NewsNational News


In a future bomber force, old and ugly beats new and snazzy

Posted at 12:47 AM, Jul 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-25 00:47:17-04

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. — In the topsy-turvy world of U.S. strategic bombers, older and uglier beats newer and snazzier.

As the Air Force charts the future of its bomber aircraft fleet, the youngest and priciest — the stealthy B-2 — is to be retired first.

The oldest and stodgiest — the Vietnam-era B-52, nicknamed the Big Ugly Fat Fellow — will go last.

It could still be flying at age 100.

A driving force behind these calculations is the enormous cost of fielding a next-generation bomber, the B-21 Raider, at the same time the Pentagon spends hundreds of billions to replace the entire nuclear arsenal.