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America's Next Bomber: Unmanned, Unlimited Range, Aimed At China

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the solving-world-hunger-through-total-war dept.

China 400

An anonymous reader writes "The U.S. military is developing its next generation bomber with Chinese anti-access strategy — the ability to stop any enemy force from coming to fight with things like carrier killer missiles — in mind. The new bomber will replace older platforms like the 1950's B-52, the 1970's B-1, and 1990's B-2 stealth bomber. The new bomber will sport some unique qualities. It will have an option to be unmanned, will act similar to a UAV, have better stealth capabilities, will be connected to U.S. intelligence networks to create a 'smart' battlefield environment, and have near unlimited range thanks to in-air refueling."

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And once it's connected to US military networks... (5, Funny)

WarSpiteX (98591) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921951)

It will also be a great way to take out some hacker's ex-girlfriend's house in Nevada. Damn bitch left him for a cop.

Meanwhile ... (0, Flamebait)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922179)

While USA is devoting everything it has to develop weapons designed to destroy China, the Al Queda network in Yemen is developing new underwear bomb that can't be picked up by scanners installed in airports.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-17985709 [bbc.co.uk]

Watching the anti-China mania in USA is indeed very interesting

My bet is that China doesn't even have to lift a finger for the destruction of USA - The United States will one day be destroyed by the Muslim terrorists.

Re:Meanwhile ... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39922283)

Before then, it'll be destroyed by itself, at this rate.

Not possible, Ace. (4, Insightful)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922321)

It would take the concerted effort of the majority of the world to "destroy" the USA militarily, leaving aside nukes or really good sneakiness. They have the strongest military in the world and very good logistics, and have adequate food, water, and oil supplies to sustain any war. Although industrial capacity has diminished in recent decades, a combination the military industrial complex and the U.S. auto industry means that it is still capable of the industry necessary for war. In terms of underwear bombs, the United States is so huge that while a proliferation of bombs would of course radically change life in the country, they would not destroy it.

Destruction is more likely to be wrought from poor incentive structures in U.S. government, which makes effective and necessary change very difficult.

Re:Not possible, Ace. (5, Insightful)

wisty (1335733) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922375)

Rome wasn't burnt in a day, either.

Re:Not possible, Ace. (4, Insightful)

Dekker3D (989692) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922447)

I think that's the point: they're going through their resources (and morals) so quickly out of fear of those scary muslims that they'll eventually destroy themselves in non-military ways. Rather than being conquered, they'll be rendered irrelevant by their own actions.

Re:Meanwhile ... (4, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922531)

On the other hand, the hysteria over Muslim terrorists is preventing the US from investing its time and money in competing with China (and EU, and BRIC, and the rest of our global competitors). The underwear bomb isn't going to destroy America. But forcing every traveller through the underwear bomb detectors that don't work is surely destroying America. Along with all the other colossal wastes inspired by Muslim terrorists in our insane backlash.

A few hundred $billion invested in intel and assassinations, under a new legal regime that allows legitimate, Constitutional US courts to determine that certain specific people and militias are legitimate targets, would destroy the Muslim terrorist threat. Combined with a few hundred $billion more invested in education, trade and counter propaganda in the cesspools where these terrorists fester.

But instead, we're playing head-pong over "CHINA!" "TERRORISM!", responding badly to each. Because we insist on rage and paranoid overreactions, instead of careful strategy that uses force only as a last resort, not the first and only method.

Re:Meanwhile ... (5, Interesting)

Nimey (114278) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922647)

Ayup. We collapsed the USSR by forcing them to compete with our military spending, and now we're letting guerrillas "force" us to spend money we haven't got on our military.

Bin Laden was a bastard, but you have to admire a professionally done job.

Re:Meanwhile ... (0)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922673)

The United States will one day be destroyed by the Muslim terrorists.

Maybe wetting the bed will help.

Re:Meanwhile ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39922731)

Boogeyman, boogeyman, boogeyman!!! Coward.

