into the 2040s, said Lt. Gen. James Kowalski, commander of Air Force Global Strike Command.

    The Air Force has a plentiful supply of engines, he said.

    Digital backbone

    Today’s B-52 crews rely on talking to each other to pass weapons and flight data within and beyond their aircraft. CONECT is meant to replace voice with faster, surer machine-to-machine datalinks, said Jim Kroening, Boeing’s B-52 development programs manager.

    Based on Microsoft Windows, the new distributed high-speed network will add a line-of-sight Link-16 capability, new Internet protocol-based radios, variable message format system and new satellite communications, Kroening said.

    The crew also will get color displays of moving maps that fuse data from off-board sources and present the data in an easy-to-understand format.

    “It’s huge situational awareness capability,” he said.

    Kroening said the CONECT has completed all but about two flight tests. It will move into low-rate initial production in June , he said, with batches of eight and 10 aircraft to be finished by 2014, he said.

    New radar

    The CONECT is also meant to ease other planned upgrades, including one for the planes’ main target-seeking radar. The radar, which dates to the 1960s, received its previous major update in the 1980s.

    “We’re continuing to evaluate the strategic radar,” Kowalski said. “The mean time between failure is continuing to drop. We’re going to have to replace that at some point.”

    The Air Force is looking at an in-production radar, but it would have to be hardened for the nuclear mission. The service would like an active electronically scanned array but may have to settle for a mechanically scanned array because of budgetary constraints.

    “It’s going to be an affordability vs. capability tradeoff,” Kroening said.

    A competition is expected next year, but risk-reduction work is already well underway. If all goes well, the radar could be installed on the fleet between 2016 and 2018.

    1760

    The addition of the 1760 databus hardware and associated software would allow the B-52 to carry smart weapons inside its internal weapons bay, said Cathy McClain, Boeing’s B-52 sustainment manager. Currently, the aircraft can carry precision weapons only on its external pylons, which limits the payload and increases the plane’s drag, she said.

    Funding for the program’s Increment I should be available in the next three months for work to begin in earnest. By 2015, the aircraft should be able to load into its bomb bay the Joint Direct Attack Munition, Joint Air-to-Surface Stand-off Missile and Miniature Air-Launched Decoy.

    Increment I will allow crews to load the bay’s rotary launcher with eight weapons of a single type, McClain said.

    Increment II will double the number of weapons and will allow them to be mixed and matched, she said.

    It also might add the 250-pound Small Diameter Bomb, which would further increase the number of weapons available to the B-52 crew, she said.

    The Air Force, she said, hasn’t set a definitive operational date for Increment II.

    Boeing is also adding the Sniper targeting pod to the B-52, which will give the plane more flexibility to use available resources, McClain said.

    Nuclear deterrence

    Though designed and built in a bygone era, the eight-engine jet forms a vital part of the U.S. nuclear deterrent by launching stand-off missiles, Air Force officials said. Since converting its B-1 Lancers for conventional use only, the service’s only other nuclear-capable strategic bombers are in the service’s inventory are its 20 B-2 Spirits.

    As part of Air Force plans to keep the B-52 relevant in its nuclear role, Boeing has been asked by the Air Force to support a fly-off for a new air-launched cruise missile, McClain said. The competition will require Boeing to modify the hardware and software of the B-52 to support two cruise missile designs.

    The resultant weapon, called the Long Range Stand-off Missile, will be carried operationally on the B-52 and B-2 bombers, replacing the aging arsenal of ALCMs, Kowalski said.

    It is part of the Long Range Strike family of systems, which includes the new Long Range Strike Bomber and Conventional Prompt Global Strike, he said.

    Stealthy and long-legged, the new missile will enable the B-52 to carry out strikes deep in enemy territory, even though modern radars and weapons mean the old plane would have to do it from stand-off ranges, Chambers said.

    “The program is launched in the form of an analysis of alternatives,” he said. “We need the new cruise missile in production in the mid-2020s.”

    The analysis will determine whether the new weapon also would be used for conventional missions, but Chambers said that right now, the service has set its requirements correctly.

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    Re: B-1B Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress:

    Post  Austin on Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:53 pm

    I wonder what is the potential for Tu-95 upgrade considering Tu-95 air frame is more younger and newer then B-52

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    Re: B-1B Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress:

    Post  Russian Patriot on Fri Oct 07, 2011 7:18 pm

    Moving this thread under NATO- United States

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    Re: B-1B Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress:

    Post  GarryB on Sat Oct 08, 2011 2:40 am

    The Bear has enormous growth potential.

