Military Guns and Ammunition

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This is intended for people interested in the subject of military guns and their ammunition, with emphasis on automatic weapons.

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B21 Revealed    General Aircraft topics

Started 3/12/22 by gatnerd; 3975 views.
In reply toRe: msg 11

From: gatnerd


B21 begins Taxiing:

In a seemingly appalling lack of opsec, the rear has already been photographed by a Redditor. Engines are very deeply buried, and between the two pics the plane looks pretty large. I'm hopeful the payload actually may end up a bit closer to the B2 rather than previous estimates of being a ~1/2 payload.

Either way I hope the US buys 400 of them. 

Mr. T (MrT4)

From: Mr. T (MrT4)


The plane is much smaller so 1/2 the payload seems realistic, it  larger planned numbers of a cheaper bomber are more important than its size , also , unlike B2 which actually dropped bombs while flying over the targets, B21 will likely be dropping payloads at stand of ranges. 


From: gatnerd


That comparison sketch is based on estimates from the initial release photos, I’m wondering if we may see that revised as more pics come out of the B21.

In terms of payload, I think the main advantage of a stealth bomber is that it drops bombs over the target vs having to rely on standoff missiles. Otherwise they could just use the B52 or Rapid Dragon to spam JASSM-ER.

Mr. T (MrT4)

From: Mr. T (MrT4)


You can only drop over targets when no one can shoot back.  Strike support packages for B2 over Yugoslavia were like 40+ planes doing EW , SEAD and  Fighter cover . and then bunch more Awacs ,tankers and ISR planes providing support to the support, Which means B2 was not considered survivable enough on its own. 


From: renatohm


Most guesstimates indicate that Raider will take much less payload than Spirit.

Then again, Spirit was projected back when PGM were rarely used nowaday you can hit more targets with fewer weapons.

Sure, there's no such thing as "too much payload", but it's almost sure that Raider isn't a heavy lifter.


From: farmplinker2


Uncle BUFF and Rapid Dragon for overwhelming mass, B-21 for when you need to be sneakier. 


From: Refleks


Eh. I'm in the camp that wants both.

In reply toRe: msg 18

From: gatnerd


Another shot was leaked.

In reply toRe: msg 19

From: gatnerd


Oh yeah baby, B21 is in the air:

Video of flight with sound, which really ads to the vibes

Initial lessons learned from observing the flight, as well as many more pics:

Payload basically confirmed as smaller then B2, which is a bummer:

The B-21's belly is perhaps the most intriguing part of the aircraft we saw in today's first flight. We now clearly see its primary weapons bay (more on the primary part in a moment). It is much smaller than that of the B-2, but we knew that would be the case, with the aircraft likely having less than half the B-2's weapons payload capacity. Instead of being able to carry two Massive Ordnance Penetrators (MOPs), one will likely be contained in a B-21. It is possible that the bay is even too small for the MOP, with a new, smaller deep-penetrating weapon taking its place, but that seems less likely at this time.

The bay will likely be 'smarter' and more easily reconfigurable for different weapons arrangements than its predecessor too, leveraging the aircraft's open architecture systems for easier integration of new weapons, decoys, and air-launched drones.

One major question that remains is does the B-21 have smaller secondary weapons bays, as well? This is something I have posited could (or at least should) exist to take advantage of the jet's expanded roles and new weapons available to it. These include advanced air-to-air missiles for self-defense and the Stand-In Attack Weapon (SiAW) for fighting its way into highly protected locales and defending itself in general.

  • Edited 10 November 2023 21:39  by  gatnerd

From: stancrist


What's the purpose of the cable that it is towing in the first two photos?