USAF chief bullish on digital design solutions for B-21 and Sentinel programs


by Gillian Rich

The B-21 Raider program uses digital design and collaboration. (Northrop Grumman)

United States Air Force (USAF) Chief of Staff General Charles Brown said June 22 that he would like to see a collaborative and digital approach continue across the Air Force following the positive results from its use with the Northrop Grumman B-21 Raider bomber and LGM-35A Sentinel Next Generation Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM).

Speaking at the Hudson Institute, Gen. Brown said the collaboration between Airmen responsible for operating the platforms, acquisition managers and industry partners, made possible by the design and l digital engineering, helps solve potential problems early in the design process.

“You’ve probably watched programs over the years, what happens is that we have another good idea. We keep adding these good ideas, which lead to cost and schedule problems compared to ” here’s what you can really do,’” he said.

“And if you’re using a digital approach, you can actually keep upgrading and modifying, especially if it’s software, and making adjustments to the design before you start bending metal” , he continued.

The B-21 and LGM-35A Sentinel are the air and ground branches of the Pentagon’s nuclear triad. The B-21 is expected to replace the B-2 Spirit and B-1B Lancer bomber fleets. The LGM-35A Sentinel, formerly known as Ground Based Strategic Deterrent (GBSD), is to replace the Boeing LGM-30G Minuteman III.

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United States Air Force (USAF) Chief of Staff General Charles Brown said on June 22 that he would like to see a…

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