U.S. Air Force Long-Range Strike Aircraft White Paper   [open pdf - 863KB]

"As a result of DoD transformation plans and recent operational experience (Air War Over Serbia and Operation ENDURING FREEDOM) portions of the 1999 U.S. Air Force White Paper on Long Range Bombers have become outmoded. In October 2001, the Secretary of the Air Force directed an updated Long-Range Strike Aircraft White Paper incorporating our new defense planning guidance. This document provides an update to the 1999 White Paper and reflects current decisions concerning bomber force structure and basing. While modification plans remain largely intact, the focus has been refined to support the Global Strike Task Force concept. The Air Force will continue to upgrade its bomber fleet emphasizing improvements in lethality, survivability, supportability, and responsiveness. Whenever possible and practical, modernization will be accelerated and new technologies will be incorporated. Bombers will hold more targets at risk while battlespace information fusion and datalink reduce sensor-to-shooter timelines to minutes. Bombers will continue to dominate in the anti-access environment and allow for the application of air power at the times and places of our choosing. The old axiom of one bomber striking one target with a large load of bombs no longer exists. While that is still a valuable bomber capability, we are often better served by one bomber striking several targets on a single mission. Therefore, the B-1, B-2, and B-52 should be thought of in terms of long-range high-payload multi-task strike assets, not just bomb-droppers. While bombers share the common characteristics of long range, large payload and flexibility, each has unique capabilities and strengths to contribute to the warfighting scheme."

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