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The bomber’s weapons bay could end up being more of a mission payload bay, with surveillance, communications, drone or electronic warfare packages loaded inside to facilitate a variety of missions. The Raider is on the path to being America’s first multirole bomber.

轰炸机的武器舱最终可能更像是一个任务有效载荷舱,内部装有监控、通信、无人机或电子战装备,以便于执行各种任务。 "突袭者"即将成为美国第一架多用途轰炸机。

On October 27, 2015, nearly thirty-four years to the day after Northrop Grumman was awarded the contract to develop the first stealth bomber, the U.S. Air Force awarded Northrop a contract for a new bomber: the B-21 Raider. While many of the details of the Raider are shrouded in mystery, we do know a few things about it, and can infer others.

2015年10月27日,距离美国诺斯洛普·格鲁门公司获得研发第一架隐形轰炸机的合同已经将近34年了,美国空军授予诺斯罗普公司一份新型轰炸机合同: B-21突袭者。虽然许多关于突袭者的细节都笼罩在神秘之中,但我们确实知道一些关于它的事情,并且可以推断其他的事情。

The B-21 Raider bomber takes its name from both the twenty-first century and the legendary 1942 raid by Gen. James “Jimmy” Doolittle’s force of B-25 Mitchell bombers against targets in and around Tokyo, Japan.

B-21突袭者轰炸机的名字来源于二十一世纪,以及1942年詹姆斯 “吉米”· 杜利特尔将军的B-25米切尔轰炸机部队,对日本东京及其周边地区的目标发动传奇性突袭。

A tailless, batlike aircraft, the official rendering of the B-21 Raider released by the Air Force bears a superficial resemblance to the B-2 Spirit bomber. There are important distinctions, however. The B-21 moves its engines closer to the wing root, where they occupy the juncture between wing and fuselage, whereas the B-2’s twin pairs of General Electric F118-GE-100 engines are distinctly apart from the fuselage on the wing. The Raider’s engine air intakes are angled and not serrated like those on the B-2 Spirit. The Raider also has overwing exhausts to mask the infrared signature of the four engines, unlike the B-2. (Interestingly, this is exactly how the B-2’s exhausts were depicted in an April 1988 artist’s conception of that bomber.)

空军发布的B-21突袭者是一架无尾的,类似蝙蝠的飞机它与 B-2幽灵轰炸机表面上有相似之处。 然而,有一些重要的区别。 B-21发动机靠近机翼根部,处于机翼与机身之间,而 B-2的通用电气F118-GE-100双对发动机明显与机身分开。 掠袭者的引擎空气进气口是有角度的,不像 B-2幽灵上的那样有锯齿。 不同于B-2,掠袭者引擎的机翼排气口可以屏蔽四个引擎的红外信号。



The aircraft appears similar in size to the B-2 Spirit, almost certainly making it a four-engine bomber. The announcement of Pratt and Whitney in 2016 as a B-21 subcontractor narrows down the new bomber’s engines to two designs: the F-100 and the F-135. The mature F-100, which powers the F-15 Eagle series of fighters, seems a sound choice, but the Air Force may want the F-135, which powers the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, for its growth potential and ability to lower engine costs for the F-35 fleet.

这架飞机大小看起来和B-2幽灵相似,几乎可以肯定它是一架四引擎轰炸机。 2016年,普拉特和惠特尼公司宣布成为B-21的分包商,这使得新型轰炸机的发动机只有两种: F-100和 F-135。 为F-15鹰式系列战斗机提供动力的成熟的F-100似乎是一个合理的选择,但空军可能希望获得为F-35联合攻击战斗机提供动力的 F-135,因为它具有增长潜力并能降低 F-35发动机成本。

Like its predecessor, the B-21 Raider will be a heavy strategic bomber designed to carry both nuclear and conventional weapons. If the B-2 is of similar size, it follows it will carry a similar amount of ordinance. This means two bomb bays. In order to keep costs down, the Air Force may elect to reuse the Advanced Applications Rotary Launcher from the B-2 bomber. The AARL is fitted one per bomb bay, each capable of carrying eight bombs or missiles.

