Over at Anthony Williams forum is an interesting discussion on bombers based in part on this article in Slate.
One point brought up was the idea of adapting maritime patrol bombers like the new Poseidon for the bomber roll, several objections were raised regards payload and the suitability of such an aircraft for heavy bombing but one point raised in favor of a similar layout was interesting.
Given the need for extreme precision in counter insurgency warfare a future bomber may need similar data-processing and target designation capacity to an ASW aircraft, albeit with rather different sensors.
A version of an aircraft very similar to the Poseidon with thermal, IR and other air to ground surveillance sensors and armed with a battery of precision guided munitions might well be a good investment. It also might be fitted with palletized sensors so that with a quick swap it could be used as an ASW aircraft....something we need a LOT more of as the US has let its anti-sub forces atrophy badly.
With 9 reconfigurable workstations such a plane might also operate a swarm of UAV's reserving its SDB's and other heavy weapons for tougher targets, and if a compact missile in the Hellfire or "netfires" class could be dropped from the bomb bay or the sonobuoy dispensers sized to take some sort of compact missile...perhaps the cheap effective Spike-missile....the plane would have very good combat persistence. Like an AC130 but at high altitude and with the ability to drop real bombs if needed.
Anyway, I'm no airdale but the idea seems interesting....any thoughts?