    People look at the propellers and think it is a WWII plane, but it is a turboprop... a type of jet engine.

    It is the worlds fastest propeller driven aircraft and its performance is in no way inferior to the B-52 which uses twice as many engines to do the same thing.

    At high altitude the B-52 is slightly faster, but at low altitude the Bear is actually faster.

    The designation is misleading too as the in service Tu-95s are actually revised and improved Tu-142s with new more efficient wing designs developed in the 1970s and built in the 80s and 90s.

    Their main problem is neglect, with upgraded systems and proper maintainence they will be flying for many years to come.

    They could probably do with newer more efficient engines, but being a subsonic bomber more powerful engines will not improve speed or altitude capabilities much.
    More fuel efficient engines will extend range and reduce the amount of weight of fuel needed which should result in an increase in payload potential.

    They could look at new engines like those fitted to the An-70 or even a new ducted fan engine to improve performance and reduce operating costs.

    Fitting the jet engines fitted to the Blackjack or the ones fitted to the Backfire would make little sense as they are supersonic aircraft with rather different flight profiles that would not suit the Bears airframe.

    Ideally the PAK DA will be a low drag stealthy replacement for all three that hopefully includes the capacity to supercruise for its entire flight to extend range, and make interception difficult.

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    Radio Traffic B-52 Pilots over Hanoi Linebacker II 4 of 5 - Massive Hit! 12 hours ago

    Post  Chrisa on Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:06 am

    You guys have to hear this ! It is a real tough

    http://megacombat.net/radio-traffic-b-52-pilots-over-hanoi-linebacker-ii-4-of-5-2/

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    Re: B-1B Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress:

    Post  GarryB on Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:24 am

    This thread is not related to the Russian Air Force so I have moved it here to the US military section.

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    Will the $55 Billion Bomber Program Fly?

    Post  victor7 on Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:46 pm

    http://www.thecuttingedgenews.com/index.php?article=72580&pageid=37&pagename=Page+One

    "The B-52, B-1 and B-2 are all being fitted with a new cruise missile with some of the same stealth qualities as the B-2, and which can hit targets up to 600 miles away. For the cost of the new bomber fleet, the Air Force could buy 50,000 of these missiles. It has fired just 2,000 cruise missiles since it began using the long-range weapons in combat in 1991."

    The above paragraph from the article confirms the belief that US mindset is wasteful, paranoid and self destructive.........Go Figure!

    The Asian BMD is also proposed today, aimed at China. Seems US/NATO agenda is working on its long term goals steadily.

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    Re: B-1B Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress:

    Post  GarryB on Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:24 pm

    The obvious problem there is what platform do you use to deliver it that can get to within 600 miles of targets in Russia and China?

    The obvious choice would be B-52 because it is cheap and can carry cruise missiles externally without very much effect on performance... with the B-1B external carriage of weapons would impose a much more significant penalty at high speed, while the B-2 would lose its stealth performance with external weapons.

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    Re: B-1B Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress:

    Post  victor7 on Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:07 am

    B2 has RCS of .75 sq. meters, good enough for Russian and Chinese radars to check it out at 1000km or more. The only answer would be design hypersonic stealth missiles that can travel thousands of km and be fired from ships or allied lands.

    Why was F117 program cancelled? Because Serbs shot it down or technical factors like subsonic or large RCS or rather better technologies available.

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    Re: B-1B Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress:

    Post  GarryB on Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:34 am

    The only answer would be design hypersonic stealth missiles that can travel thousands of km and be fired from ships or allied lands.

    The Soviet reaction to US carrier groups with layered protection was that they knew their missiles would be detected at long range so their solution was generally very high speed missiles in large numbers to penetrate the defences and nuclear warheads so the few that get through are lethal.

    The problem with converting that to penetrating Modern Russian defences is the enormous distances involved... the US already has hypersonic missiles that travel thousands of kms that are fired from ships and allied land... they are called SLBMs and ICBMs respectively...

    The B-2 is a failure as a first strike weapon because the development of the F-22 has made the Russian Air Defences change and develop systems and sensors to detect and track very small RCS targets, which makes all stealth aircraft vulnerable.

