B-52 Future Stratofortress: The Upgrades That Will Transform The B-52H Into The B-52J

The B-52 Stratofortress is a plane that really needs no introduction. It’s big, it’s loud, and it’s smoky. It’s also incredibly old. So old that the last airframes to roll off the production line took to the skies in the early 1960s, right in the thick of the Cold War. Despite its age, the plane commonly known as “The BUFF” remains a dependable and capable long-range bomber for the U.S. Air Force.

As the B-52H enters its seventh decade of service, there are no plans to retire the type. As we have discussed regularly for years now, the U.S. Air Force has laid out a host of upgrades that will see a jet designed with slide rules become a networked, high-tech, multi-role, long-range platform of the future…and potentially serving for over a century. This deeply revamped Stratofortress that will serve alongside the B-21 Raider will be known as the B-52J.

As we sit on the precipice of yet another act in the B-52’s long and fascinating career, we decided to wrangle all of the upgrade initiatives into one in-depth explainer video that details the modernization makeover that will transform the B-52H into the B-52J.

Contact the author: tyler@thedrive.com