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USAF B52J "Century" Fortress

CougarKing

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ANOTHER B52 incarnation that will serve beyond the 2050s?

Source: Diplomat

The Case for the Centuryfortress: Defining the B-52J
By Col Mike “Starbaby” Pietrucha
December 09, 2015

It seems increasingly likely that there will be a B-52 flyby for the retirement of both the B-1 Lancer and the B-2 Spirit. The venerable bomber, which first flew in 1952, remains the primary component of the USAF’s bomber force for both nuclear and conventional missions. Lacking the stealth of the B-2 and the speed of the B-1, the B-52 remains a frontline combat aircraft because of its exceptional range, unmatched versatility, and flexible payload options. It is debatable whether today’s aviation industry could re-create an airplane with this essential mix of capabilities, but a fully modernized B-52, in combination with the new Long Range Strike Bomber (LRS-B), would provide the USAF with an asymmetrical advantage over both China and Russia that neither is likely to match. Far from being obsolete, the Stratofortress could well serve into the 2050s, making an updated bomber well worth the effort and expense, and ushering in the B-52J Centuryfortress – the 21st century bomber.

< Edited >

A modernized B-52 would improve on the airplane’s basic attributes to better meet these standoff requirements. The objectives of a whole-aircraft modernization would be to extend the service life of the aircraft and adjust to the advances made by adversary systems since the initial design. Under the J proposal, the refitted bombers would receive several upgrades:

    A replacement of the ageing TF-33 turbofans with modern, low-maintenance turbofans derived from regional jet designs
    Installation of a modern AESA radar to provide broad area maritime surveillance, ship identification, situational awareness and standoff weapons employment
    Weapons certification upgrade, including JDAM-ER, JASSM-ER, Standard Missile derivatives and antiship weapons
    Certification of NASA’s 25,000-lb. Aerospace Vehicle Pylon as an option in place of Heavy Stores Adapter Beam for Pegasus derivatives.
    Upgrade of communication systems to include Link-16, Iridium, BLOS communications and to provide the baseline for integration into Navy Integrated Fire Control (NIFC).
    Modernization of ESM and EA systems to provide both passive detection and self-projection jamming against the threats capable of addressing a stand-off platform
    Aircraft upgrades, including improved cooling, high-capacity electrical generation, glass cockpit, addition of an APU, removal of excess weight and RVSM compatibility
    Upper Wing Skin replacement (if necessary)

At the end of the conversion, all remaining B-52H could receive the refit, resulting in around 82 B-52J total aircraft inventory.
 

mariomike

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"Far from being obsolete, the Stratofortress could well serve into the 2050s, making an updated bomber well worth the effort and expense, and ushering in the B-52J Centuryfortress – the 21st century bomber."

I like the quote below.  :)

The long rifle was the great weapon of its day … today this B-52 is the long rifle of the air age.

-Gen Nathan Twining, March 18, 1954
 

YZT580

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http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-33766644

Link is for an article in todays BBC magazine on the BUFF that is the americanized version of the buff
 

a_majoor

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NBF has some more on the idea: http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/12/upgraded-b-52j-would-be-useful-partner.html

At this point, it almost would make sense to simply reverse engineer a B-52 and build brand new ones with these modifications already installed (although I sort of wonder if it wouldn't be better to replace the 8 engines with 4 larger turbofans from an actual heavy airliner like a 777 or 787 Dreamliner?). The B-52 is the ultimate example of early airpower theorists ideals of aircraft as flying artillery platforms, which is why it is still as relvant today as it was at the start of the Cold War.
 

Dissident

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Thucydides said:
NBF has some more on the idea: http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/12/upgraded-b-52j-would-be-useful-partner.html

At this point, it almost would make sense to simply reverse engineer a B-52 and build brand new ones with these modifications already installed (although I sort of wonder if it wouldn't be better to replace the 8 engines with 4 larger turbofans from an actual heavy airliner like a 777 or 787 Dreamliner?). The B-52 is the ultimate example of early airpower theorists ideals of aircraft as flying artillery platforms, which is why it is still as relvant today as it was at the start of the Cold War.

I just got a war boner at the thought of an AC-52 SuperSpooky, raining a cone of fiery death from 30k feet.

My apologies for the tangent.
 

mariomike

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NinerSix said:
I just got a war boner at the thought of an AC-52 SuperSpooky, raining a cone of fiery death from 30k feet.

Reaches for Bombers B-52 DVD.  :)
 

YZT580

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Thucydides said:
NBF has some more on the idea: http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/12/upgraded-b-52j-would-be-useful-partner.html

At this point, it almost would make sense to simply reverse engineer a B-52 and build brand new ones with these modifications already installed (although I sort of wonder if it wouldn't be better to replace the 8 engines with 4 larger turbofans from an actual heavy airliner like a 777 or 787 Dreamliner?).

You don't want to do that.  They would only screw it up trying to improve on it. 
 

MarkOttawa

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Plus a new type of non-nuke cruise missile for USAF bombers:

U.S. Bomber Force Preparing Computer-Killing HPM Cruise Missiles

The next time U.S. bombers are called into action against a major regional power, their open salvo of cruise missiles might include a new breed of microwave-energy weapon designed to systematically fry electronic devices such as computers, radars and radios.