    As a strategic bomber not tasked with a first strike role teh B-2 is ridiculously expensive as by the time it gets to its targets the ICBMs and SLBMs will have already detonated and destroyed most airfields and AD network components, but the mobility of the Russian AD components to protect them from NATO intervention has made them relatively survivable for a short period after WWIII, so many components could potentially still be operating... for all the same reasons that Iraqi Scuds kept operating for so long... too tricky to target.

    The B-52 makes rather more sense, though a complete upgrade with modern more fuel efficient engines they could probably reduce its size by 1/3rd and still retain range and payload performance in a modern and much cheaper non stealthy design.

    They only have 20 B-2s so they could keep 10 for use when they are in regime change mode to attack IAD targets on the first night of the war and then revert to their modified B-52s to perform the rest of the attack missions at a much cheaper rate.

    But the aircraft makers wont suggest that, because that might reduce the budgets on all the hypersonic bomber programs.

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    Re: B-1B Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress:

    Post  victor7 on Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:51 am

    Once F22s were in service in late 1990s I think, the US evaluated them and probably found to be devastating against the legacy air forces. Then they decided to walk out of the ABM Treaty in order to build the BMDs against Russia. That work is ongoing and by 2015 the BMD against Russia will be in full swing. Bt 2020s, they hope to have cancelled out the Russian ICBM/SLBM threat.

    Russia for one does not even have a single stealth plane to its name so far. However, the Russian logic and reliance is on its IAD and SAMs to keep F22 types away from its airspace. That makes sense but a salvo based saturation attacks can eventually win. It will be an interesting world in 2020s to see what is the demeanor of US vrs Russia and China.

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    Re: B-1B Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress:

    Post  GarryB on Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:55 am

    Once F22s were in service in late 1990s I think, the US evaluated them and probably found to be devastating against the legacy air forces.

    So devastating they didn't bother making enough of them to replace their existing conventional aircraft fleet?

    F-35 is looking like it will cost even more than the F-22 as order numbers reduce... it is not rocket science... somebody says lets make a new plane to replace all the existing planes... lets make 1,500 of them. Then they start making them and it is expensive so they say... well these planes are going to be so good we don't need to replace the old planes one for one we can just make 750 of them and that will be enough and then they get to a point where the costs have gone up and important things from the aircraft are dropped like IRST and AIM-9X integration, and full functionality of the radar in the first model and even then the politicians say they will stop production at less than 200. The military jump up and down and claim they need a minimum of 500 or it wont be a viable force because F-35 is a bomber not a fighter.

    The situation today is two F-22s are destroyed and gone, and the rest suffer from corrosion and have not even been given full capabilities most fanbois talk about... I mean it doesn't even have a helmet mounted sight... or high off boresight missiles to go with them...

    It puts the dog in dogfighter.

    Then they decided to walk out of the ABM Treaty in order to build the BMDs against Russia. That work is ongoing and by 2015 the BMD against Russia will be in full swing. Bt 2020s, they hope to have cancelled out the Russian ICBM/SLBM threat.

    Except that the Russians are not asleep and if the US goes ahead with an ABM system Russia can simply withdraw from Start and the INF treaty and start making ballistic missiles in numbers to overwhelm any ABM system, as well as shorter range weapons to directly target ABM systems.

    Russia for one does not even have a single stealth plane to its name so far.

    I hasn't applied the concept of Regime change in the last 20 years either... what is your point?

    It is aggressive Colonial powers that need Stealth fighters and Stealth Bombers.

    It would be like criticising the USN for not having a supersonic anti ship missile like Onyx in service... they currently don't face a navy with carrier groups that would warrant such a weapon at the moment.

    Shortly however with the increase in firepower of modern sea going vessels and improvements in ship defensive systems such weapons might become necessary to hit even corvette sized vessels reliably.

    Russia has not wasted money on stealth bombers and stealth fighters up until now because it has no need for a first strike capability. Equally it hasn't got 13 carrier groups because it has no global empire to police and maintain.

    BTW those B-2s and F-22s have been critical to the overwhelming US success in Iraq and Afghanistan. Razz

    However, the Russian logic and reliance is on its IAD and SAMs to keep F22 types away from its airspace. That makes sense but a salvo based saturation attacks can eventually win. It will be an interesting world in 2020s to see what is the demeanor of US vrs Russia and China.

    An ABM system is not a substitute for an IADS, and would be vulnerable to cruise missile attack.

