Venerable B-52 may outlive snazzier, younger bombers

February 12, 2018 - 3:19 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Air Force says the venerable B-52 bomber, which gained lasting fame in Vietnam as an aerial terror, is now likely to outlive its younger, far snazzier brother bombers, the swept-wing B-1 and the stealthy B-2.

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson announced Monday that the service plans to begin retiring the B-1 and B-2 fleets as soon as it builds enough of the service's next-generation bomber, the B-21, nicknamed the Raider, which is still on the drawing boards.

The B-52 is expected to keep flying until 2050, if not longer.

Wilson said the B-1 and B-2 retirement timelines depend on Raider production schedules; the Air Force expects to start fielding the new bomber in the mid-2020s.

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