What's destroying the USA is cowards like yourself, ready to hand over your freedoms to keep you 0.000000001% safer. Coward.

I truly hope you don't have offspring, but if you do get ready to explain why you sold them out. Coward.

Do the rest of us a favour and just hide under your bed or wet yourself in the corner so we can go on with our lives without whining cowards like yourself. Coward.

Re:And once it's connected to US military networks (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922943)

Nah, it going to be a troop of ninja monkeys with backpack nukes.

near unlimited range thanks to in-air refueling (4, Funny)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921979)

Just like the B52...

I wonder how easy it would be to turn a B52 into a UAV? I mean, they can still send Slim Pickens along to get the bombs un-stuck, but otherwise unmanned.

Re:near unlimited range thanks to in-air refueling (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922313)

I wonder how easy it would be to turn a B52 into a UAV?

There are $55 billion reasons not to turn B-52s into UAVs

The new "Long-Range Strike Bomber" [...] just $550 million per copy for up to 100 copies, with production beginning in the early 2020s. The U.S. Congress approved the first $300 million in development funding late last year. The Pentagon has vowed to cancel the Long-Range Strike Bomber if the total projected program cost exceeds $55 billion.

Maybe they should just strip down the F-22 fleet and make them unmanned.
I bet they could do that for ~$100 million per plane.

Re:near unlimited range thanks to in-air refueling (4, Interesting)

SomePgmr (2021234) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922573)

I'm not involved in the bomber project they're talking about here, but I noticed that it looks almost exactly like the drone Boeing was fiddling with... just scaled up.

I wouldn't be surprised if this is basically a way to salvage (at least on a ledger somewhere) a huge amount of R&D costs sunk on a machine that never got bought up.

Re:near unlimited range thanks to in-air refueling (5, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922659)

Basically they are just a way to baboozle 55 billion dollars out of the US treasury with whispers in the dark of the yellow terror. With stealth cruise missiles that can be fired from land, ships, submarines and aircraft, why the hell would you stuff around with a 550 million dollar bomber whose only real purpose is to cost 550 million dollars.

You could imagine US corporations paying kickbacks to Chinese Officials to ramp up war talk and publicly advertise and exaggerate military capability. I wonder how big a bribe someone like Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Northrop Grumman would pay a few Chinese Officials to make threatening noises and to go on a militaristic marketing spree. A 10 million dollar investment out of one of those off shore tax haves, sure would, has, will go a long way to get some hostile words out of officials from China.

Besides it's in the Government of China's best interest to send the US broke by allowing the US military Industrial complex to spend trillions preparing to fight a fictitious war and with US lobbyists in the game, treasonous US politicians are right in it up to their necks.

Re:near unlimited range thanks to in-air refueling (1)

besalope (1186101) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922961)

Maybe they should just strip down the F-22 fleet and make them unmanned. I bet they could do that for ~$100 million per plane.

But skynet activates once they cross the international date line [defenseindustrydaily.com] .

Re:near unlimited range thanks to in-air refueling (2)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922981)

You can't turn an F-22 Airframe into an effective Bomber, it wasn't designed for it from the beginning. The requirements of a bomber and an air superiority fighter are vastly different.

Re:near unlimited range thanks to in-air refueling (1)

Centurix (249778) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922411)

Don't need bombs, just send the automated Slim Pickens over.

Re:near unlimited range thanks to in-air refueling (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922613)

Don't need the robot Slim Pickens either, just build the damned Doomsday device in Ohio already. Hasn't the dear Herr Doktor left some plans?

Re:near unlimited range thanks to in-air refueling (1)

Fwipp (1473271) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922663)

Why would you want to? A drone's main advantage is that they don't have to be designed to support a pilot. It's not like the pilot "costs" anywhere near as much as the plane, either.

(I'm obviously speaking from a military/logistic point of view here - any avoidable loss of human life is tragic, but the beancounters aren't known for accounting for that.)