    With modern technologies and Russian nuclear expertise I would suspect a nuclear propelled low flying Mach 3 cruise missile equipped with 40-60 nuclear bombs able to zigzag all over the US for years could be built easily between now and 2020. And that is just off the top of my head... there are plenty of other options to defeat an ABM system including space based weapons...

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    Re: B-1B Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress:

    Post  Vladimir79 on Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:03 am

    Why would US strategic bombers downgrade to a 600m missile from a 3000m TLAM?


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    Re: B-1B Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress:

    Post  victor7 on Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:15 am

    Russia has not wasted money on stealth bombers and stealth fighters up until now because it has no need for a first strike capability. Equally it hasn't got 13 carrier groups because it has no global empire to police and maintain.

    This is one point I like about Russian strategy i.e. they do not like to leap forward and spend 10s of billions on a new tech. They let US take a lead then make a system that is equal or better than it. Mig-29 is one example, despite all the US vrs third world stats.

    Btw, minds at Lockhead Martin are already working on F22s replacement by a 6th Gen Fighter to bring out around 2030s. Some hurry to make it to the wedding! lol!

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    Re: B-1B Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress:

    Post  GarryB on Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:30 am

    This is one point I like about Russian strategy i.e. they do not like to leap forward and spend 10s of billions on a new tech. They let US take a lead then make a system that is equal or better than it. Mig-29 is one example, despite all the US vrs third world stats.

    Actually the truth is simpler than that. The US is the aggressor and is trying to develop new capabilities to attack and kill.

    The Soviet strategy was generally to match the US capability but without duplicating their forces. The USN had to defend trade routes around the world, the Soviets didn't have a trade network to defend so they focussed on SSBNs and a navy to defend them.

    The Mig-29 is often compared with the F-16, but the F-16 is a multirole fighter bomber designed as a fighter and when the enemy is cleared from the skies or just weakened to switch to ground targets.

    The Mig-29 was a short range point defence interceptor/fighter with only very limited air to ground capability in its first models.

    The west is nasty about the Mig-29 because they don't understand the concept of self defence and don't see a point of an aircraft that is dedicated to defending the airspace of the country of origin... how could Britain take such an aircraft to the Middle East or Med to bomb foreign countries without being able to take the ground defence network it operates within?

    The Russians are pretty much the same... the PAK FA is not a copy of the F-22 because it has the role of defeating the F-22... it is not for invading Iranian airspace and shooting down all their planes from long range.

    Why would US strategic bombers downgrade to a 600m missile from a 3000m TLAM?

    Because a 600 mile range missile would require a stealthy expensive launch platform to carry it which LM will make lots of money designing and building. A 3,000 mile range missile could be carried by a C-5 in pallets in bundles of 10-15, with each plane carrying 30+ pallets...

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    Re: B-1B Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress:

    Post  gloriousfatherland on Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:06 am

    GarryB wrote:
    Once F22s were in service in late 1990s I think, the US evaluated them and probably found to be devastating against the legacy air forces.

    So devastating they didn't bother making enough of them to replace their existing conventional aircraft fleet?

    F-35 is looking like it will cost even more than the F-22 as order numbers reduce... it is not rocket science... somebody says lets make a new plane to replace all the existing planes... lets make 1,500 of them. Then they start making them and it is expensive so they say... well these planes are going to be so good we don't need to replace the old planes one for one we can just make 750 of them and that will be enough and then they get to a point where the costs have gone up and important things from the aircraft are dropped like IRST and AIM-9X integration, and full functionality of the radar in the first model and even then the politicians say they will stop production at less than 200. The military jump up and down and claim they need a minimum of 500 or it wont be a viable force because F-35 is a bomber not a fighter.

    The situation today is two F-22s are destroyed and gone, and the rest suffer from corrosion and have not even been given full capabilities most fanbois talk about... I mean it doesn't even have a helmet mounted sight... or high off boresight missiles to go with them...

    It puts the dog in dogfighter.

    Then they decided to walk out of the ABM Treaty in order to build the BMDs against Russia. That work is ongoing and by 2015 the BMD against Russia will be in full swing. Bt 2020s, they hope to have cancelled out the Russian ICBM/SLBM threat.

    Except that the Russians are not asleep and if the US goes ahead with an ABM system Russia can simply withdraw from Start and the INF treaty and start making ballistic missiles in numbers to overwhelm any ABM system, as well as shorter range weapons to directly target ABM systems.