像它的前身一样,B-21突袭机将是一个设计用来携带核武器和常规武器的重型战略轰炸机。 如果与 B-2尺寸相似,那么它将携带类似数量的武器。 这意味着需要两个炸弹舱。 为了降低成本,空军可以选择重新使用 B-2轰炸机先进的应用旋转发射器。 发射装置每个炸弹舱配备一个,每个可携带八枚炸弹或导弹。

In the nuclear mission, the Air Force will arm the B-21 with the Long-Range Stand-Off (LRSO) missile, the next-generation stealthy nuclear cruise missile. It will also carry B-61 free-fall nuclear gravity bombs, particularly the new B61-12 bomb. A combination of these two weapons will allow the B-21 to use its stealthy cruise missiles to clear a path through the enemy air-defense network before dropping B-61 bombs on primary and secondary targets.

在核任务中,美国空军将为B-21配备远程对抗导弹,这是下一代隐身核巡航导弹。 它还将携带 B-61自由落体核重力炸弹,特别是新型 B61-12炸弹。 这两种武器的组合将使 B-21型导弹在向主要和次要目标投掷B-61型炸弹之前,能够利用其隐形巡航导弹清除敌方防空网络的障碍。

For conventional missions, the B-21 will carry the JASSM-ER conventional cruise missile and two-thousand-pound GBU-31 Joint Directed Attack Munition satellite-guided bombs. The B-21 could use these weapons in a similar manner as its nuclear weapons, blasting its way through the enemy’s defenses before dropping JDAMs. Alternately, the B-21 could be used as a missile truck, launching up to sixteen JASSM-ERs at enemy targets from a distance, or penetrating less sophisticated enemy defenses to deliver JDAMs on target. The B-21 will also need to carry the thirty-thousand-pound Massive Ordnance Penetrator bomb , the largest conventional bomb in the U.S. arsenal, as the B-2 is currently the only bomber capable of lifting the enormous bomb.

对于常规任务,B-21将携带JASSM-ER常规巡航导弹和两千磅GBU-31联合定向攻击弹药卫星制导炸弹。B-21可以与其核武器类似的方式发射这些武器,在投放JDAM之前,它会穿过敌人的防御系统。另外,B-21也可以用作导弹运输机,从远处发射多达16枚导弹攻击目标,或穿透不那么复杂的敌人防御系统,在目标上发射JDAM。B-21还需要携带三万磅的巨型钻地单。这是美国武器库中最大的常规炸弹,因为B-2是目前唯一能够携带巨大炸弹的轰炸机。

Like many new weapons systems, the Air Force has instructed Northrop Grumman to build the bomber with a so-called “open architecture” hardware and software system. As a result, unlike previous bombers, the B-21 could become much more than just a heavy bomber. The open-architecture specification should ensure that future upgrades will be relatively easy to integrate into the B-21, and for the bomber to adapt to a slew of new, different missions. The bomber’s weapons bay could end up being more of a mission payload bay, with surveillance, communications, drone or electronic warfare packages loaded inside to facilitate a variety of missions. The Raider is on the path to being America’s first multirole bomber.

与许多新型武器系统一样,美国空军已经指示诺斯洛普·格鲁门用所谓的"开放体系结构"硬件和软件系统制造轰炸机。 因此,与以前的轰炸机不同,B-21轰炸机可能不仅仅是一种重型轰炸机。 开放式架构规范应确保未来的升级相对容易地集成到 B-21中,使轰炸机能够适应大量新的、不同的任务。 轰炸机的武器舱最终可能更像是一个任务有效载荷舱,内部装有监控、通信、无人机或电子战装备,以便于执行各种任务。 "突袭者"即将成为美国第一架多用途轰炸机。

The B-21 Raider is set to fly in the mid-2020s, and the Air Force plans to buy at least a hundred of the bombers to replace the B-52H Stratofortress and B-1B Lancer bombers. A larger fleet of up to two hundred bombers is possible, but entirely bound to fiscal realities.

B-21突袭者计划在二十年代中期开始列装,空军计划购买至少一百架轰炸机来替代 B-52H 同温层堡垒和 B-1B 枪骑兵轰炸机。 一支多达两百架轰炸机的航空编队是有可能的,但这完全取决于财政现状。