LRS-B project contractor selected

With a delay of several months relative to the originally planned deadlines, the Pentagon selected a company to develop and build prospective strategic bombers. Thus, the first stage of the LRS-B program, which has continued over the past few years, has recently ended. In addition, it should be noted that the LRS-B program was a further development of several previous projects with different names. The choice of the contractor opens up a new stage of the project, the result of which will eventually be the appearance of the first production aircraft.


October 27, the US military announced the results of a competition for the development and construction of long-range bombers LRS-B (Long-range Strike - Bomber). Two groups of companies formed by leading American enterprises applied for a contract aviation industry. One of the projects was presented by Lockheed Martin and Boeing, the second was developed by Northrop Grumman. For a long time, air force and defense ministry specialists analyzed two proposals. Based on the results of their comparisons, the winner of the competition was selected.

According to the latest data, Northrop Grumman received a contract to continue the development of the project and the subsequent construction of serial bombers. Her project suited the customer and, apparently, exceeded the offer of Lockheed-Martin and Boeing companies in some parameters. Thus, the largest American manufacturers of aviation equipment were left out of the program.


Aircraft LRS-B in the representation of the artist


A few days before the announcement of the winner of the competition, October 22, Assistant Air Force Minister William La Plant revealed some details of the current plans for the construction of new equipment. In the foreseeable future, it is planned to build about four prototypes. In the future, small-scale production will be deployed. For several years, the contractor will build five small lots, a total of 21 aircraft.

Also, a representative of the Ministry of the Air Force recalled existing plans for the cost of new equipment. Each of the aircraft will cost no more than 550 million dollars in 2010 prices of the year. Such a price implied the construction of hundreds of aircraft.

According to the latest data, Pentagon experts change the financial requirements for the project. Now the price of one LRS-B aircraft is estimated at 511 million 2010 dollars. In terms of inflation and other factors, the cost of one bomber will be 564 million dollars in 2016 prices of the fiscal year. Due to currency fluctuations and other economic factors, the cost of equipment will probably be adjusted in the future.

Plans for the number of vehicles required by the air force did not change. As before, the Pentagon wants to get the 100 latest aircraft. Their construction will continue for some time. The approximate dates of commencement and completion of mass production have not yet been clarified.

In addition, the subcontractor for the project, which will develop new engines for bombers, remains unknown. Previously, some assumptions were made on this subject, but no official data has yet been published.

Shortly after the announcement of the results of the competition, Lockheed Martin and Boeing published their official comment. Both firms are disappointed with the decision of the military. It is planned to hold some consultations with the customer, according to the results of which the companies will choose their future strategy. Consortium specialists are interested in the reasons for which his proposal could not convince the customer. In addition, the official commentary mentions that both companies have extensive experience in developing strategic bombers, and also have all the capabilities necessary for their construction.

The LRS-B program aims to upgrade the material part of the air force. Currently, the Air Force has a fleet of heterogeneous strategic bombers that do not fully meet the requirements of the foreseeable future. Of the available aircraft B-52, B-1B and B-2 in the future in the ranks will be only the last. The rest of the equipment is proposed to be replaced by promising LRS-B aircraft.

If current plans are successfully implemented, US strategic aviation will use two types of bombers - B-2 and LRS-B. It is already noted that a promising aircraft will be significantly cheaper than existing B-2, both in terms of the cost of individual aircraft, and at the price of the entire program. According to some reports, it is planned to spend about 23,5 billion dollars on the development of the LRS-B project. In addition, the price of each such machine should remain within the 550-560 million dollars. For comparison, each B-2 cost about 1,5 billion.

The development of a promising strategic bomber started a long time ago. For several years, the project has changed a number of names, in addition, the requirements for technology have been adjusted. All work on the LRS-B program is conducted in an atmosphere of secrecy, which is why most of the information about promising aircraft has not yet been announced. However, some details of the requirements for the project have already become public knowledge and have led to many disputes.

Even after the announcement of the results of the competition, the company-developer is not in a hurry to publish any details of the project. For this reason, in the latest promotional materials there are no images or hints on the appearance of the new aircraft. So far, such materials are illustrated only by drawings of existing equipment.

Any confirmed information about the appearance of the aircraft LRS-B is not yet available. However, there is some information that may be of great interest to professionals and the general public. In addition, they allow you to create a preliminary picture, which, however, may seriously differ from the results of the project.

