20:05 GMT +313 December 2017
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    Production line for the B-2 bomber, which the Air Force is seeking to replace with the LRS-B.

    US Next-Gen B-3 Bombers Could Remain in Chinese Airspace For an Hour

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    Based on the location of American military bases and the range of the aircraft, the new B-3 Long-Range Strike Bombers could remain over Chinese territory for over an hour, according to Chinese media.

    With an operative range of up to 2,500 nautical miles (almost 5,000 km) the B-3 bomber will most likely replace all current US Air Force bombers within the coming decades. That means that the US could soon be capable of flying military aircraft through Chinese airspace for over an hour.

    Theoretically, the B-3 could conduct air raids from American bases in Guam and Diego Garcia, according to calculations by the Chinese People’s Daily.

    Specific details about the B-3 are kept shrouded in secrecy, but defense experts have managed to put a few pieces of the puzzle together.

    For one, it will look different than its predecessor, the B-2 bomber. Thanks to new technological breakthroughs, the B-3 will feature an upgraded stealth design. It could, nevertheless, bear some similarities to the B-2’s fluid, streamlined appearance.

    Despite earlier speculation, the new bomber will likely be a traditional, manned aircraft. According to Forbes, the B-3 will also not feature any kind of mind-blowing new technologies.

    It will also most likely lack supersonic capabilities.

    One of the main differences with the new bombers is the payload. While the B-2 could carry roughly 40,000 pounds, the B-3 will be significantly less. Still, using modern smart bombs, the B-3 will still be capable of destroying a comparable number of targets.

    Another great feature of the US Air Force’s first information-age bomber will be its integration into various military networks, including orbital reconnaissance systems. It will likely rely heavily on its off-board systems for collecting targeting data and to generate electronic countermeasures.

    At an estimated $550 million per plane, the Pentagon believes that one hundred LRS-Bs will be enough to cover all the US long-range strike needs by 2025.

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    Tags:
    bomber, long range strike bomber, B-3, LRS-B, Pentagon, US Air Force, Diego Garcia, Guam, China, United States
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