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B-52 Stratofortress gets a sniper pod

The B-52 Stratofortress is truly awesome. The aircraft is huge, powerful and will deliver the load anywhere in the world. For years, she’s been in service and now the plane is getting a nice add-on: a sniper pod. With constant upgrades bringing the more than 60-year-old bomber into the 21st century, the addition of the sniper pod gives the B-52H Stratofortress better integration with ground forces and laser guided bombs for precision strike capability. What is does is great as the pod gives a faster response time to the targets. What would normally take 30 to 40 button presses in five minutes now only takes a few seconds to actually target and drop munitions. This new capability also allows the aircrew to coordinate with ground forces in a new way that is beneficial to their safety and planning. In effect, the aircraft crew can integrate with the forces on the ground and let them see what they see so that there is no misunderstanding and everyone is on the same page. With technology constantly moving forward this new pod gives its own set of challenges to the B-52. With constant improvements on the aging plane, the 2nd Bomb Wing can complete its mission of providing global deterrence anywhere and anytime. The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress is a long-range, subsonic, jet-powered strategic bomber. The B-52 was designed and built by Boeing, which has continued to provide support and upgrades. It has been operated by the United States Air Force (USAF) since the 1950s. The bomber carries up to 70,000 pounds (32,000 kg) of weapons. The B-52 has been in active service with the USAF since 1955. As of 2012, 85 remain in service with 9 in reserve. The bombers flew under theStrategic Air Command (SAC) until it was disestablished in 1992 and its aircraft absorbed into the Air Combat Command (ACC); in 2010 all B-52 Stratofortresses were transferred from the ACC to the new Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC). Superior performance at high subsonic speeds and relatively low operating costs have kept the B-52 in service despite the advent of later aircraft, including the cancelled Mach 3 North American XB-70 Valkyrie, the variable-geometry Rockwell B-1B Lancer, and the stealthy Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit. The B-52 marked its 50th anniversary of continuous service with its original operator in 2005 and after being upgraded between 2013 and 2015 it will serve into the 2040s.

Photo (Chris Buff – http://500px.com/photo/4084479)

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