Re:near unlimited range thanks to in-air refueling (4, Insightful)

tsotha (720379) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922861)

Actually, the pilots are very expensive. It costs millions of dollars to train a military pilot. By the time we retire the B-52, I'd hazard a guess that nearly every airframe has cost less than the military spent on the pilots that flew it over the years.

Holy Flamebait Summary (5, Funny)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921981)

Who the hell lets this shit through? The new bomber is designed to counter new strategies. That doesn't mean it's "aimed at China". That's a needlessly belligerent phrase -- either warmongering or scaremongering over the prospects of war. If England develops bullets that can pierce American body armor, will we hear about new "British Guns Aimed at America!"?

Sorry chickenhawks, but America and China won't go to war. Our economies are far too interdependent.

Re:Holy Flamebait Summary (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39922029)

Maybe it's a typo and it's supposed to say 'made in China'.

Re:Holy Flamebait Summary (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39922183)

Or possibly, given the size of the national debt, 'Paid by China'.

Spot on (1)

sgt_doom (655561) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922747)

Yes, I believe you've got it!

Re:Holy Flamebait Summary (0)

alienzed (732782) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922031)

And if they did go to war, it'd be over in a few days and nothing would be left. Also in Soviet Russia War fights you!

Re:Holy Flamebait Summary (4, Interesting)

LeperPuppet (1591409) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922065)

It's how you sell new weapons systems. This one's all about threatening China because it's hard to talk up the usefulness of $500m+ bombers against insurgencies.

Re:Holy Flamebait Summary (1)

pro151 (2021702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922121)

+10000 for your comment. Someone needs some flamebait shoved up their tailpipe.

Re:Holy Flamebait Summary (3, Funny)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922129)

Well, it *will* be aimed at China. It will also be aimed at North Korea, Iran, Russia, really any place that a) still has buildings to blow up and b) once looked at us funny.

Re:Holy Flamebait Summary (1)

tsotha (720379) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922873)

Which makes it different from other weapon systems... how?

And whoever modded this as "funny" (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39922137)

If you modded the parent as "funny", I assume that you mean in an ironic sort of way. Because, the parent is right on target - so to speak. As a matter of fact, my Taiwanese friends are under the impression that if China decides to assert her ownership of Taiwan, the US would huff and puff and wouldn't do shit about it; hence why the Taiwanese diaspora here in the US.

If you ever wanted to know what it was like to live in Rome during its decline, come to the US- we know.

Re:And whoever modded this as "funny" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39922761)

I hope you do realize that Taiwan claims both mainland China and Mongolia. Showing in this map [wikimedia.org] .

Re:Holy Flamebait Summary (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39922143)

You say that now, but how about when the godless communists stop buying our debt and have enough domestic capital to meet their own needs but lack sufficient space to grow enough food? We all know they're focused on developing international commerce with 2nd and 3rd world countries and that they're competing with us everywhere for everything. But what happens after the U.S. has quietly shrunk itself into a position where we're required to undergo the same austerity measures that have led to political revolts in Canada and France?

What then... what if the right-wing religious whackos return to their 'conservative' war-mongering roots and we put another Bush-Cheney-Wolfowitz-Rumsfeld-Feith-esque administration in possession of the oval commander-in-chief football case?

I'm not saying it'll happen next year or the year after, but what if it happens in a couple of decades when the temperature in Washington D.C. is over 110 degress farenheit during the summer recess, and the president is suffering from heat stroke while trying to learn to read Chinese?

Then what Mr. Smarty Pants!

Re:Holy Flamebait Summary (2)

realityimpaired (1668397) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922225)

Sorry chickenhawks, but America and China won't go to war. Our economies are far too interdependent.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7U7QJu_Wsbk [youtube.com]

Perhaps the first time I've ever had a chance to reference that show on this site. Yes, I haven't been paying attention. :) Good show, that... and a good point.

Re:Holy Flamebait Summary (2)

Svartormr (692822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922289)

Yes, the phrasing of the article is flamebait. The reality is for a top-end weapon system, you're going to design it to be used against the most difficult target as you project it will be over the lifetime of service. In this case, that means the toughest air defence systems, which would be Russia and China.

