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B-21 Raider - Discussione Ufficiale


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Miracolo!!! :woot:

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The U.S. Air Force’s forthcoming B-21 Raider bomber isn’t only on budget - it’s also (mostly) on time. 
That might as well be a miracle in the messy world of military hardware procurement.

... popularmechanics.com ... https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/aviation/a36232876/b-21-raider-bomber-updates/ ...

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  • 2 weeks later...

In attesa del primo volo ...

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As the first flight of the B-21 Raider bomber draws closer, Gen. Timothy M. Ray, head of Air Force Global Strike Command, toured Northrop Grumman’s production facility and the test enterprise that will put the jet through its paces beginning next year.  
Ray saw “significant progress made on the build of the first flight test aircraft that will one day make its way to Edwards Air Force Base, [California], for testing,” said the Rapid Capabilities Office, which manages the B-21 program, in a press release.
The RCO (*) said flight testing of the new bomber will begin as soon as aircraft No. 1 is complete, and this will be driven by “key maturity events” and not “arbitrary dates.”

 

... airforcemag.com ... https://www.airforcemag.com/one-year-from-first-flight-ray-tours-b-21-factory-bomber-test-enterprise/ ...

(*) ... af.mil ... https://www.af.mil/About-Us/Fact-Sheets/Display/Article/2424302/rapid-capabilities-office/ ...

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Edited by TT-1 Pinto
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  • 3 weeks later...

B-21 ... il futuro Segretario per l'Air Force Frank Kendall ne vuole 145 ... 

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The US Air Force wants to acquire at least 145 B-21 Raiders from Northrop Grumman, estimated to cost in excess of $90 billion.
President Joe Biden’s nominee to be the next secretary of the air force, Frank Kendall, says that “is a reasonable number, at this point.”
Kendall’s comments were made during a confirmation hearing for his new post at the Senate Armed Services Committee on 25th May.
In 2010 dollars, USAF said at contract award that it expected the jets to come in at $511 million each. 
Adjusted to inflation, this would come in at $626 million and in excess of $90 billion for 145 units. 
However, the contract-award number was calculated against a buy of 100 airplanes – a larger volume of production would naturally drive unit costs lower.

... aero-mag.com ... https://www.aero-mag.com/b-21-raider-fleet-27052021/ ...

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B-21 Raider ... un programma il cui successo è dovuto al suo approccio modulare e ai cambiamenti incrementali alla sua tecnologia ...

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The success of the B-21 program so far is due to its modular approach and incremental changes to its technology, not its requirements, Air Force Global Strike Command head Gen. Timothy M. Ray said June 3.
“We’ve codified the approach … of open mission systems [and] modularity of design, and that allows us to keep very stable requirements” on the B-21, Ray said during an AFA Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies streaming discussion. 
“It’s not necessary to return to [the Joint Requirements Oversight Council] and ask for a new radio, weapon or sensor, or new defensive systems.” 
These are assumed to be a necessary “part of the bomber,” he explained. 
Because of that, “you can build it very quickly,” and there have been no requirements changes on the program, he added.

... airforcemag.com ... https://www.airforcemag.com/ray-b21-program-structure-on-track-on-cost/ ...

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I primi due esemplari sono stati completati e sono pronti per i collaudi ... secondo quanto afferma Darlene Costello (*) ...

... airforcemag.com ... https://www.airforcemag.com/b-1s-retire-until-b-21-on-duty/ ...

(*) ...  af.mil ... https://www.af.mil/About-Us/Biographies/Display/Article/717891/darlene-costello/ ...

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La Ellsworth AFB sarà la prima base ad ospitare i B-21 ...

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The Secretary of the Air Force officially selected Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota, as the location to host the Air Force’s first operational B-21 Raiders and the formal training unit.
The B-21 Raider was designed to replace the Air Force’s aging bomber fleet as a long-range, highly-survivable bomber capable of carrying mixed-conventional and nuclear payloads, to strike any target worldwide.

... ellsworth.af.mil ... https://www.ellsworth.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2654874/ellsworth-officially-selected-as-first-base-to-receive-b-21s/ ...

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  • 4 weeks later...

Nuove informazioni sulla configurazione del B-21 ...

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The Air Force’s newest rendering of the secret B-21 bomber shows an exotic layout of cockpit windows. 
The image, the third released so far, offers a new oblique view of the aircraft from below its port side, showing a deeper keel and wider weapons bay than that of the B-2 bomber it will succeed. But the air intakes, which have been redesigned, are obscured.
The new B-21 Raider image was published July 6 along with a new fact sheet (*)
The Air Force identified it as an “artist’s interpretation.” 
It shows the aircraft taking off from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., where it will be flight tested beginning early next year. 
The prior official illustrations were released in January 2021 and in February 2016.
The new picture shows a triangular, curved main forward cockpit window and a wide, arcing side window with no apparent interior framing. 
That departs from earlier views which showed B-2-style windows. 
Just aft of the side window is the Global Strike Command badge and stenciling for ground rescue instructions.

