B-21 Raider musings after hearing Joerg's audio

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Message posted by Smythers on August 27, 2019 at 9:08:17 PST:

Dear Joerg,
I would like to say a massive thank you for your audio taken from *that* test over Groom lake - It has finally given me the last piece of the jigsaw needed to answer a burning question I have had since the 1990s.

* For those not familiar with the pathway to the LRS-B aka B-21, have a read on the link below and then come back.

This next quote is important "USAF officials identified the new bomber as having top-end low-observability characteristics with the ability to loiter for hours over the battlefield area and respond to threats as they appear."

And once that audio recorded by Joerg hit my ears? The penny dropped as to why the NGB was really shelved and turned into a 'family of systems.'

They had cracked one of the very reasons why QUARTZ et al were deemed too risky even though it was a really, really badly needed capability (And yes I am aware of it being canned in early 90s after the fall of the Soviet Union but the need never went away) - What have they cracked? Communications. For QUARTZ and the other TIER 4 UAV there were no high speed high bandwidth secure LPI (Low Probability of Intercept) comms that allowed rapid real time command and control of the airframe whilst allowing high speed full motion video to be sent back from inside a contested region.

It was all too limited and too risky.

Fast forward to the late 90s / early 2000s and UVHF datalinks were coming online, but still you had a small link, stovepipe video feed and these UAV absolutely cannot operate inside a highly aggressive electronic warfare environment. RQ170 into Iran is all we needed to see to realise that.

Enter HAVE LACE / ORCA / FALCON / and 'other projects' that introduced what? MIXED HIGH SPEED LASER / RF COMMS.

Then roll in from stage left: The 'Family of Systems' that is hauled up into the light & the NGB cancelled as there is now no need for a stand alone - Now a family of four is born. A bomber, a missile, a skip boost glide recon / prompt global strike vehicle and the loitering VVLO UAVs. Why? Because the ability to operate at all times inside even the heaviest denied access environments in full absolute total RF silence has been achieved.

We are not going to be getting a 'cheaper option'in my opinion - this was misdirection! No, the need for a one platform to do it all was washed away by the success of aircraft to satellite / aircraft to aircraft / aircraft to ground LASER communications at ultra high bandwidth in the gigabytes per second region.

These high speed links were perfected with submerged vehicles many years ago - The tests off the coast were the origins of many a 'UFO shining lights into the sea' report to the Navy and Coast Guard. But I digress.

The B-21 is not an incremental step - It is revolutionary. Not only are we now down into the -70dB region (This was the numbers asked of from a certain company during the X-47B work up effort), we are in the age where the Pentagon can have real time speed of light, LPI unjammable and near impossible to intercept comms that leap frog past even the very best High Frequency electronic capabilities. They don't need to worry about sending five or six airframes into a fight and them getting rumbled by comms. No. They will be able to talk as much as they need and remain totally covert.

Proof? Well, I took a swan dive into the more esoteric corners of defence academia over the last few days, made some phone calls, and I have as much satisfaction as to my conclusion as I am ever going to get until the 'Made in Plant 42' B-21 rolls out (As I am sure they will never allow us a view of the two that were made at Groom. These birds I have a sneaky feeling are very special and Northrop will want to keep the tweeks done to the intake / wing and cockpit out of public eye.)

"Do you see.."

Yes, I see it clearly now. The Raider is going to be one hell of a dangerous beast, hunting in total RF silence and still seeing more of the battlefield than anything that has ever flown before it & reporting what it sees in beams of light firing off out into the heavens above.

Well done Northrop - Well done.

*Now the optical turret upgrades to NT-43A make sense. They are sniffing out the signatures of these laser turrets as they send out their data. The NT-43A balls were too large for pure IR / FLIR readings, there had to be another reason became very clear once I heard that audio. They are testing the airframes 'stealthiness' when pulsing out their comms.

** Airborne Networking in a Coalition Environment (Northrop Grumman) is a great place to start looking into all of this & work backwards.

*** Aoptrix technologies really have mastered this capability.

**** RQ-180 still in the shadows makes perfect sense. Who wants to unveil a UAV with funny windows all over the upper surface? That would really start people asking questions.

Attached link: https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Next-Generation_Bomber


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