Re:Holy Flamebait Summary (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922421)

Sorry chickenhawks, but America and China won't go to war. Our economies are far too interdependent.

We nuked Japan. Twice. Don't assume anything.

Re:Holy Flamebait Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39922491)

you're saying China might annex large swathes of Asia for their resources?

Re:Holy Flamebait Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39922875)

You mean they already havent? If not they definitely will.

Re:Holy Flamebait Summary (3, Informative)

tsotha (720379) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922915)

From the wiki page on the Delaware class battleship:

For reasons including expected hostilities with Japan, requiring travel across the Pacific Ocean, long operational range was a recurrent theme in all US battleship designs.

Congress authorized the Delaware class in 1906, thirty five years before the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. That war was decades in the making.

Re:Holy Flamebait Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39922871)

Who the hell lets this shit through? The new bomber is designed to counter new strategies. That doesn't mean it's "aimed at China". That's a needlessly belligerent phrase -- either warmongering or scaremongering over the prospects of war. If England develops bullets that can pierce American body armor, will we hear about new "British Guns Aimed at America!"?

Sorry chickenhawks, but America and China won't go to war. Our economies are far too interdependent.

Come on now, the lefties can't all be wrong.

This sort of provocative sensationalistic headline (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39921991)

is exactly what fueled more and more propaganda on both sides during the cold war.

Re:This sort of provocative sensationalistic headl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39922061)

That's the point. IE: "Ooooh! Ooooh! Ooooh! More defense spending! Yay!"

That's fitting... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39922001)

I guess now China is paying for the long range bombers that will target it..

Seriously though, given American's very short memory and inability to learn from mistakes I dread the unspeakable crimes against humanity that a future George W Bush will perpetrate with these weapons.

What about if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39922035)

What about if the Chinese get our codes and hack our defenses like the Cylons from BSG?

Re:What about if... (2, Interesting)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922165)

What about if the Chinese get our codes and hack our defenses like the Cylons from BSG?

Then in an ironic twist, the political powers that be get a number of things they would dearly love - at the price of innocent lives. They have a "credible" threat to pursue - clearly hacking bombers is a clear act of war, they have a population that is deathly scared and willing to give up all manner of personal freedoms in exchange for perceived safety and they have an attack on their soverign soil which will motivate and infuriate the local population. They then get to enact just about every rule, law and practise that they want - all for the mere cost of innocent lives.

"You can't make an omlette without breaking a few eggs..." is a lovely expression. The real challenge here is working out whether the eggs are worth the omlette in the end. I dare say that in global politics, there are folks that think it is, and folks that think it isn't.

The US knows that it is getting a lot of bad press worldwide, that a lot of staunch supporters and backing away and that its economy is in some trouble. Historically, one of the ways it sorts some of these problems out is by going to war (whether genuinly or under pretext) but the latest few in the middle east are quickly draining public support and also the coffers. From a propaganda point of view, nothing would be better than having a ligitimate case to present to the public, and be able to cry foul in the UN against the baddies. It is much easier to sell a country as being the "good guys" if they are the ones being attacked by someone else - pushing a "We are doing this for democracy/good/their benefit" is a song that many US citizens are getting very sick of hearing when they keep seeing body bags coming back and their pensions and savings just aren't worth what they should be.

Hardware backdoors (4, Interesting)

Adeptus_Luminati (634274) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922059)

"The U.S. military is developing its next generation bomber with Chinese anti-access strategy"

That can only be achieved if there's ZERO electronic components made in China in the aircraft....Good luck with that.

Nov 2011 Article: US weapons 'full of fake Chinese parts'
Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/8876656/US-weapons-full-of-fake-Chinese-parts.html [telegraph.co.uk]

Re:Hardware backdoors (4, Informative)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922167)

No, you misunderstand the counterfeit part issue.

It's not that we're worried about hardware backdoors. No one's gonna slip a backdoor into your resistor. The few parts complex enough to hold a backdoor get made in the US.

