New Life for the B-52 | Defense News: Aviation International News

New Life for the B-52 | Defense News: Aviation International News

The United States Air Force recently announced its plan to continue to fly it’s fleet of 76 B-52 Bombers until the year 2050 — which will make the fleet of planes 88 years old at that time. But these planes won’t look or behave anything like a human octogenarian.

While the fleet of planes has continued to receive updates and upgrades since originally manufactured by Boeing in the 1960’s, the Air Force recently announced it’s a plan to fully modernize the fleet, to the tune of $3.2 billion over the next 5 years:

These potential new upgrades will build on recent and ongoing modernization and modification programs, including the modification of the bomb bay’s common rotary launcher to allow the simultaneous launch of more smart weapons from the internal bay (combat-proven in November 2017) and the Combat Network Communication Technology (CONECT) upgrade that added digital display screens, computer network servers, and real-time beyond-line-of-sight communication links. Link 16 will be integrated from 2020. All of these improvements could potentially result in the allocation of a new B-52J designation.In total, the service has allocated nearly $2.1 billion for development and over $1.3 billion for the production of B-52 modernization and capability improvements over the next five years. The most important elements in the planned upgrade will center on the provision of new engines and radars.

Source: New Life for the B-52 | Defense News: Aviation International News


The jockeying has already begun over the contract for the engines that are part of the B-52 overhaul. The contract is expected to be awarded by the Air Force in the third quarter of FY2019 (the end of June 2020) and will include some $727.5 million for the development phase of the project between Fiscal Years 2019-2023.  In the running are Rolls-Royce, General Electric (GE), Northrop Grumman (NOC) and Pratt & Whitney, which is a United Technologies (UTX) company. The awarding of this contract will be a great win for company within the Safety & Security investment theme index, which ever one gets it.

About the Author

Chris Broussard
I'm the Co-Founder and President of Tematica Research and editor of Thematic Signals, which aims to uncover confirming data points and items to watch for our list of investing themes. Whether its a news item, video clip, or company commentary, we've included this full list of items literally "ripped from the headlines." I have been involved in financial services marketing and publishing for over 20 years – having held senior level positions with financial publishers, financial services corporations and providing marketing support and consulting services to financial institutions and independent financial advisors. My background in digital marketing, financial services and consumer research provides me with a unique perspective on how to uncover the underlying proof points that are driving the themes our Chief Investment Officer Chris Versace utilizes in our various Tematica publications.

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