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The B-52 Gets a 21st-Century Upgrade
Popular Mechanics ^ | February 27, 2012 | Joe Pappalardo

Posted on 02/27/2012 5:39:14 PM PST by lbryce

America's newest, nuclear-tipped cruise missiles will be carried by an airplane already more than 50 years old, if the Air Force's strategy proceeds as planned. The Air Force has been eager to build a long-range bomber to carry nukes, preferably one that can evade radar while closing in on targets. But that program is languishing—officials have not even decided if the new planes will be piloted, robotic, or optionally manned—and, in the meantime, the B-52 Stratofortress will fill the gap. The tactic: Have the B-52 fire a new air-launched cruise missile far from the target and let the missile, not the airplane, defeat any advanced air defenses. The B-52s tasked with this mission will fly until at least 2040, representing nearly a century of active duty. The airframes and engines will remain the same, but the birds will be upgraded with new hardware (as well as with the nuclear brawn) to extend their service lives.

(Excerpt) Read more at popularmechanics.com ...


TOPICS: Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aerospace; b52; military; militaryupgrade
The article linked to below on the lifetime cost for the F-35 is based on a 50 year operating budget. Perhaps, as we've demonstrated so emphatically with the B-52, the F-35 overall cost be extended beyond the 50 year limit as well, with the cost projections reflected in a manner that would present the F-35 in a more favorable economic light.
Free Republic-Feb 26, 2012:Lifetime Cost to Run F-35 fighter: About $1 Trillion
1 posted on 02/27/2012 5:39:18 PM PST by lbryce
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To: lbryce

Flight of the Old Dog.
Dale Brown ?
Great story and now coming true.

As far as the f35 etc we should order twice as many
and drive the cost down.

How about suborbital bombers?

Break out of the box.


2 posted on 02/27/2012 5:47:53 PM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: zot; SeraphimApprentice

BUFF alert.


3 posted on 02/27/2012 5:49:28 PM PST by GreyFriar (Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
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To: tet68
Old Dog was my first thought also...
4 posted on 02/27/2012 5:51:30 PM PST by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: tet68

MegaFortress a reality?


5 posted on 02/27/2012 5:54:33 PM PST by NonValueAdded (Limbaugh: Tim Tebow miracle: "He had atheists praying to God that he would lose.")
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To: Chode

Yep. Same here.


6 posted on 02/27/2012 5:57:33 PM PST by RedCell (Honor thy Father (9/6/07) - Semper Fi / "...it is their duty, to throw off such government...")
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To: lbryce
The Buff is closing in on the C47 as per longevity!
7 posted on 02/27/2012 6:01:17 PM PST by CrazyIvan (Obama's birth certificate was found stapled to Soros's receipt.)
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To: RedCell
great book...
8 posted on 02/27/2012 6:02:26 PM PST by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: GreyFriar

ORI BUFF BTTT!


9 posted on 02/27/2012 6:03:59 PM PST by BobP (The piss-stream media - Never to be watched again in my house)
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To: tet68

Great book for sure.


10 posted on 02/27/2012 6:16:49 PM PST by HANG THE EXPENSE (Life's tough.It's tougher when you're stupid.)
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To: lbryce

Not your grandpa’s Stratofortress lol


11 posted on 02/27/2012 6:19:04 PM PST by Wiz
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To: lbryce
This picture was posted earlier today.

on this thread Free Republic - U.S. Navy Photo of the Day: A Very Impressive, Very Awesome View of U.S. Military Might

I was thinking when I saw it, "That big old bird is already older than the planes and ships in that picture and will still be in service when all the others are mothballed." Unbelievably amazing. We sure got our dollars worth out of the B-52s.

12 posted on 02/27/2012 6:23:01 PM PST by FreeAtlanta (Liberty and Justice for ALL)
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To: FreeAtlanta

Had the pleasure of seeing the B-52 up close at an air show a few years ago, it was part of the static display and I got to see it fly. Definitely a treasured memory. Looking at the smoke trail that the B-52 is leaving behind in that pic and smiling at the amount of grief that would give any enviroweenie by looking at it :)


13 posted on 02/27/2012 6:27:55 PM PST by Severa (I can't take this stress anymore...quick, get me a marker to sniff....)
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To: GreyFriar

I was real young when I saw my first B-52. Daddy took me out on the flight line to watch them take off. What a rush. For the next few years I wanted to grow up to be a B-52. I was a strange child.


14 posted on 02/27/2012 6:28:35 PM PST by Himyar
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To: lbryce

As an Air Force Security Policeman, I got to spend quality time (hours and hours) baby-sitting these old gals back in the late seventies/early eighties. Glad to see they’re still making a contribution.


15 posted on 02/27/2012 6:39:20 PM PST by fidelis (Zonie and USAF Cold Warrior)
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To: lbryce

Smart... the era of pilots (especially in SAM zones) is rapidly coming to an end. GO BUFF.


16 posted on 02/27/2012 6:44:00 PM PST by BlueLandRed
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To: FreeAtlanta

The only thing that could make this picture better is if a battleship leads the way


17 posted on 02/27/2012 6:44:37 PM PST by South Dakota (shut up and drill)
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To: FreeAtlanta

I almost missed that tiny little helicopter at the bottom.