What we are worried about is that the resistors, line drivers, relays, etc. aren't actually spec'd for the environment they'll be used in. Consumer grade electronics, for example, are generally made to work from around 0 to 70 degrees C. Military grade is something like -55 to 125 degC. If you design a plane in which your circuit will need to operate at 100 degC, and you buy parts that can handle that stress, and some cheap Chinese manufacturer gives you consumer grade parts instead, then your circuit could fail at a very inopportune time.

Re:Hardware backdoors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39922263)

Do you mean heat the unit produces or ambient heat?

Because 0-40 is the ambient heat standard on consumer grade. You'll find pretty much any piece of equipment in the range.
The military it things we produce don't even kiss 50.

Considering 70c is well done in meat, any operator using the equipment would be well cooked within an hour

Re:Hardware backdoors (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922331)

It's ambient, but it depends on the components. The numbers I gave are for things like resistors, and occasionally small ICs.

Re:Hardware backdoors (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39922759)

The 125C is typical max silicon die temperature not ambient. As for the lower end, once (and if) your hardware starts, it is not going to be that low.

Weapons components with embedded electronics do not necessarily have operators inside.

Re:Hardware backdoors (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922805)

Are you sure about that? All the parts I've worked on treat the top temperature as ambient, and die heating takes you ever higher above that. I suppose my company might just be doing it that way for the extra margin, but that seems like it would be an inconsistent approach, given variations in junction temp.

Re:Hardware backdoors (5, Informative)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922223)

"That can only be achieved if there's ZERO electronic components made in China in the aircraft" -- the Department of Defense funds the Trusted Foundry Program [trustedfou...rogram.org] for just this purpose.

Yesss! More weapons! (zomg) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39922069)

When will the U.S. begin to understand that it takes less violent energy to kill a fellow human being with a gun than with a knife?

Hold on a second... (5, Insightful)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922101)

We give them all our money and jobs, and then spend a fortune to arm ourselves against them. Something.....is.....wrong.....here.

Re:Hold on a second... (4, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922733)

Think of it from the Chinese end: "We're loaning these guys money which they're using to buy weapons that can defeat our defenses. Something is very wrong here...."

Re:Hold on a second... (4, Funny)

tsotha (720379) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922933)

When you put it that way, we look like the smart ones :)

Great. (2)

scourningparading (2633143) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922105)

Let's waste more money trying to kill one another. Our debt isn't high enough yet.

Star craft anyone? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39922115)

It will turn the battlefield into a video game. And killing people will be just as much fun as irradiating the protoss.

U.S. loves to kill things (1, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922117)

Why else would they build this thing to fight an enemy that doesn't even exist. Most likely it will be a trillion-dollar blackhole like the F-22 Fighter debacle. Do the politicians not care that the national + state debt is almost 19 trillion dollars? (almost $190,000 per household). Guess not.

 

Re:U.S. loves to kill things (3, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922219)

Anybody who thinks China isn't 'the enemy' is smoking something good (come on, share it, dude). The next set of wars will be resource wars (just like the last ones). Likely by proxy and likely 'low intensity' but they will be wars nonetheless. The chance of the US and China going full out turn-the-the-guy-into-molten-glass is pretty low (but non zero).

There will be too much competition for oil (and possibly water) in the next 50 years. We're not doing anything to mitigate growth - our economy requires growth to survive - and so does China's.

That said, the idea that we need half billion dollar UAV bombers to pound somebody's jungle into a parking lot seems a tad over the top. TFA was really just an exercise in Pentagon babble, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing....

Re:U.S. loves to kill things (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922251)

>>>Anybody who thinks China isn't 'the enemy' is smoking something good

Uh huh.
You probably think Iran is developing a nuclear weapon too. (Hint: They aren't.) As someone above said China would not attack us, because it would destroy their economy... they'd have no one to sell their products to.

Re:U.S. loves to kill things (1)

IceNinjaNine (2026774) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922341)

As someone above said China would not attack us, because it would destroy their economy... they'd have no one to sell their products to.

