MOD­ERNI­SA­TION OF THE US AIR FORCE B-52H

SP's Aviation - - NEWS | DIGEST -

The cur­rent mod­erni­sa­tion pro­gramme of the Air Force’s B-52H aims to make the plat­form even more lethal. Ac­cord­ing to a re­cently pub­lished RFI, the Air Force plans to equip the B-52H wing py­lon to carry a sin­gle weapon weigh­ing up to the 20,000lb which po­ten­tially in­cludes the GBU-43/B Mas­sive Ord­nance Air Blast (MOAB). The new py­lon will es­sen­tially quadru­ple the weight of bombs that the Boe­ing B-52H Strato­fortress is able to carry ex­ter­nally. The B-52H sub­sonic heavy bomber re­mains the main­stay of the US strate­gic fleet even af­ter more than 50 years of ser­vice. The Air Force orig­i­nally en­vi­sioned re­plac­ing B-52s with a fleet of su­per­sonic bombers, but the sub­sonic, long-range H-model has per­sisted since it en­tered the fleet in 1961. In­stead of tran­si­tion­ing to re­tire­ment, the USAF now plans to con­tinue op­er­at­ing the fleet un­til they reach nearly the cen­tury-mark in 2060.

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