The Legendary B-52 Stratofortress Is Getting A Buttload Of New Bombs
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.
A new request for information (RFI) from Air Force Materiel Command details a need for an external weapons pylon that will quadruple the maximum weight that the B-52 can haul under its impressive wingspan from 10,000 lbs to 40,000 lbs, according to Jane’s 360. But the new upgrade is less about the number of munitions and more about the type.
A B-52 Stratofortress from Barksdale Air Force Base, La., drops live ordnance over the Nevada Test and Training Range near here May 12 during an Air Force firepower demonstration.
“The current Improved Common Pylon (ICP) … was designed in 1959 and has been in service since the 1960s,” the RFI notes. “When it was introduced, there wasn’t a requirement nor did anyone foresee a need to carry weapons heavier than 5,000 lb. It was modified in the late 1990s … and has performed exceptionally well … [but] it has limitations when it comes to heavy weight capacity.”
As Jane’s notes, the new pylon “would enable the B-52 to carry any of the air-launched munitions in the USAF inventory up to the 22,000 lb Massive Ordnance Air Burst (MOAB) bomb” that U.S. forces in Afghanistan are debating once again deploying against terror targets there.
A U.S. Air Force chart details the timeline for the internal weapons bay upgrade’s (IWBUY) expanded smart munitions capability as part of Air Force Global Strike Command’s B-52 modernization program
The B-52’s weapons systems have enjoyed some …read more
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