And when we're not their biggest consumer? Got news for ya, South America is up and coming. Keep an eye on Brazil over the next 30 years.

Re:U.S. loves to kill things (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39922349)

I'm sorry if you're retarded or enjoying being an apologist, but if I may: what other possible aim is there for their admitted enrichment activities? Their excuse of medical-grade materials is ridiculous on its face, because nobody needs that much material to stuff into a radiotherapy machine or other medical equipment. Saying they're making medical material is the same thing as a corporation's psuedo-admissions of wrong doing when they pay a fine. It's a pro forma statement meant to allow everyone to save face.

The _fact_ is that they're _developing_ a nuclear weapon. The suffix "ing" is the key, here, however. Whether the Iranian state presently intends to construct and build a weapons system capable of delivering a nuclear strike is another question entirely.

Re:U.S. loves to kill things (4, Interesting)

Frangible (881728) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922985)

Wrong. No one uses uranium to make weapons. No one. Uranium can only be used in gun-type designs which are 1) inherently unsafe and 2) extremely inefficient. When India and Pakistan developed nukes, they were full Teller-Ulam designs. If you think Iran would waste perfectly good uranium in a weapon, you're wrong. They wouldn't. They would use that uranium to breed Plutonium-239 and use *that* in a weapon. Uranium is very common, but not common enough to waste it in weapons when you can create vast amounts of Pu-239 with it.

Meanwhile, yes, the world's medical isotope supply is VERY DEPENDENT upon HEU targets. LEU is very inefficient, doesn't work for shit. So-called "anti proliferation" efforts have resulted in a near inability to generate medical isotopes to the point where if a reactor goes offline people die. And there are only FOUR REACTORS in the entire world producing medical isotopes. All are past their lifespan and running when a power-generating reactor wouldn't be allowed to. Every year they save more lives than nuclear weapons and accidents have ever killed.

I hope one of those four reactors doesn't go down when you or your family require cancer treatment or diagnostic imaging. Not like moly cows last too long.

"Well yes, we'd love to give you the best treatment for your rapidly growing cancer we can and find out where it is in your body with some nice Tc-99m, but well, a reactor went offline and due to political lobbying by anti-nuclear activists and the US state department, it will be at least 25 years until a replacement can be built. Although one probably never will be. But the chapel is down the hall and to the left..."

Re:U.S. loves to kill things (1)

s2jcpete (989386) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922367)

They would have no one to sell their products to NOW, but that is changing. They are slowly shifting from an export economy and are increasing their internal consumption. Think 30 years from now, not next week.

Re:U.S. loves to kill things (2)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922361)

U.S. loves to kill things. Why else would they build this thing to fight an enemy that doesn't even exist.

Because it lets them spend money on what are essentially make-work jobs. Nothing gets a congressman reelected quite like opening up a new factory in his district.

Re:U.S. loves to kill things (1)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922369)

I like to revisit the US Debt Clock [usdebtclock.org] (warning flash heavy) from time to time. If you add in mortgage, personal, and student loan debt it's about ~180k per person. $190k per household is just government debt (total debt per household is closer to $700k, nearly $60 trillion altogether). As for money creation 'Currency and Credit derivatives' are approaching 1 quadrillion.

Re:U.S. loves to kill things (1)

tsotha (720379) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922949)

The F-22 is not a "debacle". It does what it was designed to do, and will be very useful if we ever go toe to toe with a country that has reasonable air defenses.

Alternate strategy (1)

GryMor (88799) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922123)

Cheap solar powered very high altitude unmanned platforms that are cheaper to produce than the missile needed to shoot them down, just sitting up there until their payload is needed, be it a bomb, rocket, jammer, communications relay or recon.

How Surprising (-1, Flamebait)

aekafan (1690920) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922131)

Yet more useless military shit, while we cant even get a good universal healthcare system going for ourselves. If we are still going to be good at something, should it really have to involve killing others?