... airforcemag.com ... https://www.airforcemag.com/new-b-21-stealth-bomber-image-shows-stealth-windows/ ...

(*) ... af.mil ... https://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2683003/air-force-releases-new-b-21-raider-artist-rendering/ ...

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Un'opinione ... “I B-1 e i B-2, per quanto fenomenali essi siano, dobbiamo mandarli in pensione mentre i B-21 stanno entrando in servizio ... arrivando così ad una flotta di soli due tipi di bombardieri (B-21 e B-52 modernizzati) ... in quanto non è sostenibile tenerne in servizio contemporaneamente quattro diversi tipi” ...

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The Air Force needs to move quickly as it brings on the B-21 and modernizes the B-52, because operating four bombers at a time is not sustainable. 
This means the venerable B-1s and B-2s need to head to the boneyard for retirement ASAP, the service’s top planner said.
The secretive, next-generation B-21 Raider is being built right now and will be flown in the “not-too-distant future,” said Lt. Gen. David S. Nahom, the deputy chief of staff for plans and programs, during a July 14 AFA Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies event. 
When that happens, the Air Force will be flying the B-1, B-2, B-52, and B-21 simultaneously.
“That is not affordable,” Nahom said. 
“The B-1 and B-2, as phenomenal as they are, we’ve got to get those out of service as the B-21 comes on and we get ourselves to that two-bomber fleet, which is a B-21 and a modernized B-52.”

... airforcemag.com ... https://www.airforcemag.com/progress-on-b-21-means-current-bombers-need-fast-retirement/ ...

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  • 2 months later...

Sono cinque, e non due, i B-21 attualmente in produzione ... :woot:

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The U.S. Air Force has five B-21 Raider bombers currently in various states of production at manufacturer Northrop Grumman’s plant in California, the service’s top civilian said on Monday.
“We have been living off of bomber fleet investments made many decades ago, but that is rapidly changing,” Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall told the audience at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference here.
“As I speak there are now five test aircraft being manufactured on the B-21 production line at Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, California,” he said. 
“You will never hear me make optimistic predictions about programs. All programs have risk and the same is true of the B-21, but at this point at least, the program is making good progress to real fielded capability.”
Previously, the Air Force had only acknowledged two B-21 test aircraft in production ...

... defensenews.com ... https://www.defensenews.com/air/2021/09/20/northrop-grumman-now-has-five-b-21-stealth-bombers-in-production/ ...

Anche qui ... thedrive.com/the-war-zone ... https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/42451/five-b-21-raider-stealth-bombers-are-now-in-final-assembly ...

E qui ... psk.blog.24heures.ch ... http://psk.blog.24heures.ch/archive/2021/09/21/le-programme-b-21-plus-avance-qu-il-n-y-parait -871745.html ...

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  • 4 months later...

In Australia, dopo i disastri del programma di rimpiazzo dei sottomarini (e vai di nucleare con tanti saluti ai francesi) e di quello degli elicotteri da attacco e utility (andiamo dallo zio Sam e tanti saluti agli ai frullini europei), si aggiunge il disastro dell’acquisto (su carta) delle fregate Tipe 26 britanniche, ma il bello è che qualcuno pensa di risolvere comprando bombardieri B-21...

https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/getting-australias-defence-capability-right-in-time-to-deter-a-future-enemy/

Ci manca solo Carlo Kopp che spinga per rimettere in produzione l’F-22 e la strada per l’acquisto di un falco da guerra Klingon è spianata...

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  • 4 weeks later...

Come Defense News riporta la notizia ... 

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The first B-21 Raider bomber has entered the ground test phase, paving the way for its expected rollout this year and subsequent first flight.
Northrop Grumman now has six of the stealthy, next-generation aircraft in various stages of production, Darlene Costello, principal deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics, said in a Friday roundtable with reporters at the Air Force Association’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Florida.
Tom Jones, Northrop’s Aeronautics Systems president, also confirmed in a statement that the first Raider is now undergoing ground tests.
Costello said that with the start of testing on that B-21, “we are on track for first flight [and] we’re holding to our schedule.” 
She would not go into further detail on plans for the B-21.
In another roundtable with reporters at the conference, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall said he’s satisfied with the B-21′s progress so far.

... defensenews.com ... https://www.defensenews.com/industry/techwatch/2022/03/04/first-b-21-bomber-enters-ground-testing-on-track-for-first-flight/ ...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Da AW&ST ...

