Detailed image of B-52 with new engines revealed by Boeing

Veteran bomber will get Rolls-Royce turbofans and a new AESA radar and could be redesignated as B-52J or B-52K

Boeing has shared a rendered image of the B-52 bomber with new engines, bringing out as-yet-unseen details.

The eight-engine aircraft is about to undergo an upgrade process, which includes a new turbofan manufactured by Rolls-Royce and an AESA-type radar.

The illustration (above compared to the current B-52H) reveals how the F130 engines will look installed in the new wing mounts. It is possible to notice that they are wider than the TF-33s currently in use.

Boeing also showed a new wing gun mount in addition to a nose with fewer antennas and sensors. On the back of the B-52 you can see two large protuberances, which can store new equipment, but whose function was kept secret by the manufacturer.

B-52 rendering image compared to the B-52H (Boeing/NARA)

The US Air Force (USAF) also contracted to install the AN/APG-79 radar, which is used on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter. Of the AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) type, the equipment should significantly improve the range and accuracy of the bomber’s missions.

In addition to the two main improvements, the B-52 will also have changes to the cockpit, communication and navigation.

Boeing is currently conducting wind tunnel tests to understand the impact of changes to the new nacelles and engines. The amount of changes is so high that the USAF intends to rename the B-52H as the B-52J or B-52K after the update.

Boeing B-52H (USAF)

The Air Force has not revealed how many bombers will be converted to the new standard, although Rolls-Royce has been contracted to supply 608 units of the F130 engine from 2025.

A simple division would mean that 76 aircraft could undergo the change of turbofans, however, as there will be a spare amount, it is imagined that the total conversions will be less than that.

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