    Russia for one does not even have a single stealth plane to its name so far.

    I hasn't applied the concept of Regime change in the last 20 years either... what is your point?

    It is aggressive Colonial powers that need Stealth fighters and Stealth Bombers.

    It would be like criticising the USN for not having a supersonic anti ship missile like Onyx in service... they currently don't face a navy with carrier groups that would warrant such a weapon at the moment.

    Shortly however with the increase in firepower of modern sea going vessels and improvements in ship defensive systems such weapons might become necessary to hit even corvette sized vessels reliably.

    Russia has not wasted money on stealth bombers and stealth fighters up until now because it has no need for a first strike capability. Equally it hasn't got 13 carrier groups because it has no global empire to police and maintain.

    BTW those B-2s and F-22s have been critical to the overwhelming US success in Iraq and Afghanistan. Razz

    However, the Russian logic and reliance is on its IAD and SAMs to keep F22 types away from its airspace. That makes sense but a salvo based saturation attacks can eventually win. It will be an interesting world in 2020s to see what is the demeanor of US vrs Russia and China.

    An ABM system is not a substitute for an IADS, and would be vulnerable to cruise missile attack.

    With modern technologies and Russian nuclear expertise I would suspect a nuclear propelled low flying Mach 3 cruise missile equipped with 40-60 nuclear bombs able to zigzag all over the US for years could be built easily between now and 2020. And that is just off the top of my head... there are plenty of other options to defeat an ABM system including space based weapons...
    Technically they have done this with the advent of MIRVS for their nuclear missiles, which have a throw weight to carry 18 nuclear warheads. I say 40-60 nuclear bombs is putting to many eggs in one basket.
    With regard to MARCH2 that pretty slow since the Brahamos II is already hypersonic flying at MARCH 7. Russia had scramjets programs but after the collapse of the USSR it ceased. It is rumored that a MARCH 10 ICBM was tested by Russia. America got technology transfer from the russian in the 90's when anything was for sale.

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    Re: B-1B Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress:

    Post  victor7 on Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:13 am

    Here is a system to defeat the 100s of Trillions that US spends on killing technologies.

    Russia should develop biological weapons that will mutate and spread like hell once released and in two days kill all the population in a city or region. All the F22s and AEGIS deals will still be good but people to operate them will not be available, they will be either dead or in very bad state of health.

    I posted a link on F22 thread regarding the damage done by H-Bomb to a city. I think in 6 km radius the damage is 100% and then decrease from there on. But according to US model, the general daily life in the area can be re-started/refunctioning in 3 weeks after radioactive clean up etc. It seems US is not that afraid of nukes now after BMDs and new computer models simulating the damage etc.

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    Re: B-1B Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress:

    Post  SOC on Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:49 am

    Vladimir79 wrote:Why would US strategic bombers downgrade to a 600m missile from a 3000m TLAM?

    This is just JASSM-ER, which has been coming for a while now. It'll give the B-1B and B-2 the ability to use standoff conventional weapons, the only thing capable of shooting the AGM-86C CALCM was the B-52H anyway.

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    Re: B-1B Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress:

    Post  GarryB on Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:14 pm

    Technically they have done this with the advent of MIRVS for their nuclear missiles, which have a throw weight to carry 18 nuclear warheads. I say 40-60 nuclear bombs is putting to many eggs in one basket.

    Not really... using ballistic missiles to defeat an anti ballistic missile system is like using flys to defeat fly spray.

    Having a large cruise missile with nuclear powered jet engines means it can fly at mach 3 at very low altitudes for years at a time. The engine exhaust would be radioactive and a large aircraft flying at mach 3 at low level generates a shockwave that can kill people and damage buildings. Having 40-60 nuclear bombs is easily possible as this missile will not run out of fuel for years and with say 60 small nuclear bombs the size of a 152mm artillery shell with a payload of maybe 20Kt it could smash every major city in America...

    The idea of course is that the US finds the very idea so repulsive they think that the tiny risk of facing nuclear weapons from Iran which doesn't have any, on ICBMs they don't have either might be a risk they are prepared to take and cancel the ABM systems around Russia.

    With regard to MARCH2 that pretty slow since the Brahamos II is already hypersonic flying at MARCH 7. Russia had scramjets programs but after the collapse of the USSR it ceased. It is rumored that a MARCH 10 ICBM was tested by Russia. America got technology transfer from the russian in the 90's when anything was for sale.