Re:How Surprising (1)

paiute (550198) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922189)

If we are still going to be good at something, should it really have to involve killing others?

Sure. I mean, it's illegal to kill yourself in many corners of this earth.

SkyNet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39922141)

The new UAVs and intelligence network will be codenamed SkyNet.

Yeah, not going to happen (1)

LeperPuppet (1591409) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922153)

Given the realities (ie corruption and incompetence) of the current Pentagon procurement system, if this project doesn't get killed it will be lucky to produce more than a handful of aircraft, at a cost of several billion dollars each.

Re:Yeah, not going to happen (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39922895)

corruption? Really? We've got more fucking oversight then is possible to produce a product under. I spend about 85% of my time on oversight and 5% managing the prime. Incompetence is a problem, but it's in the lawyer mafia that runs rampant inside the beltway.

Here we go again... (2, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922239)

The F-22 kickbacks have been paid off for a weapon that will likely never see service.

The F-35's on their way to suck at the budget teat in Canada and the US both. Planes which just happen to be ill-suited to patrolling the arctic, which is the main reason Canada wanted them in the first place, effectively making them as useless as the F-22s are for the US.

How many BILLIONS are they planning to spend on bombers to attack an "enemy" that shows no signs of military buildup or aggression THIS time?

Just how long is it going to take the world to stop feeding the military-industrial pigs that design this overpriced crap? When are our governments going to realize that you reach a point where no matter how much you've spent to date, you have to CANCEL a project because it will NEVER pay for itself nor deliver what it promised?

Re:Here we go again... (2)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922273)

In an age of cruise missiles and smart missiles launched from conventional fighters and a demand from the public that all weapons be precisely targeted to minimize "collateral damage", what's the freaking PURPOSE of a bomber in the first place? If you want to nuke them, you'd use an ICBM. If you want precise targetting, you'd use a Tomahawk or a drone.

Just what are these idiots planning to bomb?

Re:Here we go again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39922401)

Cruise missiles and smart missiles are designed to hit specific buildings at a specific point in a specific direction. VERY important when you want to blow up a building in the middle of a village without shredding half the neighbors.

On the other hand, bombing a military base is not hard. Worst case scenario; you use dumb bombs, have all of them miss and you remind the civilian population "sucks to be you, shouldn't have shacked with the military".

Re:Here we go again... (1)

s2jcpete (989386) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922455)

If you want precise targetting, you'd use a Tomahawk or a drone.

I may be mistaken, but did they not say that this would be a drone / manned capable plane which would be launching said munitions?

Re:Here we go again... (2)

mirix (1649853) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922757)

Bombers are ideal for carpet-bombing poor people with no anti-aircraft systems. Much cheaper than using guided missiles if you want to level the whole country anyway.

(well, B-52s were cheaper at least, this new boondoggle probably not so much).

I think most of the post-50's hardware is more about jerbs, kickbacks, dick waving, and elections than it is about the hardware anyway.

Re:Here we go again... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39922407)

I think "suckle at the budget teat" has more class.

Re:Here we go again... (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922417)

>The F-35's on their way to suck at the budget teat in Canada and the US both

And Australia.

--
BMO

Re:Here we go again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39922435)

Because when you start multi-billion dollar projects, several of the groups of people involved require guarantees about the completion of the project. Military contractors don't particularly rush to spool up for some massive new secret project if theres a good chance they'll be left high and drive with a bunch of expenses and no return on investment because some senator that just got elected doesn't' like the project.

So you're going to pay to finish the project regardless of its actual use in the real world, you might as well finish the project and get useful learning out of it.

Re:Here we go again... (1)

tsotha (720379) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922963)

The F-22 kickbacks have been paid off for a weapon that will likely never see service.

You realize this aircraft is already deployed, right? We hope it will never see service, just like we hope to never use nuclear arsenal. But hope isn't a plan by itself.

... and easily commanded to... (2)

dohzer (867770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922243)

... hold fire and land at an enemy military base?

Head between legs and kissing ass goodbye (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39922259)

1. we have has unlimited refueling assuming no airspace deniability since the 40's.

