The LRS-B is going to be a disaster:
Its powerful radar, when combined with long-range missiles, could give the bomber another new role: interceptor, a role traditionally given to smaller, more maneuverable fighter jets.
Some have argued that the new bomber should be able to shoot down aircraft, something today’s bombers cannot do, in order to give its aircrew an extra layer of protection.
“This has not been a significant hindrance to U.S. air campaigns waged over the past two decades against opponents with limited air defense resources,” airpower analyst John Stillion wrote in a Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment report earlier this year. “Nevertheless, they would face significant operational limitations if called upon to attack targets guarded by a capable, competent enemy fighter fleet that lay beyond the effective combat radius of modern fighter aircraft.”
When you’ve decided that your sexy new bomber is going to be a spy plane, a battle manager, and wireless hotspot, and a fucking interceptor, you’ve pretty much settled on building 25 of an expected 100 plane buy.
Brought to you by the United States Air Force.