According to unconfirmed reports, the United States Air Force wants to get subtle subsonic bomber with a number of characteristic features. This machine should be able to break through the enemy’s air defense, including those equipped with modern means of detection and armament. The nomenclature of aircraft armaments should include the usual and highly accurate weapon. In addition, it does not exclude the possibility of using LRS-B as a carrier of nuclear weapons.

It was mentioned earlier that the military and industry representatives are considering the possibility of further deep modernization of the bomber in order to improve its combat performance. To do this, troops must first receive a manned aircraft that meets current requirements. Then a modernization project may appear with the installation of remote control systems, due to which the manned bomber will be transformed into an unmanned aerial vehicle.

The most popular is the version according to which the promising LRS-B aircraft will be based on the “flying wing” scheme. This architecture has already been used by Northrop Grumman in the previous B-2 project and has proven itself well. Its main advantages are the possibility of providing high flight characteristics, as well as minimal visibility for radar detection equipment.

It is hardly necessary to doubt that the aircraft will be equipped with a new type of turbojet engines. However, the characteristics of such products remain unknown. Moreover, no engine developer has yet been announced.

The “flying wing” scheme, with all its advantages, imposes certain restrictions on the flight characteristics of the aircraft. Thus, the promising LRS-B will be subsonic, but its range may exceed 10-12 thousand km. By refueling in flight, the range can be further increased. In the unmanned aircraft version, the bomber will be able to stay in the air even longer, which will contribute to the absence of the need to ensure the required working conditions for the pilots.

It can be assumed that the need to create an unmanned aircraft modification affected the choice of the winner. The company Northrop Grumman has a solid experience in the field of UAVs and has created a number of projects of such technology, some of which have already reached mass production and are used in the military. Thus, in the future, the company's specialists will be able to use the available experience when modernizing a manned strategic bomber.

The contract for the LRS-B program is of great importance to the contractor. Currently, Northrop Grumman is present mainly in the UAV sector, while its work in the field of manned aircraft is associated only with B-2 bombers. Now the company will be able to increase its share in manned aircraft, as well as regain lost ground. All this, however, will not lead to a fundamental change in the situation on the market.

The Pentagon has chosen a contractor who will have to develop a new aircraft and establish its mass production. The most important stage of the entire program has been completed, but it is still far from its end. The development of a full-fledged project, the construction of a prototype and its subsequent testing will take several years. This means that the LRS-B project will not cease to be a topic for fresh News. New reports on its progress may appear in the very near future.


On the materials of the sites:
http://defense.gov/
http://defensenews.com/
http://boeing.mediaroom.com/
http://janes.com/
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  1. inkass_98 30 October 2015 07: 34 New
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    Northrop Grumman also has vast experience in the development of the military budget. Another scam such as B-2 still needs to be found, with two yards of greenery per plane. Yes, for that kind of money, an aircraft carrier could have been equipped with wings and engines, and even a little soul would have remained laughingwould have washed the trough nobly. Well, cho, the F-4 flew and flies in some places, with its aerodynamics and agility. Thanks to the engines. And the ship will fly.
    It will still be interesting to see what they do.
  2. Zaurbek 30 October 2015 07: 57 New
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    I have no doubt in the possibility of the United States creating the next bomber, answer why the United States has a new bomber? B1B and B2 still fly and fly, more than one modernization awaits them. And, most importantly, for what purpose is the aircraft created? Russian air defense breakthrough? So with old airplanes this can be done. And third countries can be bombed with the B-52, anyway the United States always flies in conditions of complete superiority in the sky over the enemy. The technical level of the B-2 is so high that it will fly for another 100 years. And then they decided to make a new bomber, strange.
    1. Engineer 30 October 2015 09: 03 New
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      The B-52 has already exceeded its operational aisle several times. You look when the freshest was built. B-2 - the technical level of the aircraft has not been so high for a long time. On-board equipment is outdated. You just compare the level of computer technology 80gg and now? Yes, he just carries a ton of calculator.
      1. Lt. Air Force stock 30 October 2015 12: 30 New
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        Quote: Engineer
        B-2 - the technical level of the aircraft has long been not so high. On-board equipment is outdated. You just compare the level of computer technology 80gg and now? Yes, he just carries a ton of calculator.

        B2 seems to be upgraded, like the B-1B.
    2. Lt. Air Force stock 30 October 2015 12: 33 New
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      Quote: Zaurbek
      The technical level of the B-2 is so high that it will fly for another 100 years. And then they decided to make a new bomber, strange.

      B2 they have only 19 aircraft.
      Quote: Zaurbek
      Russian air defense breakthrough? So with old airplanes this can be done.

