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Subject: Robert Gates endorese B-3(formerly 2018 bomber) to counter Chinese threat
SlowMan    9/16/2009 10:47:01 PM
< > Robert Gates has given his endorsement of 2018 Bomber, now being called B-3, to counter Chinese threat. So let me get this straight, the US needs a brand new bomber to face Chinese threats but not F-22? Is there supposed to be a F-22 replacement cooking somewhere in Pentagon?
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StobieWan       9/17/2009 5:23:32 AM
Well, they *have* the F22 - and in at least some quantity. Basically the F22 doesn't have the range to make much difference in a war with China - but  the B2 wasn't built in anything like the numbers needed to really tip a war with a country with a solid integrated air defence and a lot of space (China and Russia for instance)
So, Gates is (quite sensibly I think) pointing out that the US needs some long ranged, deep strike capability in numbers.

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LB    B-3   9/17/2009 7:36:17 PM
The USAF does not know what it wants yet and I believe has been given some money to start conceptual studies and was directed by Gates a few months ago to start over and seriously think about what it needs.
So Gates is not endorsing anything.  He's playing politics in supporting the USAF coming up with a requirement that he will not have to worry about funding anytime soon.
Whether the B-3 is a heavy (B-1/2/52) or a medium bomber (F-111) is at this point a total unknown.  Once upon a time there were plans for an a stretched FB-22.  Twenty years ago we canceled the A-12.  My personal opinion is that the USAF brass will end up with a requirement for a true medium bomber that is significantly stealthy and then not require it to have a long enough range or loiter capability. 
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cwDeici       9/18/2009 12:48:46 AM
I'd rather the West have a proper space program rather than butchering it up like a cheerleader in a horror flick, but oh well. Hope it doesn't get mini-sized.

OK, I've sent in a petition to have Bluewings removed from the forum for aggravated trolling (flames, unsubstantiated statements and outright falsities reducing the quality of the board consecutively for years). Regardless of whether you find him entertaining or not I encourage you to a great degree to join this measure.

I was actually starting to see reasonable conversations about the Rafale and other topics on French matters until he reappeared.
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SlowMan       9/18/2009 10:56:21 AM
@ LB
> Whether the B-3 is a heavy (B-1/2/52) or a medium bomber (F-111) is at this point a total unknown.

A medium bomber, since Robert Gates' endorsement is conditional in that it must be affordable.

We are basically looking at an F-111 sized stealth bomber with two F135 engines and 8 2,000 lbs JDAM load.
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