Warplanes: September 26, 2002


What will the B-3 bomber be like, when it comes time to build it? It will probably be smaller and cheaper than the B-2, but needs to be supersonic (to spend less time in the target area) and stealthy (to survive enemy air defenses). It will probably carry a smaller bomb load, perhaps 20 of the new 250-pound Small Diameter smart bombs. The FB-22 (a stretched bomber version of the F-22 fighter) may also be built but is probably not enough to substitute for the B-3. The B-3 might be a space-traversing aircraft (spending most of its flight outside the atmosphere) and might be an unmanned design.--Stephen V Cole


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