Unconventional Thinking

The Air Force aims to have the Long Range Strike Bomber available for the nuclear mission shortly after it enters the fleet for conventional roles, said Lt. Gen. James Kowalski, head of Air Force Global Strike Command. The Air Force is developing LRS-B “primarily” for conventional duties, but it will eventually take on a dual nuclear role as well, said Kowalski on Sept. 17 at AFA’s Air and Space Conference. “Our expectation is that it will—within two years of becoming [initially operationally capable] conventionally—be a nuclear-capable and nuclear-certified aircraft,” he said during the conference’s nuclear panel. The Air Force intends to field between 80 and 100 LRS-B platforms starting in the mid-2020s. (See also Conventional First.)