The U.S. military’s iconic B-52 Stratofortress and other bombers may soon evolve to include hypersonic weapons.
Officials told reporters on Tuesday that packing the aircraft with hypersonic weapons may be possible, which would transform the aircraft into “arsenal planes.”
Weapons loaded onto the fleet would essentially function as a “missileer,” Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics, said Tuesday from the nation’s capital, Military.com reported.
He stressed the need to “think more broadly” about the capabilities of existing aircraft while asking how bombers “work in the contested environment in a way that’s complimentary with the [penetrating] B-21 [Raider]?”
The website noted a recent round of tests with the 419th Flight Test Squadron, Edwards Air Force Base, California, which showed promise.
Air Force Global Strike Command’s Gen. Tim Ray said in September that officials were now discussing how to “put four, potentially eight, large hypersonic weapons” in bomb bays.
Mr. Roper showed a preference for the B-52 ‘Big Ugly Fat Fellow’ as a future arsenal plane, the website reported.
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