    The Soviet Union put Yuri Gagarin into earths orbit many decades ago and to do that you need to travel about 8km per second. The speed of sound is one third of a km per second so 8km/s is about Mach 24.

    BTW there is no r in Mach, which is a measure of speed equating to the speed of sound at sea level at about 20 degrees C. March on the other hand is the current month.


    Russia should develop biological weapons that will mutate and spread like hell once released and in two days kill all the population in a city or region.

    Bio weapons aren't as easy to control as you might think... if it kills too fast the victim will be dead before they can mingle and pass it on. The other problem is that they tend to mutate and all sorts of different ways you can't control and might end up killing everyone...


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    B-1B Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress:

    Post  nemrod on Mon Apr 21, 2014 9:47 pm

    http://www.afmc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123406829

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    Three U.S. B-52 strategic bombers have deployed to the UK

    Post  sepheronx on Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:30 am

    http://theaviationist.com/2014/06/04/b-52-deployed-to-fairford/
    Three B-52 Stratofortress bombers have arrived at RAF Fairford, UK, for a mini-deployment lasting two weeks.
    On Jun. 4, two U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress strategic bombers from Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, and one from Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, B-52 (currently operating from Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota) landed at Royal Air Force Fairford, England, for a short deployment.

    The aircraft relocated to Europe to conduct training activity “in the U.S. European Command area of operations, providing opportunities for aircrews to sharpen skills in several key operational sets and become familiar with airbases and operations in the region.”

    Although the official release does not mention it, a patch produced for the deployment suggests that the B-52s were deployed to take part in the Baltops and Saber Strike 2014 exercises.

    Whereas Baltic Operations (BALTOPS) 2014 is an annual multinational maritime exercise held in the Baltics with assets from 13 participating nations involved in training scenarios that include air, surface, subsurface and mine warfare, Saber Strike is a U.S. Army Europe-led security cooperation exercise which, focuses, on the three Baltic States: Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

    In such exercises as well as in real operations, the B-52s always play an important role: all weather nuclear deterrence aside, the Stratofortress can perform a wide variety of conventional missions ranging from the BAI (Battlefield Area Interdiction) to CAS (Close Air Support), to TASMO (Tactical Air Support to Maritime Operations), to SAR (Search And Rescue)… using GPS and Laser-guided bombs, cruise missiles and aerial mines.

    Once there was Pivot to Asia. Nowadays there is a Pivot to the Baltics.

    During the deployment to Fairford, lasting about two weeks (and according to rumors involving more B-52s coming from U.S. airbases in the next few days), a Stratofortress will also take part in the 70th anniversary D-Day commemoration in Graignes, France, on Jun. 7.

    Image credit: U.S. Air Force

    This is funny.  I hope Russia sends up Su-30's/35's to track them, as well as ping the aircrafts just for giggles.  Ancient B-52's, 3 of them, participating is a joke in itself but will make good use of Russian pilots to fly near and communicate with.

    Maybe also send some Tu-95's and Tu-22M's to Cuba/Venezuela just for military exercise. Watch US bitch and moan about it.

    Asf
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    Re: B-1B Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress:

    Post  Asf on Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:37 am

    Maybe also send some Tu-95's and Tu-22M's to Cuba/Venezuela just for military exercise
    Again?  Very Happy 

    Werewolf
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    Re: B-1B Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress:

    Post  Werewolf on Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:29 pm

    Send Su-34 and couple of Su-24 all equiped with ECM systems and block their communication as soon as they leave British airspace and fly into international airspace. Demorilize those jokers in advance.

    collegeboy16
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    Re: B-1B Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress:

    Post  collegeboy16 on Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:36 pm

    Werewolf wrote:Send Su-34 and couple of Su-24 all equiped with ECM systems and block their communication as soon as they leave British airspace and fly into international airspace. Demorilize those jokers in advance.
    overkill for long overdue beer cans.

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    Re: B-1B Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress:

    Post  Werewolf on Thu Jun 05, 2014 1:39 pm

    collegeboy16 wrote:
    Werewolf wrote:Send Su-34 and couple of Su-24 all equiped with ECM systems and block their communication as soon as they leave British airspace and fly into international airspace. Demorilize those jokers in advance.
    overkill for long overdue beer cans.

    Those beercans will be escorted by some Fighter jets so, the purpose is not to jam B-52's but the fighters.

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    Re: B-1B Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress:

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