The Air Force’s recently released Bomber Vector calls for wide range of new technologies for the fleet – to include newer stealth materials, faster computer processors, upgraded weapons and new sensors to ensure the force will still be able to launch attacks in more advanced, future high-threat scenarios spanning into the 2050s.
The new Air Force bomber fleet plan, released in conjunction with the service’s 2019 Budget request, also seeks a larger bomber fleet and maps a modernization and production trajectory for the introduction of the emerging B-21 Raider in the mid-2020s.
“The Air Force’s Bomber Vector established the overarching future planning guidance for the Air Force bomber force. The force must include both standoff and stand-in capabilities, hinging on use of stealth and other technologies,” Maj. William Russell, Air Force official, told Warrior Maven in a written statement.
While the fleet size and force configuration details outlined in the vector have received much attention, a lesser discussed – but potentially more significant – element of the new plan centers on the integration of a new generation of bomber technologies intended to both inform the B-21 and launch a massive overhaul of the existing fleet of B-52, B-2 and B-1B bombers.