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December B-21 Rider and Boeing B-52 facelift show

The turn of the year 2022/23 in the US Air Force promises to be interesting. Boeing showed the first renderings of its “immortal” B-52, which is undergoing another, very serious modernization, and on December 2 the first public display of the new B-21 Rider strategic bomber was announced.

The B-52 never dies

70 years in aviation is really a gap, it is several technological eras. In 1952, MiG-21, F-5 did not exist yet. This year, however, a construction was tested which, thanks to its specificity, has remained in service to this day. The B-52 Stratofortress, America’s, dare we say iconic, strategic bomber is undergoing further modification and all indications are that it will become the first aircraft to surpass the “hundred” mark in continuous service.

Boeing has just released the first renderings showing what the new version will look like, and admittedly, the plane has changed a lot more than you might have expected. But let’s start with what the new version is, probably marked with the letter J or K (the B-52H is currently in use). First of all, the aircraft will receive new Rolls-Royce F130 engines. This is a military version of the BR725 engines used for example in the Gulfstream G650.

The B-52 will receive a completely new analog-digital cockpit, the aircraft’s electrical and pneumatic systems will be modernized. The aircraft will also receive a new nose, in which the AN / APG-79 radar will be hidden, known, among other things, from the F / A-18EF SuperHornet aircraft, which, in combination with the underwing Sniper sight or Litening pods, will completely replace the old observation system.

Changes in the plane of the plane indicate that the communication and navigation systems were also significantly modified. The whole modification made the aircraft look very different, much more modern, although probably a little less aggressive. But looks won’t fly, the B-52 is supposed to have a longer range, it was also more economical and easier to handle and use.

Official B-21 Rider show

The news that we will see the B-21 Rider on December 2 will surely worry the Chinese, who have been making a lot of noise with their H-20 lately. However, we still haven’t seen a prototype of the Chinese aircraft, and Northrop Grumman has officially confirmed that the first six B-21s are in the final stages of assembly.

On December 2nd in Palmdale, California, the aircraft will be presented to the public for the first time and it will be perhaps the most significant aviation premiere in recent years. The aircraft could be called the result of conclusions from the design of the terrifyingly expensive and complicated B-2 Spirit. The aircraft is supposed to be cheaper both in terms of purchase and use, and easier to mass (in the aviation sense) produce. In the USAF, it is to replace both the B-1B Lancer and the aforementioned B-2 in the United States.

The US Air Force has already announced that it is starting work on a recall program for both of these machines, of course, linked to the implementation of the B-21 Rider. I wonder if the situation with the war between the USAF and Congress will repeat itself with the B-2, the US senators are very reluctant to retire iconic machines such as the A-10 or F-22, yet they are expensive to maintain and easily perform their tasks cheaper planes.

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