HomeNewsArticle Display

Air Force will get new bomber, upgrades to fighters

General Ronald E. Keys, Air Combat Command commander, said the Air Force is looking to get a next-generation long-range bomber by 2018.  The command is funded for a new bomber, he said during his presentation Sept. 26 at the Air Force Association's Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition in Washington D.C.  Meanwhile, the current bomber fleet, including this B-2 Spirit, flying over the St. Louis Arch, will continue to be a mainstay in the war on terrorism.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Justin D. Pyle)

General Ronald E. Keys, Air Combat Command commander, said the Air Force is looking to get a next-generation long-range bomber by 2018. The command is funded for a new bomber, he said during his presentation Sept. 26 at the Air Force Association's Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition in Washington D.C. Meanwhile, the current bomber fleet, including this B-2 Spirit, flying over the St. Louis Arch, will continue to be a mainstay in the war on terrorism. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Justin D. Pyle)

General Ronald E. Keys, Air Combat Command commander, said the Air Force is looking to get a next-generation long-range bomber by 2018.  The command is funded for a new bomber, he said during his presentation Sept. 26 at the Air Force Association's Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition in Washington D.C.  Meanwhile, the current bomber fleet, including this B-52 Stratofortress, sitting on the ramp at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., will continue to be a mainstay in the war on terrorism.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Lance Cheung)

General Ronald E. Keys, Air Combat Command commander, said the Air Force is looking to get a next-generation long-range bomber by 2018. The command is funded for a new bomber, he said during his presentation Sept. 26 at the Air Force Association's Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition in Washington D.C. Meanwhile, the current bomber fleet, including this B-52 Stratofortress, sitting on the ramp at Minot Air Force Base, N.D., will continue to be a mainstay in the war on terrorism. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Lance Cheung)

General Ronald E. Keys, Air Combat Command commander, said the Air Force is looking to get a next-generation long-range bomber by 2018.  The command is funded for a new bomber, he said during his presentation Sept. 26 at the Air Force Association's Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition in Washington D.C.  Meanwhile, the current bomber fleet, including this B-1B Lancer, flying over the Pacific Ocean, will continue to be a mainstay in the war on terrorism.  (U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. Bennie J. Davis III)

General Ronald E. Keys, Air Combat Command commander, said the Air Force is looking to get a next-generation long-range bomber by 2018. The command is funded for a new bomber, he said during his presentation Sept. 26 at the Air Force Association's Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition in Washington D.C. Meanwhile, the current bomber fleet, including this B-1B Lancer, flying over the Pacific Ocean, will continue to be a mainstay in the war on terrorism. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Staff Sgt. Bennie J. Davis III)

WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- The Air Force is looking to get a "next generation" long-range bomber by 2018, according to the commander of Air Combat Command.

During the Air Force Association's 2006 Air and Space Conference and Technology Exposition here Sept. 27, Gen. Ronald E. Keys, the ACC commander, told reporters the command is funded for a bomber, and it likely would be put together using some of the same advanced technology currently in the B-2 Spirit, the F-22 Raptor and the F-35 Lightning II.

"We have a lot of those technologies and you put those together into something that will look much like what you know as an airplane," he said. "And you can make a next generation long range strike (aircraft.) In order to make 2018, you have to use the far end of the technology you have your hands on."

The general said the Air Force would not see the next "great leap" in bomber technology until around the 2030 to 2040 timeframe. Then, he said, the Air Force may see "hypersonic" capability -- aircraft capable of flying at a speed of about Mach 5.

For other weapons systems that use hypersonic technology, the general said the command would have to consider cost verses benefit before making a commitment to buy.

"Hypersonics are cool things, but what do I get out of it," he asked. "If I am there, with my persistent force, I can engage anything in seven minutes. If I had hypersonics, it would get me down to three minutes. But the people I want to kill can get away in the first two minutes. Am I willing to pay x billions of dollars for hypersonic weapons that don't solve my problem? Those are the harsh decisions we have to make when people come to us with great technology."

