B-1A vs. B-1B

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Delta Force, Feb 2, 2014.

  1. Dayton Kitchens Member

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    I think he meant 37 miles per minute.

    Which means that at full on straight line speed, the B-70 would clear the blast radius of the nuclear warhead in less than two seconds.
     
  2. Pomphis Well-Known Member

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    If the blast radius is that small and the only thing to be concerned about. If I understand correctly, a B-70 would be close to it´s technical limits at full speed and use it´s fuel to cool it. How much pressure or additional heat would be enough to rupture that ? And anyway, the Bomarc used 7-10 kt. One could use larger nukes if necessary.
     
  3. Dayton Kitchens Member

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    Of course every nuclear warhead you have to waste by putting on top of a SAM is one less you have to use on the battlefield.
     
  4. Delta Force Well-Known Member

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    If you hit a bomber or missile bus before it deploys its weapons you have a return ratio higher than one (assuming it hits). The main issue is that you can't count on a single missile to hit, and you can't count on an aircraft actually flying over the site.
     
  5. FleetMac Patriotic Scalawag

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    First of all, the 37 miles per second thing was indeed a flub on my part :eek:. I meant 37 miles per minute, still more than fast enough to clear the blast radius of most nuclear-tipped SAMs with early enough detection.

    And on the missile thing, it's worth bearing in mind that standard air defense doctrine is "shoot-shoot-look", wherein one shoots two missiles off the bat and then tracks their progress in intercepting the target.
     
  6. asnys Do Not Fear the Future

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    If the US or USSR decided they needed more bombs, they could build more bombs. There are strategic and political reasons they didn't - the expense, if nothing else - but on a technical level, I don't see any major obstacles to adding another digit to the arsenals.
     
  7. brovane Well-Known Member

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    Considering the protoype B-70's both achieved Mach-3 performance with AV-2 demonstrating sustained Mach-3 performance I would say the B-70 is more than a paper aircraft. All the parts where there to make a succesful Mach-3 bomber it was just Robert "Strange" McNamara that got in the way even after funding was approved by Congress.
     
  8. Herzen's love-child rootless cosmopolitan

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    I wasn't calling the XB-70 a paper aircraft, merely the specs and claims that have been made for the mature operational B-70 that wasn't to be. An operational B-70 was a paper airplane, even if the basic airframe and engines were actually built (speaking of which, the airframe had some significant unresolved issues). The XB-70 never showed the superior performance claims (speed and altitude) over the SR-71 that FleetMac attributed to it. Although an operational B-70 eventually may or may not have. Although it's silly to compare 2 such disparate aircraft designed for different missions that only shared Mach 3 capabilities and little else.

    Incidentally, although McNamera was one of those instrumental in eventually killing the B-70 project, the project had significant opposition pretty much from day one. Even back when Eisenhower was President. He personally was very skeptical of manned bomber projects projected to not be in service until at least 10 years in the future. There were significant concerns that advances in technology would outstrip its viability. Of course budgetary issues and the ascendancy of advocates of ICBMs and SLBMs to be the key legs of what eventually became the Strategic Arms triad were ongoing strikes against a successful B-70 program as well.

    Now about that B-1A.....anyone know what became of the proposed B1R revamp of the B1B? The one that would restore Mach 2+ capabilities to the B-1 without defeating the low-altitude and semi-stealth capabilities of the B1B and even increase its loadout?
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
  9. brovane Well-Known Member

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    AV-1 one did have AirFrame issues (Limiting speed to below Mach-3) however AV-2 did solve a lot of those problems with further maturity planned in the AV-3 AirFrame. Considering the extensive flight test data on the B-70 AirFrame from AV-1 and AV-2 flights we can fairly easily project what the actual specs would be from a fully functioning B-70. Especially when you look at the planned maturity of the GE YJ93 Engine. Even if we assume a top speed of around Mach-3.1 and ceiling of around 77,000 feet. These flight characteristics are right in the same league as the SR-71. If you are saying a fully functioning SR-71 tops out at Mach-3.1 and around 85,000 feet.
     
  10. Herzen's love-child rootless cosmopolitan

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    But what should give one pause in assuming characteristics of weapons systems under development are the sorry histories of birds such as the F-111 and the F-35 which experienced changes in design parameters, performance metrics, reduced funding, change orders, procurement and policy modifications, etc.etc. that in the case of the F-35 has lead to heavier weight, reduced maneuveribility, a slower top end speed, and apparently much more (or less if you will ;)). You often wind up with something much different than what was initially invisioned. We never will know what teething problems a mature B-70 would have gone through.

    I'd also like an answer re. my question about the B-1R.
     
  11. FleetMac Patriotic Scalawag

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    Getting back to the OP for a second, the last I heard the project was still-born as of 2009. Which is a shame, as I think it would've been a welcome set of upgardes to the Bone fleet; in addition to the restoration of the (much-missed) -A's Mach 2+ performance, it would've apparently been equipped for AAM carriage. Granted, it's a sort of trade secret that bombers can be made capable of carrying AAMs, but it's more of a nudge-wink sort of thing. Furthermore, it seems to mostly be for last-ditch defense, whereas the B-1R would've been able to double as a long-range interceptor and not just a heavy bomber (esp. since the AIM-120D's performance has finally come to fruition).
     
  12. Herzen's love-child rootless cosmopolitan

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    Thanks. 2009? Wow, that sure died silently.
     
  13. Dayton Kitchens Member

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    The B-1R concept is still viable. And available.

    But right now we're in a period of

    1) Severe cutbacks to weapons systems procurement due to budget issues.

    2) The common U.S. military belief that the U.S. will NEVER again fight a major conventional war and that for the next few decades all we'll be using in drones to hit terrorists and insurgents.
     
  14. Dayton Kitchens Member

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    IIRC, most agree that the Soviets during the 1980s had the plans, technology, and means to quickly modify TU-22(26) Backfire bombers with long range air to air radars and arm them with their longest range AAMs for use against the "air bridge" of transports that would be moving U.S. soldiers to West Germany for REFORGER.

    Note, I saw a Military Channel program on future air combat (part of the Dogfights series IIRC) and in it the B-1R armed with AAMs was a force multiplier. Used to bring nearly two dozen AAMs to an air battle when U.S. forces are heavily outnumbered.
     
  15. kessock Well-Known Member

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    Which means you have to build multiple batteries at every target unless you prioritise....and then you have to put low level air defenses around the the BOMARCski site to prevent low level roll back missiles and then your start talking about the amount of money you put into defence vs offence. The B-70 was not a magic bullet. It was a very effective member of a triad and each part had it's part. The bomber part being able to be recalled and having an active brain as part of the weapons system to adjust to problems instead of a pre-programmed one just following its path even when things have changed.
     
  16. Dayton Kitchens Member

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    Even a B-70 would never cruise from the continental U.S. to a Soviet target at Mach 3.

    In all probability it would go like this during a nuclear alert.

    The bombers would leave the ground with their nuclear weapons (4-8 most likely) and to get away from the base (which would be targeted) they would accelerate to Mach 3 to put a reasonable amount of distance.

    They would then slow down to high subsonic speed, meet with a tanker and top off their tanks and then orbit as close to Soviet air space as reasonably possible (at least a few hundred miles). If sent in to attack they would gain maximum altitude and speed to penetrate the defenses along the borders and then work their way to within range of their primary target choosing the least defended vector.