Originally posted by Happy
the man is right, the US Air Force is going to continue to use the B-52 another 40 years. it is up to it's G or H variant, and has no reason to be removed from service. they will also continue to upgrade it's package until they retire the bomber.
Originally posted by Bandit LOAF
So... you're saying that the B-52 is rendered obsolete by the Tomahawk missile... which it extends the range of...? Brain circle!
Originally posted by Haesslich
Yeah, those bombers that can extend the range of cruise missiles really don't have that much use, do they?
It's kinda like deciding to put fighters on carrier aircraft to allow you to get fighter coverage wherever you go.
Originally posted by Penguin
If someone can cite some proof that the USAF plans to continue using B-52s up to the 2040s then I'll rest my case.
For more than 40 years B-52 Stratofortresses have been the backbone of the manned strategic bomber force for the United States. The B-52 is capable of dropping or launching the widest array of weapons in the U.S. inventory. This includes gravity bombs, cluster bombs, precision guided missiles and joint direct attack munitions. Updated with modern technology the B-52 will be capable of delivering the full complement of joint developed weapons and will continue into the 21st century as an important element of our nation's defenses. Current engineering analyses show the B-52's life span to extend beyond the year 2045.
Happy: If the USAF planned to operate the B-52 for a hundred years, why did they produce the B-1 and the B-2? Obviously this shows that the B-52 can't fulfill every role and new aircraft have to be built to either replace or supplement the B-52. In forty years time I'm sure they'll have come up with something better. In that same timeframe they devised the B-1 and B-2.
Originally posted by I'm thinkin...
B-52 could very well be used for another 40 years but they are limited in their capablities. As far as saturation bombing goes there is nothing better out there. But for more precise bombing Tomahawk cruise missiles and smaller, fast bombers with laser guided bombs are better. The one thing that a B-52 can do is carry an air launched variation of the Tomahawk. It has the capability to extend the range of the Tomahawk so it isn't exclusively a surface-to-surface missile