Hypersonic weapons are being researched by the U.S. military today. The weapons can travel at speeds above Mach 5 and can generally hit any target on Earth within hours of being launched. General Keys said ACC is interested in the weapons and is researching things such as the types of engines required, the kinds of metals that would needed, the kinds of rules that would be applied to their use and how weapons could be launched off hypersonic platforms.

While General Keys said he wasn't ready to commit to hypersonic weapons immediately, he did not rule them out.

"I want a hypersonic thing to do a specific thing at a price I can afford with technical risks I am willing to take," he said.

With the F-22, and with the F-35 on the horizon, the Air Force must consider when it will phase out the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon programs. For now, General Keys said the Air Force will keep many of these aircraft around.

General Keys said ACC plans to upgrade about 178 of the command's best F-15 aircraft with the electronically scanned array antennas radar. Additionally, the command plans to upgrade other F-15s with the joint helmet mounted cuing system.

For the F-16 aircraft, ACC has invested in service-life extensions and is finishing up on the common configuration improvement program for the Block 40 and Block 50 F-16s. The general said the upgrades will allow those aircraft to do suppression missions and use advanced targeting pods.

Engage

Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: Using Agile Combat Employment concepts, the @147thAttackWing transported MQ-9 aircraft/equipment over 450 miles from Hous…
Twitter
Juniper Falcon has ended. This in-person opportunity for U.S. military personnel and Israel Defense Forces to test… https://t.co/Enx1S0rI9X
Twitter
C-130 Hercules crews @374AirliftWing, Japan, helped @USArmy soldiers and @JASDF_PAO members drop from the sky durin… https://t.co/bHIdKk7yJv
Twitter
RT @GeorgiaGuard: #ICYMI: Members of the @165thAW had the opportunity to be a part of taking cadets from the Georgia Wing, Civil Air Patro…
Twitter
#ICYMI - Following guidance issued by the @CDCgov, the @DeptofDefense has directed employees working in areas of hi… https://t.co/3RUlbWvMNS
Twitter
Defenders at @EielsonAirForce Base, AK, are in a new weapons qualification course for defenders, rookies and vetera… https://t.co/jcahFIcT8J
Twitter
Excellence in all we do! https://t.co/Cp9gZucoz3
Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: Accelerate, Change, or Lose: @GenCQBrownJr's call to action for the service and how Airmen can play a key role in #innovation
Twitter
Dover AFB Airmen transported 2 CH-47F Chinook helicopters to Royal Australian Air Force Base, Townsville, Australia… https://t.co/yc1fOZc3Lr
Twitter
A Cyber Operations Specialty Training and Requirements Team conference was held recently at @81trwKeeslerAFB, Miss.… https://t.co/kXMAUz5xGd
Twitter
.@HQ_AFMC released an additional $5M in support of "The AFMC We Need" initiative, empowering #Airmen to be a drivin… https://t.co/yFRwx625C5
Twitter
RT @NORADCommand: #BTF deployments are an integral part of our globally integrated defense operations that provide left-of-launch #Deterren
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: SecAF Kendall’s message to #Airmen & #Guardians on our collective responsibility to overcome COVID-19 ⬇️ For resources…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Good enough today will fail tomorrow. #acceleratechangeorlose https://t.co/5dAU3Q9Ouy
Twitter
.@AETCommand's Tech Training Transformation team, partnering w/ @SheppardAFB, has re-engineered the foundational Cr… https://t.co/NjL2MA1iZc
Twitter
Empowered #Airmen are key to cutting unnecessary bureaucracy, recognizing and understanding our competition, and th… https://t.co/aqTk9p98nQ
Twitter
.@GenCQBrownJr signed the charter for the #AirForce's China Aerospace Studies Institute. The institute conducts r… https://t.co/PB0jNKxV4H
Twitter
Bringing the future faster! https://t.co/SuHZdRGH5t
Twitter
#ICYMI, the DAF has worked to optimize air & space capabilities in the Arctic region, supporting @DeptofDefense obj… https://t.co/rEi19ZLmjs
Twitter
Airmen and Soldiers transport a simulated patient to an Army HH-60M Black Hawk medevac helicopter during a joint em… https://t.co/EMMEQBDbyA
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,355,314
Follow Us