Babylon the Great’s Nuclear Horn

This Pictures Should Terrify Russia, North Korea and China Like Nothing Else

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, particularly in denied environments. The Raider is on the path to being America’s first multirole bomber.

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.

(This first appeared last year.)

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. In invoking the Doolittle Raid, the Air Force is drawing attention to attack’s audacious nature, the strategic and tactical surprise, and the epic distances General Doolittle and his “raiders” flew to accomplish their mission.

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.)

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.

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.

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  with “dial-a-yield” capability. 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.

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.

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, particularly in denied environments. The Raider is on the path to being America’s first multirole bomber.

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. We don’t know what the Raider in its final form will look like, or when the Air Force will release more information on an aircraft it wants to carefully protect. The B-21 has disappeared into the “black” world of military technology, and will only reemerge when the bomber is ready.

Kyle Mizokami is a defense and national-security writer based in San Francisco who has appeared in the  Diplomat, Foreign Policy, War is Boring  and the  Daily Beast.  In 2009 he cofounded the defense and security blog Japan Security Watch. You can follow him on Twitter:  @KyleMizokami.

Trump Cannot Stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons

Would not allow Iran obtain nuclear weapons: Trump

• US-IRAN

By Lalit K Jha

Washington, Dec 7 United States President Donald Trump has vowed not to allow Iran acquire nuclear weapons.

“We cannot let the world’s leading sponsor of terror, a regime that chants death to America and threatens Israel all the time with annihilation and constantly screams out death to Israel, to possess the deadliest weapon on earth. We will not allow that to happen,” the US President told a select Jewish audience Thursday at the White House reception for Hanukkah.

His administration has imposed some of the toughest sanctions on Iran, which among other things ask countries like India and China to cut off import of oil from Iran. Both the countries have significantly reduced their oil intake since then.

Trump told the Jewish community that the US now has “left the horrible Iran nuclear” deal.

“It was a horrible, horrible deal. Should have never been made and imposed the toughest-ever sanction. We sanctioned Iran like I guess few have ever been sanctioned before. We must never allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon or a nuclear bomb,” he said.

A year ago, he said, the United States recognised the true capital of Israel.

Commemorating the miracle of Hanukkah, Trump said throughout history, Jewish people have suffered unthinkable repression and terrible violence.

“Yet in the face of this hardship, the Jewish people have endured, overcome and thrived like few that I can tell you. Thrived,” he said.

“Five weeks ago, our nation mourned a horrific tragedy. Jewish-Americans were brutally killed in a sinister anti-Semitic attack on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh and we went to see what had happened and to meet some of the people and they were incredible people,” Trump said.

“The way they stood up so bravely, so proudly was just something very incredible to see, and the rabbi was just a great person. In the aftermath of that wicked assault, we reaffirmed our solemn duty to confront anti-Semitism everywhere it occurs,” the president said amid an applause.

“We must stamp out this vile hatred from the world,” Trump said as he invited eight survivors of the Nazi Holocaust: Sara Censor, Bertha Einhorn, David Einhorn, Ethel Flam, Gita Landau, Dolly Rabinowitz, Ruth Salamon and Zahava Ungar. Trump told the survivors that they inspired the world with their courage.

Trump applauded Jewish people for building Israel into a “mighty and majestic nation”. He also pledged his administration’s support to Israel.

During his speech, the audience started chanting “four more years!” Someone in the crowd noted that once the math is completed from this date, it would be “six more years”. Trump expressed his agreement with the 2 + 4 equation. “I’ve actually never heard ‘four more years,'” he said.

“That’s an interesting one. … We’ll go for six, and then we’ll all be in very good shape.” The president claimed he was told that renovating what now is the US embassy in Jerusalem could cost as little as USD 200,000, which he said was “too cheap”. So he told his officials to do it for USD 400,000, Trump added. LKJ IJT

Russia Extends Her Nuclear Horn Into Crimea

Russia deploys nuclear weapon carriers in occupied Crimea – Yelchenko

Ever since Russia occupied Crimea, it has been tightening its military grip over the illegally annexed peninsula, according to the Ukrainian envoy.

REUTERS

Ukraine’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Volodymyr Yelchenko has said Russia deployed in occupied Crimea carriers and other means capable of delivering nuclear weapons.

“After the Russian Federation occupied Crimea, it has been tightening its military grip over the occupied peninsula. Comparing to the pre-occupation period, Russia has more than doubled its military personnel from 12,500 to over 28,000, and up to 31,500 probably, according to the recent estimations,” he said at a briefing on the security in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov Region.

“Russia has also substantially reinforced and modernized its military land, air, and naval components,” he said.

“Russian military in Crimea got tanks and anti-aircraft systems, which were not present there before, up to six-seven times more combat vehicles, artillery systems, combat aircraft.”

He added that Russia more than doubled the number of combat helicopters, combat ships and submarines in the area.

“These forces are capable of carrying out comprehensive military operations in south-western strategic direction, which includes water and coastal areas, corresponding airspace over the Azov and Black Seas, as well as in the far-operating zone of the Mediterranean,” Yelchenko stressed.

Particularly dangerous are the Russian actions, which could lead to re-nuclearization of Crimea. The occupation authorities in Crimea are preparing military infrastructure for potential deployment of nuclear weapons, including the refurbishment of the Soviet-era nuclear warheads storage facilities.”

“Since 2015, the 12th General Directorate of the Russian Military General Staff, which is known to be in charge of the maintenance, transportation and disposal of nuclear warheads for tactical and ballistic missiles, conducts regular inspections in the occupied Crimea,” he said.

The Ambassador noted that Russia had “already deployed in the occupied Crimea carriers and other means capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”

Among them there is a “Russian cruiser ‘Moskva’ with the missile system ‘Vulkan,’ three submarines, one frigate, two small missile ships, which are equipped with cruise missiles ‘Kalibr,’ SU-24 bombers, which can carry nuclear bombs.”

“Anytime Moscow can bring back other means of delivery of nuclear weapons to Crimea, which have been already used in the occupied territory for training purposes. This includes operational tactical missile complexes ‘Iskander,’ additional fighter bombers and other armament,” Yelchenko said.

Antichrist Shapes the New Iraq Government

Leader of Iraq’s Sadrist Movement, Muqtada Al-Sadr [Twitter]

Sadr’s alliance rejects candidacy of former chairman of Popular Mobilization Forces to interior minister

December 5, 2018 at 4:32 am

Lawmakers of Iraq’s Sairoon Alliance led by Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr rejected on Tuesday the candidacy of the former chairman of the Popular Mobilization Forces, Faleh al-Fayyad as interior minister.

The lawmakers announced their position ahead of a Parliament session to vote on the appointment of the remaining eight ministers for the Iraqi cabinet including the ministers of interior and defence.

According to the deputies, al- Fayad is not fit to take over the ministry of the interior, because he had previously served in an executive position and he is not independent.

Al-Fayad has previously served as a national security adviser and was chairman of the Popular Mobilization Forces before he was dismissed by the previous prime minister, Haidar al-Abadi.

He is widely supported by pro- Iranian militias and parties.