The Air Force has begun a series of major upgrades to its oldest aircraft — the B-52H Stratofortress — to keep the fleet viable until about 2050.
The iconic B-52 airframes first came off the production line more than six decades ago.
The service currently possesses 76 of the long-range subsonic strategic bombers, split between Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, and Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, and operated by the service’s Global Strike Command as well as Air Force Reserve Command.
The B-52H has a robust airframe and flexible mission capabilities for both conventional and nuclear warfare, which has allowed it to keep flying as much younger aircraft are retired, said Maj. Jacob Davis, chief B-52 requirements officer at Global Strike Command.
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