Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Log In

A valid email is required.
Password is required.
Posted: 11/4/2001 6:30:31 PM EST
[size=4]Our Big Ol’ Bomber[/size=4] [b]A heavy duty airship is going the distance.[/b] [i]By Charles E. Miller, a retired Air Force colonel. November 2, 2001 9:00 a.m.[/i] "The B-52H models now being used to bomb Taliban and al Qaeda targets in Afghanistan entered the Air Force inventory in 1961 and 1962. The 94 B-52s left in the Air Force are the remains of a fleet of 744 aircraft, originally conceived and designed to deliver nuclear weapons against the Soviet Union. The current U.S. Air Force plans to keep these B-52s in the inventory until 2037. That would be 76 years of service — a substantial return on investment. "The B-52H can deliver a wide variety of U.S. conventional and nuclear munitions. They carry 45 to 51 five-hundred-pound "dumb bombs" and varying numbers of Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs), Joint Stand Off Weapons (JSOWs), Cluster Bomb Units (CBUs), and naval mines. Because the airplane is pretty smart, the dumb bombs can be dropped fairly close to friendly troops — within a few hundred yards. The B-52s also carry and fire Air Launched Cruise Missiles. "These planes fly 7,000 to 8,000 miles un-refueled, at five-hundred to six-hundred miles an hour. Their five person crew is trained to operate the aircraft from about 50,000 feet down to very low altitudes (at night, in tough terrain). "The media reports that B-52s have been conducting carpet-bombing raids in the vicinity of Mazar-e-Sharif and Bagrum airfield near Kabul. "Carpet bombing" is one of those terms of military art that make even uniformed planners a bit nervous. The term likely originated in World War II, when precision bombing wasn't very precise (you could often tell where the aim point was by identifying the one church steeple still standing after a raid) and when de-housing campaigns were sometimes accepted procedure. Today, many associate carpet bombing with B-52 raids against square miles of seemingly empty jungle in Vietnam. In reality, the B-52 Arc Light bombing missions in Vietnam were often very effective. "So far in Afghanistan, it appears that B-52 area bombing has been aimed at training facilities and some other garrison-like sites, perhaps with a mixture of high explosives and cluster bomb units. The attacks we have seen on the network news shows this week looked to be fairly precise, well-targeted bombing runs. In one case, I counted 14 or 15 mini-mushrooms in a row, implying that a string of emplacements, trenches, and bunkers were under attack. The Joint Chief's briefer mentioned that such capabilities could also be used against convoys. If you match up two or three B-52s in a V formation and have them drop all their bombs together in a tight box, then you have real carpet bombing. (Earlier models of the B-52 did just that, dropping 84 five-hundred-pound bombs each.) - continued -
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 6:31:08 PM EST
"The heavy bombing of the Taliban field positions, aided by significantly improved intelligence provided by on-the-ground U.S. Special Forces, should cause significant death and destruction, and set the conditions for a major ground offensive to capture the Mazar-e-Sharif area, and perhaps Bagrum airport as well. Those conditions would include significantly reduced command and control capabilities (can't ask for help; can't get help), awful logistics (especially food, fuel, and ammunition), poor and dangerous lines of communication, and significant disorientation. When coupled with the loss of Taliban artillery and tank firepower, these conditions are very favorable to the U.S. Round-the-clock, all-weather U.S. air power capable of both precise and area targeting is another very favorable condition. "It is not at all clear that the opposition forces are up to such a drive on their own; they would likely require the direct involvement of U.S. Special Forces and elements of the 10th Mountain Division and the 101st Airborne Division. The battles would be furious. The U.S. would have logistic, firepower, mobility, and night-fighting advantages. The Taliban could have the advantages of terrain and desperation. They will most certainly use their own countrymen as shields in some fashion. In the end, they will lose Mazar-e-Sharif and Bagrum. The U.S. would have the distinct disadvantage of conducting complex military operations in conjunction with an unfamiliar partner. "Such a win would put enormous pressure on the Taliban both politically and militarily, giving the U.S. a base of operations within Afghanistan proper — a huge military advantage. Of course, that "base" would have to be protected; it ought to draw significant Taliban counter-attacks, both conventional and unconventional. Such an area would also draw tens if not hundreds of thousands of refugees who would need to be fed, clothed, housed, and policed. Possession of such a "base" would greatly enable U.S. efforts to defeat the Taliban and to find and destroy the al Qaeda terror network and its leader Osama bin Laden." [url]http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-miller110201.shtml[/url] Eric The(Amazed)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 6:36:23 PM EST
A few photos of the B-52 Stratofortress: [url]http://www.boeing.com/defense-space/military/b52-strat/b52photos.htm[/url] But there's gotta be better pics out there somewhere! [>]:)]
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 6:43:19 PM EST
You mean pics like this? [img]http://www.af.mil/photos/images/bombers_b52_0008.jpg[/img]
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 6:46:41 PM EST
Yes, that will do quite nicely. Thank you![>]:)]
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 7:02:10 PM EST
I couldn't help but draw a comparison between the B-1B's Bomb Load and the B-52's. Two differences , the B-1B's seems to spit its bombs out at a much higher rate then the B-52s. As evidence I have seen a B1-B drop its entire bombload in about 5 seconds. As oppossed to a B-52's much longer time. The B-1B's have a rotating mechanism which I guess gives the ordanance guys a method of using strike speed and desired bomb density to set a speed of bomb release in the B-1. This is supposition on my part, can anyone give anymore information. I have been wondering. The B-1's release mechanism is like a Revolvers chambers. Bombs on top are loaded into the sytem and released at the bottom. The chamber rotates it appeared?? that the bombs were sling-shoted out of the bombay?? Benjamin
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 7:04:33 PM EST
Or are there just many Chambers which means you don't have to load the bombs each one at a time? Land hoist down empty revolver chambers and hoist up new ones full of bombs? I guess that makes much more sense?? Benjamin
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 7:14:22 PM EST
The B1 be a bear to load with conventional bombs. Understand the mechanized loading apparatus is also unreliable. The B-52's seem to be doing their usual fine job of hauling bombs by the ton. Don't forget guys - we no longer carpet bomb. We bomb in "long sticks."
