This may be the shape of the future U.S. top secret stealth bomber

Feb 01 2015 - 25 Comments

A new Northrop Grumman ad teases new stealth bomber. And it may be a manned one.

Two aerospace giants are competing to build Pentagon’s next stealth bomber, designated LRS-B ( Long Range Strike-Bomber): a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing, and Northrop Grumman.

The latter has produced a cool ad that was posted on Youtube last week.

The ad shows Northrop Grumman’s long tradition of flying wings: the YB-35 prototype dating back to  the 1940s, the B-2 Spirit the only heavy stealth bomber known to operate with the U.S. Air Force, and the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System developed for the U.S. Navy.

However, towards the end of the ad another shape is teased to the viewers: a flying wing hidden below a protective sheet that is coherent with the many renderings which have appeared in the past and, possibly, with the triangle-shaped jet sightings of last year.

Noteworthy, a pilot is depicted staring at the plane a scene that may suggest the LRS-B will be manned.

And the slogan the narrator recites is clear enough: “Building aircraft, the likes of which the world has never seen before: This is what we do.”

This is not the only Northrop Grumman ad which gives a hint at the future LRS-B shape: as explained on his blog at War Is Boring, aviation journalist David Axe has seen traces of the LRS-B in another commercial.

 

  • Callsign Vega

    There is money left over after the Trillion dollar F-35 program for another aircraft? We better slash the military pay for service members once again, because we all know lining the pockets of defense contractors is what the military is really about.

    • Velvet Metal

      Air Force will always have money for these hi-tech aircraft’s

      Sometimes they remind me of 6 year old boys always looking for something they want, instead of something they need.

    • big john ok

      I love aviation but the Senior Officers and the civilians that make the
      decisions about pay and benefits for US military members is getting
      stupid. The Pentagon are wanting and planning to cut/freeze pay and
      benefits of their troops to pay for their new weapons and equipment. Now
      of course these cuts wont hurt the senior officer ranks and the
      civilians that work for the military. If the Pentagon keeps their
      antics up the US Armed Forces will slowly slip from an all volunteer
      force to a conscription based military.

      • sferrin

        The mistake your type typically makes is you think aircraft grow on trees. It takes YEARS to design and build a new aircraft, and the more advanced they get the longer it takes. It takes weeks (at worst) to give soldiers raises if they decide to do so. See the difference? And that’s but the tip of the iceberg. I’d go on about industrial bases, workforces, etc. but I doubt you’d understand or have the attention span to do so.

        • big john ok

          Keeping making assumptions I was an avionics tech assigned to a squadron at NAS Pax River which is the Navy’s premier R&D base I got to work on and see some really cool next gen aircraft. I fully understand how R&D works in the military aviation world.

        • big john ok

          I was an avionics tech assigned to a squadron at NAS Pax River the Navy’s premier R&D base, I got to see and work on and help engineers develop next gen avionics and aircraft, so keep making assumptions.

        • Flatley

          “It takes weeks (at worst) to give soldiers raises if they decide to do so.”

          No, it takes years to train, develop, and mentor soldiers (…sailors, airmen, and Marines) into an effective fighting force with strong leadership up and down the chain of command. This process is stunted when, at the critical 8 or 12 year re-enlistment mark, SNCO’s realize that their financial future is grim if they remain in the military.

          The mistake “your type” typically makes is that you think enlisted personnel – and their associated institutional knowledge – grow on trees, and you think that war is won by hardware and technology alone. Not the case, my friend.

    • sferrin

      Not too bright are you? How much do you think the F-16 + F/A-18 +AV-8B programs cost together over the lives of those programs? You know, since that’s what the F-35 is replacing. Sounds like you also think defense contractors can stay in business while making no money. Yet you no doubt race out to buy the latest smartphone.

      • big john ok

        Defense companies are the only companies in the world that can sign contracts and then not meet cost targets or deadlines and not get punished for it. Actually the DoD gives them more money and more time…… If any other type of company or industry did this to a client they would end sued in court.

      • Renato Dallarmi

        Test does not Change the fact the F35 is a pig with very expensive lipstick. I bring this up to say there isn’t necessarily a correlation between money spent and result and sometimes too much money available can be a detriment to the final product.

  • kusanagi no tsurugi

    Yeah Believe it….you really think they are going to show you the shape of a stealth strategic bomber in a commercial???

    • big john ok

      This new bomber is already in flight. This site has written articles reporting a triangular shaped aircraft flying across the US(even have pictures of it flying at attitude) that doesn’t match any publicly known aircraft in US military inventory.

      • sferrin

        I’ve seen pictures of flying saucers that were more conclusive than those photos.

      • kusanagi no tsurugi

        Look at the ceiling, there’s written “gullible”

        • big john ok

          You know what happens when you assume right? I was an avionics tech assigned to R&D squadron while I was stationed at NAS Pax River which is the Navy’s premier testing and development base now this was a decade ago and without going into specfics but I got to see and work on some really cool next generation aircraft.

        • big john ok

          Keep making assumptions I was an avionics tech assigned to a R&D squadron at NAS Pax River which is the Navy’s premier R&D base. With out going into specifics I got to work on and see some next gen aircraft and equipment the Navy was developing.

    • Walter

      Wouldn’t be the first time a secret project was teased about in advertising or a patch.

  • jellydonut

    That has to be manned, it would not be shaped like that if it didn’t have a canopy.

  • PugilistProdigy

    Looks like it may have been photographed by Steve Douglass and Dean Muskett

  • PugilistProdigy

  • R.Lopaka

    And it may be a manned one……maybe capable of both manned and unmanned ops.

  • Will Coles

    Looks like Iran is about to product launch another captured drone.

  • Gyoz

    It will look even more like an Horten flying wing with improved stealth characteristics.

    Every time I see a flying wing I think how incredible that this was developed before and during WW2 by the Germans and Northrop just copied the general layout by studying prototypes and blueprints.

  • Kevin Horn

    I doubt that this is the true profile of the aircraft. It may be close but even if it was close enough it could still be classified. I think too much is being read into the shape base on the multiple articles on this. But I do think that the recent commercials mean the aircraft is in source selection now and actively competing with a Lockheed competitor and they’re trying to advertise directly to source selection folks and congress. Either way I really like the commercials and am enjoying the developments.

  • Velvet Metal

    You’re quite an interesting character.

    What i say was proven when the USAF tried to retire A-10’s (sounds familiar) right before the Gulf War and replace them with A-16’s…why?

    Well because the USAF thought and thinks the A-10 is not advanced enough for them, but of course real combat has shown otherwise.

    So stop being a fan-boy and accept the fact that even the smartest and most powerful can make mistakes.