USAF plans to retire B-1 and B-2 and keep B-52 until 2040

Former bomber will receive new engines and join new B-21, still under development

During the presentation of the 2019 fiscal budget proposal, the Trump administration revealed details of the strategic bomber fleet the United States plans to have in the coming decades.

The biggest surprise is the proposal to replace the engines of the veteran B-52 bomber that would remain operational until 2040. Its main function will be the long-range cruise missile vector.

This will make the B-52H fly alongside the new B-21 Raider, a bomber being developed by Northrop Grumman and expected to enter service in the next decade.

Another revelation coming from the USAF is the retirement of the B-1B and also of the B-2, the first stealth bomber ever created and considered the most expensive aircraft in history. Until then, it was thought that the B-2 would remain in the fleet with the B-21, cheaper and that should be produced in greater number.

The high operating costs of the B-2 ultimately motivated the Pentagon to retire early. Meanwhile, the B-52, which has been in service for more than 50 years, is expected to gain new engines by 2029.

See also: Russia orders 10 new Tu-160M2 bombers


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