Current engines on the old ‘BUFF’ B-52 bomber are eight of a old design that are out of date…
The Air Force is looking to go down to four turbo fan engines per aircraft ….
If the replacement is done?
The aircraft will continue to be the backbone of the American air defense umbrella for another 20 years at least as the Air Force looks to add more defensive systems and other upgrades
The U.S. Air Force may formalize plans for a B-52J upgrade variant of its venerable bomber, and briefed industry on the potential effort during a platform update at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, Aerospace DAILY has learned.
Col. Lance Reynolds, B-1 and B-52 systems program manager, told attendees during an industry update in August that the B-52J is a “potential future effort,” according to presentation slides. Some proponents have previously suggested the “J” designation for a modified B-52, specifically for an “arsenal plane” variant concept floated in 2016. But the update documents presented at Tinker are thought to be the first time that the proposed B-52J title has been used publicly by the Air Force.
The presentation slides outline several small upgrades. They include a defensive systems and avionics modernization, a crash-survivable flight data recorder, a weapons system trainer, advanced targeting pod relocation and an ejection seat.
The service remains mum on the new project. Air Force spokeswoman Carla Pampe said in a statement to Aerospace DAILY that she does not have any information at this time on the B-52J designation.
It is unclear if the B-52 re-engining initiative will form part of the potential B-52J upgrade effort or will stay solely under the B-52H umbrella…..