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As First B-21 Begins Ground Test, Plan For Uncrewed Teaming Emerges ...
Brian Everstine - March 09, 2022

The first Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider has rolled off its assembly line and will begin ground testing, just as the U.S. Air Force starts planning for a future uncrewed aircraft that will fly alongside the bomber with extra sensors or weapons.
Northrop and Air Force officials announced in early March that the first Raider to be used for developmental testing has started load testing and that the company will start powering on the aircraft for initial evaluations in a separate facility from the assembly line in Palmdale, California. 
Additionally, the company said the sixth B-21 has entered assembly at Plant 42.
“Our first test aircraft has moved from the line and entered formal ground test,” Northrop Grumman Aeronautics President Tom Jones said in a statement. 
“That’s a testament to the speed and efficiency we’re achieving on the program, in large part due to the partnership we have with our [Rapid Capabilities Office] and [Air Force Global Strike Command] customers and the innovative business practices and digital engineering we’re employing on the program.”
Darlene Costello, the Air Force’s acting assistant secretary for acquisition, says this progress indicates that the B-21 is still on schedule for a rollout this year, to be followed by the bomber’s first flight. 
“Everything I’m hearing is we’re staying on track,” adds Gen. Arnold Bunch, head of the Air Force Materiel Command.
As the Air Force prepares to bring on the B-21, a team of developmental and operational test pilots is waiting at Edwards AFB, California, with the aim of identifying potential issues as soon as possible, says Maj. Gen. Evan Dertien, commander of the Air Force Test Center. 
“The goal is to get, as soon as [possible], an operational pilot in there flying it, much earlier on in the program, [and] to start maybe identifying issues,” he says. 
“But the whole goal is to get that capability tested quicker, get it exposed to a larger environment that’s operationally representative sooner, so we can identify [and] eliminate any early risks.”
As the testing begins, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall is ordering research on how the service can develop an uncrewed system to fly with the bomber. 
As part of a series of operational imperatives, the Air Force in February released a request for information to define the B-21’s “family of systems.”
Kendall says he wants this system to cost about half of the B-21’s estimated $550 million-per-aircraft price tag, which will allow it to be “sacrificed” if that would be operationally useful. 
That would never be an option with a crewed aircraft, he says. 
Although that price is still high, Kendall says there needs to be a balance to keep the drone operationally effective.
“I’d love to have it be less than half,” he says. “I’d love to have it be a quarter . . . . At the end of the day, it’s a trade-off.”
The potential system, along with another for the Next-Generation Air Dominance fighter, builds on lessons from the Air Force’s Skyborg, DARPA’s Air Combat Evolution program and Boeing’s Loyal Wingman development. 
Details in the request for information show, however, that the potential aircraft’s capability is beyond much of the current offerings.
“The technologies are there now to introduce uncrewed platforms in this system-of-systems context, but the most cost-effective approach and the operational concepts for this complement to crewed global strike capabilities have to be analyzed and defined,” Kendall says. 
“One of the things that people often miss about uncrewed systems is that if you’re going to use an autonomous platform with a crewed system, it has to have range capability to go as far as the crewed system goes and support that system with a reasonable payload when it gets there.”

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Il B-21 visto da vicino ...

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The Northrop Grumman B-21A Raider is a U.S. bomber under development that is projected to reach initial operational capability in the mid-2020s. 
It is now is the most advanced member of an evolving family of systems for long-range strike capabilities.
The U.S. Air Force (USAF) has confirmed a few details regarding the technical performance and characteristics. 
Inferences can be made from official Northrop Grumman and service supplied renderings as well as the aircraft’s program history.

... aviationweek.com ... https://aviationweek.com/defense-space/closer-look-northrop-grummans-b-21 ...

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  • 3 weeks later...

B-21 Raider ... l'Air Force assegna a Northrop-Grumman un contratto di 108 milioni di Dollari per l'acquisto di materiali destinati alla produzione del primo lotto di velivoli ...

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The US Air Force has awarded Northrop Grumman a $108 million contract for advance procurement in support of the B-21 Raider bomber program.
Advance procurement funds will directly support the acquisition of long lead items necessary to build the first lot of production B-21 aircraft.
Northrop Grumman is already working on six of the next-generation bombers after air force officials first revealed in September last year that five airframes were in construction. 
In February this year, the air force confirmed a total of six bombers were in assembly at the service’s Plant 42 facility in Palmdale, California.
“The B-21 Raider program is foundational to the Air Force’s operational imperative for an effective, long-range strike family of systems to guarantee our ability to strike any target, anytime, anywhere, even in the most contested environment,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr.

... defbrief.com ... https://defbrief.com/2022/04/07/northrop-gets-advance-procurement-contract-for-b-21-raider-bomber/ ...

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Come hanno fatto ad aver sviluppato un aereo in tempi così brevi, viste le lentezze e gli intoppi a cui ci hanno abituato con quesi tutti gli altri programmi degli ultimi 30 e passa anni?

