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The National Interest: as the B-21, B-2 and B-52 will be able to bomb Russia and China

A few days ago, official Washington published a new Nuclear Posture Review, which deals with various issues in the field of US security. Among other topics, the document mentions projects of a promising long-range bomber and new weapons for it.. The American edition of The National Interest studied the available information and, based on it, tried to compose the current picture.. The topic of his new article was promising means of destruction., which will have to be used by American long-range aviation in the distant future.

An article under the traditionally flashy title "How America Plans To Make Sure the B-21, B-2 and B-52 Can Bomb Russia or China» (“How America is going to be sure, that B-21, B-2 and B-52 will be able to bomb Russia and China ") was written by regular contributor Dave Majumdar. It was published 7 February in The Buzz and Security, and without reference to a specific region. The title of the article does not fully reveal its topic., since of all aspects of the use of long-range aviation, only the topic of new ammunition is considered.

The National Interest: как B-21, B-2 и B-52 смогут бомбить Россию и Китай

His article D. Majumdar begins with a reminder of the current plans and their consequences.. He points out, that long-range bomber Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider, has not yet managed to get out of the design stage, ultimately should become the backbone of the air component of the American strategic nuclear forces. Nevertheless, even B-21, despite the newest developments in the field of stealth, will eventually lose its potential to break through the enemy's air defense. Russia and China will continue their work in the field of air defense systems, and therefore the B-21, over time, is unlikely to be able to penetrate the protected area with impunity. In this regard, the Pentagon is now developing a new Long-Range Stand-Off cruise missile. (LRSO), which will become the "companion" of a promising bomber.

The author goes on to quote from a recent Nuclear Posture Review., revealing the plans of the American military department in the field of strategic aviation weapons. The document indicates, that the LRSO project is intended to ensure the ability of bombers to use strike weapons, capable of solving tasks in conditions of the enemy's use of developed air defense. Such weapons in the future will maintain the combat effectiveness of aircraft at the required level..

The new air-launched rocket, as the author notes, will also be able to contribute to the preservation of the fleet of existing long-range bombers. Until a certain time, the basis of such an aviation grouping will remain the "ancient" aircraft of the Boeing B-52 family in number 46 units and 20 newer Northrop Grumman B-2A. This situation will continue until then., until the troops receive enough new B-21s.

Nuclear Policy Review indicates, that the rearmament of strategic aviation with Long-Range Stand-Off missiles is critical in the context of ensuring sufficient effectiveness of bombers. This will allow you to maintain the desired potential even in the context of the development of the air defense of a potential adversary., and will also increase the flexibility of the use of aviation. In particular, LRSO missiles will allow old B-52H aircraft to remain an effective element of strategic nuclear forces and maintain combat capabilities in case of unforeseen technical or geopolitical problems.

Long-range bombers B-52 and B-2 still maintain the required combat effectiveness, but the defenses of a potential enemy do not stand still. The development of air defense systems leads to an increase in their capabilities and turns out to be a serious conclusion for strategic aviation. As a result, the U.S. Air Force needs a new bomber..

D. Majumdar cites Nuclear Posture Review again. This document stated, that the continued improvement and proliferation of air defense systems, coupled with the gradual obsolescence of the B-52H and B-2, as well as ALCM missiles led to the need to create new aircraft. All these factors became prerequisites for the launch of the development program., construction and deployment of a next generation bomber called the B-21 Raider. According to the Survey, in the mid-twenties, the first aircraft of this type will have to enter service. First, they will supplement the equipment used in the troops., and then replace it.

However, the not yet created B-21 bomber is already facing certain problems in the context of combat use. This has been said repeatedly in the past by US military officials.; the same topic is raised in the latest Nuclear Posture Review. Even the improved and perfect B-21 will not in all cases be able to break through the developed echeloned air defense system of a potential enemy.. Over time, this problem will become more and more urgent..

D. Majumdar reminds, that the B-21 Raider bomber is actually being built as part of a larger strike system, including various means and samples of equipment. Together, all elements of such a system will be able to penetrate the protected area and destroy the specified targets.. In this case, the Long-Range Stand-Off missile, included in the B-21 ammunition, will, including, means of ensuring subsequent strikes of tactical or strategic aviation.

The Nuclear Policy Review also indicates, that the B-21 will be able to use not only LRSO missiles. It will be possible to place free-fall bombs or other weapons in the cargo bay of such an aircraft.. At the same time, the greatest combat effectiveness will be achieved precisely with the use of promising cruise missiles..

According to existing plans, The "debut" of a promising aircraft in the air force should take place in the middle of the next decade. Most of the information about the B-21 program is still classified, but already now, as noted by the author of The National Interest, we can say that, that the pace of its implementation is far from the desired. The project may face certain problems in the context of graphics.