Sea Stallion? Amazing photo.

Thanks.


18 posted on 02/27/2012 6:50:21 PM PST by SnuffaBolshevik (In a tornado, even turkeys can fly.)
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To: Himyar

I don’t remember when I saw one for the first time. It may have been at a visit to Wright Pat musuem in the early 60s with my father. I do remember going to Bunker Hill, later renamed Grissom Air Force Base in Indiana and watching the B-58 Hustler’s take off. And looking at the B-17 and B-47 gate guard planes. The 305th Bomb Group flew the B-58.


19 posted on 02/27/2012 6:53:36 PM PST by GreyFriar (Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
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To: GreyFriar

Thanks for the ping.
The B-52 is already of interest to archaeologists.


20 posted on 02/27/2012 6:58:10 PM PST by zot
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To: lbryce
Glad to hear it!!


21 posted on 02/27/2012 7:02:49 PM PST by Abbeville Conservative (Sarah Palin, the only cure for the RINO virus.)
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To: South Dakota

Sigh

Awww

The Missouri would be nice


22 posted on 02/27/2012 7:03:45 PM PST by Steve Newton (And the Wolves will learn what we have shown before-We love our sheep we dogs of war. Vaughn)
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To: FreeAtlanta
"That big old bird is already older than the planes and ships in that picture

Not necessarily. Kitty Hawk, the carrier in the center, was launched in May of 1960. The B-52H, the only type still in service, first flew in March of 1961.

23 posted on 02/27/2012 7:06:43 PM PST by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro is a Kenyan communist)
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To: SnuffaBolshevik
Seahawk

070814-N-3136P-034 PACIFIC OCEAN (Aug. 14, 2007) - An HH-60H Seahawk attached to the “Chargers” of Helicopter Squadron (HS) 14 is cleared for launch from USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) flight deck prior to Valiant Shield's photograph exercise. The Kitty Hawk, John C. Stennis and Nimitz Carrier Strike Groups are participating in Valiant Shield 2007, the largest joint exercise in the Pacific this year. Held in the Guam operating area, the exercise includes 30 ships, more than 280 aircraft and more than 20,000 service members from the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. Kitty Hawk is entering the third month of its summer deployment. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jimmy C. Pan (RELEASED)

070814-N-8157C-152 PACIFIC OCEAN (Aug. 14, 2007) - An HH-60H Seahawk helicopter flies past the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) during a joint photo exercise (PHOTOEX) concluding Valiant Shield 2007. The PHOTOEX featured 15 ships and 17 aircraft from Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps including a B-52 bomber. The John C. Stennis, Kitty Hawk and Nimitz Carrier Strike Groups were participating in Valiant Shield 2007, the largest joint exercise in recent history. Held in the Guam operating area, the exercise includes 30 ships, more than 280 aircraft and more than 20,000 service members from the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Denny Cantrell (RELEASED)

24 posted on 02/27/2012 7:15:41 PM PST by A.A. Cunningham (Barry Soetoro is a Kenyan communist)
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To: Steve Newton

The one I was thinking of was scrapped in 1962. Battle Base 57. U.S.S South Dakota. She led the Missouri into Tokyo Bay


25 posted on 02/27/2012 7:25:02 PM PST by South Dakota (shut up and drill)
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To: Severa
“Looking at the smoke trail that the B-52 is leaving behind in that pic and smiling at the amount of grief that would give any enviroweenie by looking at it :)”

As a new private pilot in 1981; I saw that smoke trail from a distance.
I was going east, smoke trail was coming south. Quickly figured out the smoke trail was a B52 flying UNDER my altitude.
They were doing low level training missions over Iowa then.

26 posted on 02/27/2012 7:32:54 PM PST by HereInTheHeartland (I love how the FR spellchecker doesn't recognize the word "Obama")
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To: lbryce
the F-35 overall cost be extended beyond the 50 year limit as well, with the cost projections reflected in a manner that would present the F-35 in a more favorable economic light.

Compared to the vastly lower cost, superior maneuverability, and reduced risk of a forward-swept wing drone? Hell, we could even put those drone fighters on a C-5 platform and give air combat range that it has NEVER approached. Fuggetabout the F-35.

27 posted on 02/27/2012 7:36:54 PM PST by Carry_Okie (The RNC would prefer Obama to a conservative nominee.)
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To: HereInTheHeartland

Thought that might have been a relative of mine but not in 1981.

I am reminded of the phrase I used to hear, “Ya’ haveta’ be tough to fly the heavies”!


28 posted on 02/27/2012 7:52:12 PM PST by Inclines to the Right (www.maafa21.com)
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To: lbryce

Dang! I thought the B-52 was finally going to get GPS.


30 posted on 02/28/2012 7:43:53 PM PST by Nachoman (I HOPE we CHANGE presidents.)
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To: South Dakota

Aww yes

Why do we scrap our history I wonder?


31 posted on 02/28/2012 9:21:45 PM PST by Steve Newton (And the Wolves will learn what we have shown before-We love our sheep we dogs of war. Vaughn)
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To: Steve Newton

The sister ship of the Arizona, Pennsylvania, should have been saved for a war memorial


32 posted on 02/29/2012 2:06:59 AM PST by South Dakota (shut up and drill)
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