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China The Military United States Technology

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

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  • by artor3 ( 1344997 ) on Monday May 07, 2012 @08:06PM (#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.

  • by Raul654 ( 453029 ) on Monday May 07, 2012 @08:11PM (#39922223) Homepage

    "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.

  • by tsotha ( 720379 ) on Monday May 07, 2012 @09:33PM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 07, 2012 @10:31PM (#39923303)

    Because cruise missiles typically have a range of 200-600 miles. Submarines and ships can only reach 600 miles from the coast; you need a launcher on land within 600 miles of your intended target. .

    Where in the world did you get that from. As an ex submariner I can say FOR CERTAIN that submarines can get WAAY closer than 600 miles. Try maybe 6. If the water is over 50 feet deep, a sub can go there (and often does).

    Just sayin'

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 07, 2012 @11:22PM (#39923621)

    which they say is an ancient Roman and Greek salute

    That would be an accurate statement. The Nazis did not invent the salute that they used and they were quite open about the fact that they had appropriated it from the Romans.

  • by ifiwereasculptor ( 1870574 ) on Monday May 07, 2012 @11:23PM (#39923625)

    The country is doing okay.

    Too many people have little to nothing left to lose.And that number is growing despite the claims of a "recovery".

    That's not what I'd call "okay". Unless by "country" you mean the land mass or the geopolitical borders.

    Regarding the rest of your commentary, unfortunately I have to disagree.,Tthe US still has high standards of living when compared to most of the southern hemisphere. People usually tolerate way, way, way shittier conditions without revolting, so you still have a long way to fall before any sort of spark sets the country ablaze. Also, the larger the country, the harder it is to mobilize a significant group. That is part of why europeans have better political representation, on the whole (not to say that they don't fuck up royally on a regular basis, but nevertheless it's still better than the US).

  • by flyingsquid ( 813711 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @12:45AM (#39924099)
    The other issue is that cruise missiles carry a limited amount of ordnance, so they're not going to be effective against heavily fortified targets. The Iranian nuclear facility at Fordow is buried under 200 feet of mountain and heavily reinforced with concrete. To destroy a hardened target like that, you need heavy-duty weapons like the 30,000 lb. Massive Ordnance Penetrator. And to drop an MOP, you need a bomber. Right now the B-2 is the only aircraft the U.S. has that is capable of both penetrating air defenses and carrying that kind of payload, and the B-2 fleet consists of a total of 20 aircraft.
  • by Alex Belits ( 437 ) * on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @07:02AM (#39925681) Homepage

    It still constitutes an effort and resources that weren't spent on other things.

    As I explained before, they were now. In US, government has a resource "ability to print money and give them to a bunch of rich guys without tanking the value of dollar". If it printed money (well, "loaned" them) and given them to military companies to pay for their profits, it can't print more to give them to medical insurance companies for their profits, and to textbook companies for their profits -- there would be so many dollars around, they would become unusable for international oil trade. So US can have either huge military or working healthcare and education.

    In USSR everything was much simpler. Pay people salary that matches available amounts of consumer goods plus food, electricity and other living expenses for a given population. There is no "investment", so salaries will be spent on that, no point making them either higher or lower. Set mandatory standards for education, so people will be able to perform complex kinds of work, and would be bored out of their mind if they didn't have anything to do. Now, those people are your resource -- the only one that you have any chance to overuse unless you are dumb enough to run out of natural resources. Balance various kinds of industry and agriculture, and you have a stable society. That's what GOSPLAN was for -- with mathematicians working on optimization and stability.

    So yes, it would be possible for military to drain resources out of the rest of the system -- it would happen if country ran out of people for everything else. Everyone would have to live in remote, isolated military industry towns, where all such production happened, and the rest of the country would be empty. Wind would blow tumbleweed across streets of Moscow and Leningrad. Do any of you realize how stupid that is?

    There were thousands of ways to mess up USSR economy. They could miscalculate the amount of cash and mismatch it with products. They could over-emphasize infrastructure and have it unused because expansion of consumer goods production didn't keep up with it. They could over-emphasize consumer goods and overtax the infrastructure. They could underdevelop transportation and lose flexibility, thus having industry tied to established locations and require enormous effort to make any changes. They could piss off intelligentsia, lose the quality of education, and lag in industrial R&D. Many, many other things couls hurt USSR-style economy. But the idea that excessive military production did, or even could, produce enough harm to damage the economy is completely retarded. It's invention of Reagan-era US propaganda, and just like the rest of Reagan-era US propaganda, it makes no sense.

  • Re:Meanwhile ... (Score:4, Informative)

    by rich_hudds ( 1360617 ) on Tuesday May 08, 2012 @07:08AM (#39925707)
    Actually China owns about 10% of the USA's debt. Same amount as Japan.

    From Wikipedia about 47% of the debt is owned by foreign investors, the top 7 being ...

    China, Japan, Brazil, Taiwan, Switzerland, Russia, and the United Kingdom holding respectively approximately $1.16 trillion, $1.08 trillion, $230 billion, $178 billion, $145 billion, $143 billion, and $142 billion as of January 2012.

If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. -- Albert Einstein