According to the Nuclear Posture Review, delays in work on the B-21 theme or on advanced weapons, designed for this aircraft, reduce the potential of the United States Air Force. These problems, first of all, will limit the possibility of long-range aviation in breaking through enemy air defense. Besides, the choice of options for action in certain conditions will be limited. Finally, the ability of the American army to send "visible signals of deterrence" to a potential adversary will be under attack, what strategic bombers are best suited for.

After reviewing the latest data, cited by official sources, Dave Majumdar draws conclusions. he believes, that the Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider program is important to the security of the United States. must, that this project will be a success and lead to the desired rearmament of the air force. Even if the project requires extreme stress and a lot of effort from the Air Force, it should be completed.

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Статья «How America Plans To Make Sure the B-21, B-2 and B-52 Can Bomb Russia or China "once again raises the topic of promising American projects B-21 and LRSO, and re-examines their importance for the development of the US military in the desired direction. At the same time, it takes into account the latest official reports on two projects., published as part of a voluminous nuclear policy paper.

Conclusions D. Majumdara, based on known and new data, evident. Received new B-21 Raider bomber and LRSO missile, the United States Air Force will retain the ability to break through a developed layered air defense of a potential adversary, including with a backlog for the distant future. If a promising project does not end in luck, then the American army will face serious problems and lose some of its strike potential. For this reason, according to the author, work must be completed without regard to difficulties and problems.

curious, that the title of the article mentions hypothetical strikes against targets in Russia and China. In the publication itself, but, this topic is raised only indirectly. The topic of target attack is repeatedly raised, covered with a developed air defense system, but who they belong to is not specified. However, known information about air defense construction programs leaves no doubt and makes you remember the flashy headline.

Recall, the current plans of the Pentagon provide for the development and launch of serial production of the promising long-range bomber B-21, actually representing a variant of the further development of already known ideas. The basic concept of this aircraft is based on modified ideas from the existing B-2 aircraft.. Like its predecessor, the new B-21 will have to covertly go into a given area and launch missiles or drop bombs. In this case, its main targets will be air defense objects.. Suppression of anti-aircraft systems will ensure safer operation of other attack aircraft.

The contract for the creation of the B-21 project was signed in October 2015 of the year. To date,, According to various sources, development company Northrop Grumman managed to do some work, but in general, the project is still far from completion. The construction and testing of the first experienced bomber is still attributed to the first half of the twenties.. By the middle of the decade, it is planned to build and transfer the first serial machines of a new type to the customer..

In mid-January, the command of the American Air Force announced a possible shift in the timing of the work.. At that time, there was disagreement among Congressmen on the future defense budget.. Excessive activity of supporters of reducing spending on the army could lead to a decrease in spending on promising projects. among other things,, the result of this could be a slowdown in work on the B-21 bomber with a certain time shift.

One of the main weapons of the B-21 Raider aircraft should be a Long-Range Stand-Off cruise missile (LRSO). Work on this weapon started at the beginning of this decade., but still haven't reached the last stages. So, it was originally supposed to start designing a rocket in 2015 year, but for a number of reasons, the timing of the start of development has shifted. The preliminary study of the project lasted until 2017 of the year. Only in August last year were signed contracts for the creation of preliminary projects.

According to agreements from 24 August 2017 of the year, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon before 2022 years will have to develop and present their versions of a promising cruise missile, after which the Pentagon will choose the most successful. All necessary research and development work is planned to be completed within the next decade. Not later 2030 of the year, the US Air Force plans to receive the first production LRSO missiles.

In terms of a tactical niche, the LRSO missile will replace the existing AGM-86 ALCM. At the same time, a promising product will have the most serious advantages.. The current ALCM can only be used by B-52H bombers., while the LRSO project provides for full compatibility with existing B-2A machines and promising B-21 Raider.

Both promising projects are still at the stage of shaping their appearance and developing technical documentation.. Besides, most of the information about them is still classified. The bomber developers have already published its image., and also clarified some technical characteristics. The exact information about the rocket for the new aircraft has not yet been provided..

Like any other promising projects, B-21 Raider bomber and Long-Range Stand-Off cruise missile programs face specific challenges. Moreover, such projects relate to the field of strategic weapons., and therefore are of particular importance for national security. As noted at the end of his article, D. Majjums, these projects must be completed in any conditions, even if they require a special effort.

The article "How America Is Going to Be Sure, that B-21, B-2 and B-52 will be able to bomb Russia and China ":
http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/how-america-plans-make-sure-the-b-21-b-2-b-52-can-bomb-24398

Author: Kirill Ryabov