The NGB is a new medium bomber under development by the United States Air Force. It was originally projected to enter service in 2018 as a stealth, subsonic, medium range bomber that could replace the Air Force's present bomber fleet. With artist impressions making the plane look like something from Avatar, the NGB is going to be one high-tech plane.
On June 24, 2010, Lt. Gen. Philip Breedlove stated that the "Next Generation Bomber" was dead and that the air force was working on something more affordable.
Then on September 13 of the same year, Air Force Secretary Michael Donley said that the US military will remain committed to building a new long range bomber but will take cautious approach to prevent financial disasters from past programs. The Air Force secretary also said that the new bomber will focus more on conventional weapons than nuclear.
The design goals of the NGB in September 2007 were:
- Subsonic max speed
- Combat radius of 2 000+ miles
- Weapons load of 14 000-28 000 lb
- Ability to "survive in hostile air space for extended time"
- Ability to carry nuclear weapons
- Designed to use new propulsion, C4ISR, and radar technologies
In August 2008, a paper by Northrop Grumman highlighted the following trends and requirements
- Airfields available for American use have declined since the Cold War
- Hostile cruise missiles of aircraft could shut down existing airfields
- Fewer fighter aircraft will be available to escort bomber force
- Advanced fighter aircraft and surface to air missiles are being made available to potentially hostile states
- The current USAF bomber force is small and outdated
In June 2010, Gen. Breedlove said that the aircraft would carry a five ton Next Generation Penetrator Munition instead of the 15 ton Massive Ordnance Penetrator.
The NGB is going to be a major improvement on the B-2. With increased range, greater range, and stealthier than ever, this is the future of the US bomber fleet (that is, if it ever gets off the drawing board).