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US Advances B-52 Bomber Upgrade to Provide Deterrent Against Potential Adversaries

1 min read

The U.S. is pursuing the upgrade of Boeing-built B-52 Stratofortress bombers to keep the aircraft operational into the 2050s and U.S. Air Force leaders and military experts said the revamp is key to delivering an effective deterrent against potential adversaries such as Russia and China, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

According to the Department of Defense’s budget documents, the strategic bomber upgrade could cost $11.8 billion.

In September 2021, Rolls-Royce won a potential $2.6 billion contract to provide F130 replacement engines for the Air Force’s fleet of B-52H aircraft.

Boeing and Rolls-Royce are adopting digital design techniques to facilitate the integration of new engines and other components into B-52s.

“By transitioning a legacy aircraft into a digital environment, we’ve been able to mitigate risk much earlier in the design and development process,” said Jennifer Wong, B-52 program manager at Boeing.

Raytheon Technologies is also supporting the plane’s upgrade by equipping the bomber with new radars.

B-52H is a long-range, heavy bomber that can conduct strategic attack, offensive counter-air and maritime, air interdiction and close-air support missions and transport nuclear or precision-guided conventional ordnance. The aircraft can fly at altitudes of up to 50,000 feet and high subsonic speeds.

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