Unlike the powerful “E-Bombs” that were used to electrically disable targets during the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and other types electromagnetic pulse weapons, these cruise missiles will travel at low altitudes along a predetermined path, firing down pulses of directed energy to wreak havoc on unshielded enemy electronics...

The technology has been in development for many years and was successfully used in 2012 during a live-fire demonstration that took out banks of computers at the Utah Test and Training Range.

Despite the obvious utility of this type of high-power microwave (HPM) weapon, the U.S. Air Force has been slow to adopt it as an operational capability, opting instead to keep it in the laboratory for further miniaturization and improvement.

The winds of change, however, are beginning to blow, as Raytheon’s Ktech group in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is put on contract to refurbish the remaining two unexpended test assets for additional “testing and training.” Now Air Force Global Strike Command says it is preparing for the inevitable introduction of this type of weaponry, which could be adopted as a niche tool over the coming 5-10 years.

The organization, responsible for training and equipping America’s 156-strong bomber force, says it is “pushing this technology through demonstrations and simulations to a level of maturity that will allow the transition to the warfighter.” An HPM cruise missile will likely be introduced first on the B-52, but the Boeing B-1B and Northrop Grumman B-2 “have not been ruled out as target platforms.” It is too early to establish an exact time line, “but we expect a fielded high-power microwave capability could be ready within the next 5-10 years,” it says..."
http://aviationweek.com/defense/us-bomber-force-preparing-computer-killing-hpm-cruise-missiles

Mark
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Kirkhill

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Topographic_map_example.png


408031


images
 

PuckChaser

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Your stopwatch won't work unless its mechanical.
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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Allright. Now, Chris, why did you use a map of Stowe, Vermont?

Planning a little raid on the Von Trapp lodge, are you?

[:D
 

cupper

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So, the USAF is willing to keep a design from the late 40's flying, but keeps trying to kill the A-10. Guess the sexy looking ones get all the attention.  ;D
 

Kirkhill

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Oldgateboatdriver said:
Allright. Now, Chris, why did you use a map of Stowe, Vermont?

Planning a little raid on the Von Trapp lodge, are you?

[:D

It is necessary to have a plan for every eventuality.  Just ask the Yanks. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Plan_Red
 

Kirkhill

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cupper said:
So, the USAF is willing to keep a design from the late 40's flying, but keeps trying to kill the A-10. Guess the sexy looking ones get all the attention.  ;D

Same era as the B52

463d_Troop_Carrier_Wing_Lockheed_C-130A-LM_Hercules_55-031_1957.jpg


and less than 10 years later

army-ch47-chinook-helicopter-in-a-field-meets-up-with-several-boys-picture-id586956241


But I can go you one better:

worlds-oldest-wagons-lchashen-armenia-lake-sevan.jpg


Built 4000 years ago on a design that was already in use 6000 years ago and is still, in its elements in use today.

106.jpg


Sometimes the function defines the form.

 

cupper

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Just want to point out that 3 of the 4 items were Army equipment, which I find sexy. [:D
 

MarkOttawa

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Over half-century BUFF back:

USAF returns mothballed B-52 bomber to service

The US Air Force (USAF) has returned a Boeing B-52H Stratofortress strategic bomber aircraft to service that had been mothballed in the 'boneyard' at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (AFB) in Arizona.

It took approximately 45,000 man-hours to restore 'Ghost Rider' to full operating capability after six years in the boneyard. (US Air Force)It took approximately 45,000 man-hours to restore 'Ghost Rider' to full operating capability after six years in the boneyard. (US Air Force)

The 55-year old aircraft, known as 'Ghost Rider' (tail number 61-007), was flown to its operating base at Minot in North Dakota on 27 September following a 19-month refurbishment by the 76th Aircraft Maintenance Group at Tinker Air Force Base (AFB) in Oklahoma.

With approximately 45,000 man-hours having gone into restoring the aircraft to full operating capability, 'Ghost Rider' will now join the 5th Bomb Wing of the Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC)...

At the height of its strength, the USAF B-52 forces comprised some 744 aircraft, although this number has been cut to just 76 (with 75 now in operation) in accordance with the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with Russia.
http://www.janes.com/article/64266/usaf-returns-mothballed-b-52-bomber-to-service

p1684200.jpg


p1684199.jpg

Mark
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MarkOttawa

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More forevering:

Outgoing U.S. Bomber Chief Sees Big Payoff In B-52 Engine Replacement
http://aviationweek.com/defense/outgoing-us-bomber-chief-sees-big-payoff-b-52-engine-replacement

Mark
Ottawa
 

mariomike

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So lethal, yet so beautiful!

Great take-off. But, landing not so good...

Gets interesting at the 1:20 mark,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YAWwe474YHk


 

Kirkhill

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MarkOttawa said:
More forevering:

Mark
Ottawa

I see, amongst all the proposals for re-engining and upgrading the controls at least one call of "if it ain't broke don't fix it".

Those old engines and mechanical controls have seen generations of tubes, transistors, integrated circuits, PLCs and avionics come and go.
 
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