Skip to comments.The B-52 Gets a 21st-Century Upgrade
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 languishingofficials have not even decided if the new planes will be piloted, robotic, or optionally mannedand, 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 ...
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.
MegaFortress a reality?
Yep. Same here.
ORI BUFF BTTT!
Great book for sure.
Not your grandpa’s Stratofortress lol
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.
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 :)
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.
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.
Smart... the era of pilots (especially in SAM zones) is rapidly coming to an end. GO BUFF.
The only thing that could make this picture better is if a battleship leads the way
I almost missed that tiny little helicopter at the bottom.
Sea Stallion? Amazing photo.
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.
Thanks for the ping.
The B-52 is already of interest to archaeologists.
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