2. To achieve what is stated, the unstated power plant is nuclear.

3. China is trending toward consumerism and USA is "post-consumer." We would do well to solve our domestic issues, not dwell on the inevitable anarchy and war which will follow our not dealing with our issues.

4. Re-read #3

5. WAKE UP THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

Thank you.

War with China now? (2)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922287)

Like that's going to be really good for our economy or like, anyone.

I cannot fathom that there are people actually walking around with squirrel-cage driven brains that came up with this depressingly evil idea. They envision another Cold War and MAD as if it's a good thing. People like this are traitors to the US and to the entire human race.

Take your Pax Americana, chickenhawk neocons, and shove it up your collective ass.

--
BMO

Re:War with China now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39922813)

you tell em, tiger.

Sexy expensive warlike optimistim (1)

approachingZero (1365381) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922299)

Okay. These are reusable. That will be nice if there is a shooting war with China. Nice and naive. But hell, if this nation is going to borrow money from China to prop up a crony socialistic faux capitalistic economy I say embrace the irony and build these high tech wonder weapons.

Too Goddamn Expensive (3, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922479)

This plan is just a way to spend $TRILLIONS on US military/intel crony capitalists.

If the US just spent $1T on an industrial policy, and put China's neighbors in charge of their own military defense (but shared our intel), we'd have security, peace, and $TRILLIONS more. Not to mention the increased GDP and taxes from it, with a better functioning industrial system.

But that wouldn't dedicate all our money and effort to the war business. Which is the business that controls America.

It can be even cheaper (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39922507)

Next-Generation Bomber: just $550 million per copy for up to 100 copies, with production beginning in the early 2020s.

At these dollar amounts, it's cheaper to purchase one bomber, then make 99 copies yourself and just pay the fine for copyright infringement.

who comes up with this stuff? (0)

alonsoac (180192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922513)

So you are saying that the U.S. will use the money that the Chinese lends to them to produce weapons to use in some hypothetic war with China? And who will then the U.S. go next to ask for more money to pay for the war? My country does not have an army since middle of last century. I am sure we would not be able to afford having one these days so that was a great call back then.

How about spending the money on building industry and energy sources so that you don't depend so much on China and middle east oil? Then you could sell the energy tech to them for when the air is so full of greenhouse gases that noone is allowed to use fossil fuels.

We already have these... (1)

Tsu-na-mi (88576) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922533)

We already have these. They are called ICBMs.

They'll just hide in caves (0)

future assassin (639396) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922567)

and underground and pop up to shoot and kill one American at a time. Once in a while they'll get a two for one deal when an IED gets em.

We all know how this works. (2)

overbaud (964858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922583)

Step 1. USA develops it Step 2. Steal it Step 3. Rename it 'Almighty Hapiness Warrior Dragon Plan' I am sure China appreciates the US doing the R&D for them on this project.

GitS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39922619)

Jigabachi?!?

Negative in the sense department? (1)

sgt_doom (655561) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922735)

Now what kind of sense does that make? After all, China is where the bulk of that derivatives processing has been offshored to -- obviously econocide??

In other news... (1)

MpVpRb (1423381) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922809)

Defense contractor's revenue down.

Plan to introduce an exciting new product.

Gearing Up for War With China (1, Insightful)

Traiano (1044954) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922837)

I feel the drumbeat of war with China beating steadily. Its been getting louder since the fall of the USSR.

The military industrial complex that Eisenhower warned the US about is focused on China. Its using China to justify its existence. It needs China to sustain its budget. And I think it is subtly behind the propaganda that got this author to suggest the weapons development is focused on China.

We could say China has been around 60 years or 2000 years. But in either case, China has has a pretty good track record of not engaging in wars that were not within or adjacent to its borders. In 60 years the US's can make no such claim. That the US would need a bomber to strike targets in China "for self defense" is not reasonable. And suggesting that the US would be in a defensive war against China flies in the face of what we know about Chinese ambitions.
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