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 7:21:46 PM EST
Originally Posted By 5subslr5: The B1 be a bear to load with conventional bombs. Understand the mechanized loading apparatus is also unreliable. The B-52's seem to be doing their usual fine job of hauling bombs by the ton. Don't forget guys - we no longer carpet bomb. We bomb in "long sticks."
View Quote
That was the reason that they had to sit out the Gulf War. But I thought they fixed that, they were using B1's with dumb bombs the first couple weeks of the bombing. Dont really know why they stopped this time.
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 7:38:04 PM EST
Originally Posted By Green_Furniture: You mean pics like this? [img]http://www.af.mil/photos/images/bombers_b52_0008.jpg[/img]
View Quote
OOOOooooh, thats......gonna leave a mark! [:D]
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 7:58:55 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/4/2001 11:25:44 PM EST by a2carbine]
Can I get one of these things? I think you could say it's an AOW[:D] I would live in it,show some of these guys here in the south what a real house on wheels is all about[):)]
Link Posted: 11/4/2001 8:16:37 PM EST
Link Posted: 11/5/2001 12:38:36 AM EST
Link Posted: 11/5/2001 3:15:45 AM EST
The above pic came from www.af.milphotos. Someone had posted that when the 'war' started and I took notice 'cause I thunk it was purty.
Link Posted: 11/5/2001 3:19:34 AM EST
I guess old BUFF is going to soldier on forever. Check out Dale Browns series of fictional books about what the B-52 was and could be in the future in a series that starts out with "Flight of the Old Dog." Does the load of a B-1 compare to a B-52's? Also saw a 52 do a flyby at an airshow two weeks ago, still an awesome sight.
Link Posted: 11/5/2001 5:21:55 AM EST
Speaking as a B52G piot, "Flight of the Old Dog" was pure awful. Amaturish crap. Re: the first post, last time I was in a B252H, it had a crew of six. Pilot, Co-pilot, Naviguessor, Radar Nav (Bombadier), Electronic Warfare Officer and Gunner (who sits up front since the F model).
Link Posted: 11/5/2001 5:29:18 AM EST
I can still remember sitting on Guam in 1966, (going home) and the B52's taking off for Viet Nam to do their thing. Pretty awesome sight. John
Link Posted: 11/5/2001 5:54:21 AM EST
The article mentioned 94 left of 744. What happened to the rest. I know some were lost in the Vietnam conflict, and a few must have crashed in the past. Just curious if there are more in mothballs that could be brought back.
