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Boeing Installs Prototypes of Upgraded B-52 Weapons Bay Launcher; Mike Houk Comments

Boeing Installs Prototypes of Upgraded B-52 Weapons Bay Launcher; Mike Houk Comments - top government contractors - best government contracting event

BoeingLogo1 EbizBoeing has completed the installation of an upgraded weapons bay launcher for the B-52 bomber aircraft to build up the mission flexibility and weapons carriage capacity of the U.S. Air Force fleet.

The company said Wednesday it used a conventional rotary launcher to enable the aircraft to carry more GPS-guided weapons in the weapons bay instead of on the wing pylons.

Flying the B-52 without visible weapons on the wings facilitates a tactical advantage and reduces wind resistance, which leads to fuel savings for the aircraft, Boeing said.

“We estimate fuel savings to be 15 percent when the B-52 flies without wing-mounted weapons,” said Mike Houk, B-52 sustainment program manager at Boeing.

“‘Clean wing’ also means that adversaries don’t know what weapons the B-52 is carrying.”

Boeing said the upgrade also includes the capacity to carry Joint Direct Attack MunitionsJoint Air-to-Surface Stand0ff Missiles and Miniature Air Launched Decoys.

The company has deployed three prototypes of the new launcher and is working with the Air Force to conduct field tests through March, which they will follow up with flight tests.

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Written by Anna Forrester

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