      They want an inconspicuous breakthrough for the bombers to go unnoticed into airspace. This requires more stealth bombers, rather than 19 B2.
      1. Kalmar 30 October 2015 22: 28 New
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        They want an inconspicuous breakthrough for the bombers to go unnoticed into airspace.

        B-2 was not enough "stealth" at the time of adoption, but our air defense systems did not stand still. Today, an inconspicuous entrance to the airspace, covered by modern means of air defense and aviation, is from the category of fiction. This maneuver looks particularly fantastic in the performance of a 150-ton colony-sized stadium.

        For imperceptible passage through air defense, some fundamentally new stealth technologies are needed, the “correct” hull shape and stylish black paint are not enough. I read that there are some ideas regarding the use of a plasma cocoon hiding the plane from the radar, but this is still at the stage of ideas and prototypes. To date, bombers associated with air defense is extremely harmful to health; instead, emphasis should be placed on long-range weapons like our X-101s.
        1. Lt. Air Force stock 30 October 2015 23: 05 New
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          Quote: Kalmar
          For imperceptible passage through air defense, some fundamentally new stealth technologies are needed, the “correct” hull shape and stylish black paint are not enough. I read that there are some ideas regarding the use of a plasma cocoon hiding the plane from the radar, but this is still at the stage of ideas and prototypes. To date, bombers associated with air defense is extremely harmful to health; instead, emphasis should be placed on long-range weapons like our X-101s.

          As I read an article in which the United States boasted of allegedly flying two B2 over the territory of North Korea, or 2011 or 2012.
          Quote: Kalmar
          B-2 was not enough "stealth" at the time of adoption, but our air defense systems did not stand still. Today, an inconspicuous entrance to the airspace, covered by modern means of air defense and aviation, is from the category of fiction. This maneuver looks particularly fantastic in the performance of a 150-ton colony-sized stadium.

          But B2 does not need to fly over Russia, in case of war it will launch cruise missiles, even if the S-400 is placed at the border, its maximum detection range is 600 kilometers, and the firing range is 400 kilometers, B2 can carry cruise missiles with a range of 2600 kilometers. It will be difficult to detect it at a low altitude above the North Pole, which is why we are building radar stations in the Arctic to expand the country's air defense zone and planes like B2 couldn’t shoot with cruise missiles across Russia.
          1. Kalmar 31 October 2015 11: 04 New
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            As I read an article in which the United States boasted of allegedly flying two B2 over the territory of North Korea, or 2011 or 2012.

            Well, this is a simple matter: Korea simply does not have modern air defense systems covering the whole country. With the same success, you can quietly wander over Angola.

            But B2 does not need to fly over Russia, in case of war it will launch cruise missiles ... B2 can carry cruise missiles with a range of 2600 kilometers.

            Firstly, it cannot (at the current moment, anyway). He initially could use only two types of missiles: long-range AGM-129 ACM and medium-range missiles AGM-131. The first is removed from service and long cut, the second flies a maximum of 400 km.

            Secondly, if from the very beginning we refuse to enter the enemy’s air defense zone, relying on long-range missiles, then all this newfangled stealth is out of work. You can even launch missiles from the same B-52, and the B-2 is unreasonably expensive for such tasks.
            1. Lt. Air Force stock 31 October 2015 21: 59 New
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              Quote: Kalmar
              Secondly, if from the very beginning we refuse to enter the enemy’s air defense zone, relying on long-range missiles, then all this newfangled stealth is out of work. You can even launch missiles from the same B-52, and the B-2 is unreasonably expensive for such tasks.

              A simple B52 will be spotted long before entering the missile launch area and sent to intercept either the MiG-31BM or Su-27M / 30SM / 35.
              1. Kalmar 1 November 2015 00: 19 New
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                Simple B52 spotted long before entering the missile launch area

                What can easily detect a B-52, but it will not see the B-2 at such ranges?
                1. Lt. Air Force stock 1 November 2015 14: 02 New
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                  Quote: Kalmar
                  What can easily detect a B-52, but it will not see the B-2 at such ranges?

                  B2 has several times less EPR, which means that the distance at which B52 is detected and B2 will differ.
                  1. Kalmar 1 November 2015 15: 47 New
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                    B2 has several times less EPR, which means that the distance at which B52 is detected and B2 will differ.

                    If we are talking about our own S-300/400 radars, then the bomber will simply not enter their coverage area. And over-the-horizon radars (say, "Wave"), allegedly, see "stealth" no worse than conventional planes.