Link Posted: 11/5/2001 6:17:23 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/5/2001 6:13:32 AM EST by Norm_G]
Sixteen were lost in VietNam. Two to a mid-air collison and fourteen to SAMs. None to conventional ground fire, none to small arms fire, none air-to-air. There were three A models made, two cut up for scrap. One preserved. Bs & Cs were the big numbers in the fifties, most cut up for scrap, a few in desert mothball state at Davis Monthan in Arizona. D models were the ones typically used over VietNam that you see on TV. They had the "big belly" mod that let them carry up to 108 mixed 500s & 750s in the bomb bay & under the wings. They were stationed at Utapao in Thailand & Guam, "Where America's Day Begins". Most of those are stored at Davis Monthan, the rest cut up for scrap. The few Es were upgraded to Fs (fifteen total IIRC) and were only used for initial crew training at Castle AFB in California. Not sure what their present status is. G models were also used over VN, but only out of Guam. They didn't carry nearly as many bombs as the Ds. One visual difference the Fs & prior had a taller, pointier, "shark fin" tail. The G's & H's tails were cut down some twenty feet and look blunt by comparison. Some Gs remained on nuke alert during VN, as did all of the Hs. Gs have all (I think) been retired to Davis Monthan. A visual difference for the H is the "collar" around the front of the engine nacelles to accomodate the TF-33 turbofans. Gs & before had varous J57 turbojets. Gs & earlier had quad fifties in the tail, Hs have 20mm Gatling guns. Fs & earlier made the gunner sit in the back, at the base of the rudder, facing backwards in his own cockpit. Gs & Hs let him up front with the rest of the guys, but he still had to sit facing backwards, as did the Electronic Warfare Officer. Several MiG were shot down by B52s, IIRC all by D models. One D that we had for a while at Griffiss had three MiG sihlouettes painted on it, near its guns. Edited to be able to add up to sixteen.
Link Posted: 11/5/2001 7:09:54 AM EST
About the B-1 (Bone): The Conventional Weapons Module DOES NOT ROTATE. It carries 28 Mark 82s (nominal 500 pounders) in two sets of 14. The bombs are interlaced, and sequencers have safeties to prevent bombs from dropping if the bombs blocking them "hang up". It takes around three hours to service and reload EACH of the three CWMs after a strike, unless three crews work in all three bays at once. The original planned conventional bomb load was 128 internal Mark 82s and 44 EXTERNAL Mark 82s on the eight external ordnance hardpoints. The hardpoints were designed to carry 14 cruise missiles. (Six sets of two, and two singles.) Scott
Link Posted: 11/5/2001 4:19:04 PM EST
Nice "wallpaper" picture. Jay Arizona
Link Posted: 11/5/2001 4:26:46 PM EST
Originally Posted By DScottHewitt: About the B-1 (Bone): The Conventional Weapons Module DOES NOT ROTATE. It carries 28 Mark 82s (nominal 500 pounders) in two sets of 14. The bombs are interlaced, and sequencers have safeties to prevent bombs from dropping if the bombs blocking them "hang up". It takes around three hours to service and reload EACH of the three CWMs after a strike, unless three crews work in all three bays at once. The original planned conventional bomb load was 128 internal Mark 82s and 44 EXTERNAL Mark 82s on the eight external ordnance hardpoints. The hardpoints were designed to carry 14 cruise missiles. (Six sets of two, and two singles.) Scott
View Quote
Damn that's a lot of bombs.
Link Posted: 11/5/2001 4:49:53 PM EST
Man, that's sweet!!
Link Posted: 11/5/2001 4:58:10 PM EST
Can anybody confirm the rumor I heard that the B-52's and large concentration of nukes at Barksdale AFB in Louisiana and Exxon made it 3rd on Russia's nuclear hit list?
Link Posted: 11/5/2001 8:50:40 PM EST
What a shame the AF couldn't send all of 'em in formation on a raid. dropping their bombs in unison. Just the sight of all the contrails would let everybody on the ground know we mean business! And the impacts would make believers out of 'em, too. Oh, well.......this ain't WW2
Link Posted: 11/5/2001 10:24:27 PM EST
Post from subvertz -
Can anybody confirm the rumor I heard that the B-52's and large concentration of nukes at Barksdale AFB in Louisiana and Exxon made it 3rd on Russia's nuclear hit list?
View Quote
Absolutely! It's the HQ of the 2ndSAC and we used to go there all the time when I was in High School in Shreveport (C.E.Byrd!Yea!). There was a 'second' base within Barksdale AFB, it was called 'Bossier Base' and it was made up of nothing but hardened bunkers where all the nukes were stored. Talk about restricted! Once you got onto Barksdale, you had to pass by 'Bossier Base' to get to the 'reservation' (lake). When driving by that base, it was hands on the wheel, look straight ahead, and don't even think of slowing down for any friggin reason at all. If you had a flat tire, just drive on the rim until you got past the base! There was no doubt in anyone's mind that Barksdale AFB was in the 'top ten' of Soviet first-strike targets! Funny part was that civilian evacuation routes for Shreveport used I-20 as the main escape route going East, right past, you guessed it, Barksdale AFB! Eric The(Even30YearsLater,ItStillGivesMeTheChillsT­oRememberLivingNextDoorToGroundZero!)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 11/6/2001 1:18:24 AM EST
here is a pic of a buff with all the goodies ready to be loaded. http://www.geocities.com/crash0129/wonthetoss.jpg time to let the big dogs eat.
Link Posted: 11/6/2001 2:58:11 AM EST
[url]http://www.geocities.com/crash0129/wonthetoss.jpg[/url] Now, [b]that's[/b] a very nice picture and caption! [>]:)]
Top Top