A B-52 Stratofortress assigned to the 307th Bomb Wing, Barksdale Air Force Base, La., approaches the refueling boom of a KC-135 Stratotanker from the 931st Air Refueling Group, McConnell Air Force Base. (U.S. Air Force/Airman 1st Class Victor J. Caputo)
Sixty-seven years after the U.S. Air Force received its last B-52 from Boeing, the flying branch finally has firmed up plans to fit the heavy bomber with new engines.
Air Force magazine in its January 2019 issue took a deep dive into the re-engining effort.
The legendary B-52H Stratofortress has been raining bombs down on terror targets across the Middle East and Southwest Asia like there’s no tomorrow. The Air Force wants to ensure it can rain down even more.
The B-52 Stratofortress may be old enough to buy a senior ticket at the movies, but the legendary long-range strategic bomber is still pushing the envelope: On Dec. 12, Resolute Support commander Brig. Gen. Lance Bunch announced that a B-52 conducting bombing sorties out of Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar, dropped the most precision munitions ever deployed from the airframe during a combat mission, an encouraging sign of what Air Force’s expensive modernization timeline holds for the tried-and-true airframe.
The B-2 Spirit is one of three strategic heavy bombers in Air Force service. Originally conceived to infiltrate the Soviet air-defense network and attack targets with nuclear weapons, over the decades its mission has grown to include conventional precision attacks. The B-2 is the most advanced bomber in U.S. service and the only one of three types that still carries nuclear gravity bombs.