                    Then, if the bomb carrier uses real-range missiles (4-5 thousand km), it will not be intercepted by interceptors either: there will not be enough combat radius.
        2. Zaurbek 31 October 2015 09: 32 New
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          While they will make the more inconspicuous Bomber, air defense systems will not stand still. And in general there are ballistic missiles, well, you fly by quickly, bomb the Kremlin. And they will fly .. Yars with split heads.
        3. Zaurbek 31 October 2015 09: 32 New
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          While they will make the more inconspicuous Bomber, air defense systems will not stand still. And in general there are ballistic missiles, well, you fly by quickly, bomb the Kremlin. And they will fly .. Yars with split heads.
          1. mav1971 31 October 2015 17: 16 New
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            There are no yars and their similarities anywhere except Russia, China, France, England (we do not consider India).

            All other countries can even have any air defense - at least 100% Russian air defense, American air defense, Israeli air defense, but they do not have Yars. And it is for these countries that these bombers are being built.
            1. Zaurbek 1 November 2015 14: 55 New
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              In the first place, they do not need to break through their air defense, and in the second, the B-52, 1Б and B-2 will do it perfectly.
              1. mav1971 1 November 2015 23: 05 New
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                Quote: Zaurbek
                In the first place, they do not need to break through their air defense, and in the second, the B-52, 1Б and B-2 will do it perfectly.



                Then I look back and remember that the initial attacks (on the decentralization of air defense) in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya were delivered by F117 and B2.
                and only then came the crowds of axes and B52, B1 and more ...

                and if India, Vietnam, Iran, Brazil, Argentina?
                Aircraft developed on 30-40 years in advance.
                Who in the 80 year could know that the B2 being developed would bomb Yugoslavia in 20 years?
                Or Iraq or Libya or Afghanistan?

                All of these countries in the 1980 year were friendly (or almost friendly) to the United States.
                But now 20 years have passed and the world has changed.
                And for B2, a job was found.
                But not in the sky of the USSR or Russia, for which he initially thought.

                And who knew that we would destroy targets with cruise missiles in Syria a couple of years ago?
                No one!

                So let's look at the world wider.
                It’s more useful and understandable.
                Especially when you know how to look back.
                History is our mother!
                :)
                1. Kalmar 2 November 2015 00: 48 New
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                  Then I look back and remember that the initial attacks (on the decentralization of air defense) in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya were delivered by F117 and B2.

                  Yeah, while in the same Yugoslavia, the B-2 flew accompanied by EW and F-15 aircraft, which, in general, multiplied by zero the whole idea with stealth.

                  And in Iraq and Libya, the air defense was essentially gone already, so the B-2 was apparently driven there more for the crowd: let the American taxpayer know that expensive Spirites are gathering dust at airbases for no reason.
    3. tomket 30 October 2015 13: 51 New
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      Quote: Zaurbek
      answer why is the US a new bomber? B1Б and B2 still fly and fly, they are waiting for more than one modernization. And, most importantly, for what purpose is the aircraft created?

      Why not create a new bomber jacket? There is money. minds are. will be what people take. This is called support the industry.
      1. Vadim237 30 October 2015 14: 52 New
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        Moreover, these are new engines, materials, electronic and optical equipment.
  3. Zaurbek 30 October 2015 15: 35 New
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    It's nice when the quotes are parsed!
    If the B-2 is poor, with outdated electronics, then what about the Tu-160 or Su-34? What kind of electronics do we have?
  4. NIKNN 30 October 2015 21: 19 New
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    If current plans are successfully implemented, US strategic aviation will use two types of bombers - B-2 and LRS-B. It is already noted that a promising aircraft will be significantly cheaper than existing B-2, both in terms of the cost of individual aircraft, and at the price of the entire program. According to some reports, it is planned to spend about 23,5 billion dollars on the development of the LRS-B project. In addition, the price of each such machine should remain within the 550-560 million dollars. For comparison, each B-2 cost about 1,5 billion.


    Well, I doubt it, well, I don’t believe it. Fresh food, but with difficulty. Well, we saw planes of the 5th generation f22 and f35
  5. bad
    bad 3 November 2015 14: 32 New
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    Quote: inkass_98
    Northrop Grumman also has vast experience in the development of the military budget. Another scam such as B-2 still needs to be found, with two yards of greenery per plane. Yes, for that kind of money, an aircraft carrier could have been equipped with wings and engines, and even a little soul would have remained laughingwould have washed the trough nobly. Well, cho, the F-4 flew and flies in some places, with its aerodynamics and agility. Thanks to the engines. And the ship will fly.
    It will still be interesting to see what they do.
    it’s better to look at our PAK YES and then look at their product ..