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Northrop Grumman forse ha un approccio molto diverso  da es. Lockheed Martin? 🤔

A volte si è avuta l'impressione che l'aumento dei costi e dei tempi per lo sviluppo di alcuni sistemi siano stati, non dico incoraggiati, ma non percepiti come un fallimento dai produttori. Più lavoro per più tempo con più guadagni. 

Ovviamente parlo da esterno. E inoltre è un po' che non leggo i contratti. 

Cmq dovremmo avere qualche indicazione presto di quanto distante sarà il B-21 dal B-2 e quanto sforzo progettuale è stato richiesto.

Meno facile sarà che il GAO o altri ci daranno indicazioni su eventuali criticità come invece accade per la nuova ciofeca, pardon cisterna volante di Boeing. Questo è un programma verosimilmente molto più riservato, ma la trasparenza che si ha in USA verso i contribuenti, la stampa e gli organi di controllo è sempre molto maggiore che altrove.

 

Edited by Scagnetti
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Le request for proposal è del 2014 e la scelta del progetto Northrop-Grumman è del 2016, quindi diciamo che dalla partenza al roll out ci impiegherebbero 8 anni. Non sono tanti ma nemmeno pochissimi, oltre a non rappresentare l’intero percorso di sviluppo.

I tempi ridotti e soprattutto i costi minori (così si disse) rispetto alla concorrenza sono in parte da attribuire all’esperienza del B-2 (di cui il B-21 riprende la formula), in parte al maturare di molte tecnologie (in ambito stealth in particolare) per le quali il B-21 dovrebbe raccogliere i frutti più che seminarne di nuovi, ma sembra che molto sia dovuto allo sviluppo digitale molto spinto, che ha consentito di definire in dettaglio non solo il velivolo, ma tutti i suoi sistemi (software di gestione e procedure di costruzione e manutenzione inclusi) senza che fosse stato assemblato un singolo bullone.

Che questo approccio possa avere successo e i tempi di sviluppo siano effettivamente brevi lo si dovrà comunque verificare con mano, anche perché lo sviluppo termina con l’ingresso in servizio, mentre il velivolo al momento non ha ancora fatto il roll out. Tra le due date si possono presentare un’infinità di problemi e ostacoli che il nuovo approccio deve comunque dimostrare di poter, non dico eliminare ma, quanto meno ridurre significativamente.

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1 ora fa, Alpino ha scritto:

Come hanno fatto ad aver sviluppato un aereo in tempi così brevi, viste le lentezze e gli intoppi a cui ci hanno abituato con quesi tutti gli altri programmi degli ultimi 30 e passa anni?

Forse la risposta alla tua domanda è qui ...

... airforcemag.com ... https://www.airforcemag.com/ray-b21-program-structure-on-track-on-cost/ ...

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3 hours ago, TT-1 Pinto said:

Forse la risposta alla tua domanda è qui ...

... airforcemag.com ... https://www.airforcemag.com/ray-b21-program-structure-on-track-on-cost/ ...

Ma si potrebe anche dire che il B21 rispetto al B2 non presenta "rivoluzioni" tecnologiche e salti nel buio, come fu per esempio cercare di fare 3 versioni di cui una ad atteraggio verticale per l'F35, e quindi usando tecnologie già sviluppate non ha avuto ritardi derivati da problemi di sviluppo? O è una cretinata?

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L’articolo era stato postato un anno fa e forse può apparire un po’ una supercazzola (come avevo definito anche quella della Digital Century Series per il nuovo caccia)  che io avevo sintetizzato per l’appunto con quel raccogliere i frutti più che seminarne di nuovi.

Il velivolo ha fissato dei requisiti abbastanza stabili, ma il suo approccio modulare e ad architettura aperta consente di applicare ciò che via via si rende tecnologicamente disponibile senza causare iterazioni e revisioni di progetto complessive e soprattutto senza salti nel buio.

Gira e rigira il concetto è quello di usare al meglio quanto disponibile e le sue evoluzioni perché d’altra parte chiedere la Luna e poi metterci un’eternità a raggiungerla porta comunque ad obsolescenze.

Se invece si stabilisce un punto fermo nei requisiti e ci si focalizza su ciò che è disponibile e se ne segue il naturale sviluppo tecnologico con una configurazione che già di suo possa accoglierlo, è più facile e rapido arrivare al congelamento della configurazione e quindi alla realizzazione di un velivolo al passo coi tempi.

La progettazione digitale consente (o consentirebbe) di applicare le evoluzioni tecnologiche in modo estremamente rapido. Poi come ho detto tutte queste belle cose dovranno all’atto pratico dimostrare la loro validità, quando il velivolo staccherà le ruote da terra dopo aver fatto bella mostra di se.

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