The U.S. Air Force continues to modernize its fifty-year-B-52 bombers. Last renovation will allow each B-52 to carry more than 10 130 100-kg bomblets (SDB-Small Diameter Bomb, also recognized as a GBU-39 / B). 6 years ago on the B-52 was modified rotary drum, so Makarov, he was able to carry 32 bomblets instead of 15 large bombs.
SDB was initially developed as an intelligent bomb. It has a more effective warhead design and guidance system. Its shape is more like a missile than a bomb (it is about 2-meters in length and 190 mm in diameter). The reduced amount of explosive in the SDB leads to a decrease in the number of victims in the middle of a civilian population. Friendly forces may be closer to the target when using SDB. While the use of bombs caliber 500, 1,000, and 2,000 pounds is a spectacular effect, from time to time it is not necessary. Infantry prefers smaller induced by GPS bombs. In this regard, was hastily developed and adopted an 500 pound JDAM. But it turned out to be rather small in the conduct of military operations in urban developments. SDB is armed with only 17 kilograms of explosives, compared with 127 pounds in bombs caliber 500 pounds. In principle, SDB has not rocket engine, but is capable of planning a target that is at a distance of bolshennom. The absence of motor makes more SDB more small-sized. Small wings allow the SDB plan to distances of 70-80 km (at reset from a great height). SDB is also equipped with strong bonnet for almost three meters to break hard rock or concrete, and its warhead causes less collateral damage than ordinary bomb where the explosive is made in ordinary iron case. So Makar, SDB is the subsequent generation of smart bombs. More space-saving design allows it to be SDB more transportable. F-15/16/18 aircraft capable of carrying 24 or more bombs SDB. SDB is a special harness that holds four such bombs. Usually such suspension bomber is one big 500 -, 1000 -, or 2000-pound bomb. But such bombs rather more rarely needed in modern combat situations.
New bombs are doing the most to use a cheap and very reliable "truck bomber" B-52 Air Force even more effective. With the greatest take-off weight of 240-250 tons BUFF (Big Ugly Fat Fellow, and a big ugly fat man) is a large aircraft designed for a cheap and efficient transport of bombs. Last year the ratio of combat readiness of the bombers was 0.78. Notwithstanding own age-52 to equip with modern electronics and equipment, including flat screens. Peering closely, you can see behind all of this fifty-year-metal.
B-52 is the cheapest kind of operation weary U.S. Air Force bomber and even one such aircraft can cover the entire area of Afghanistan. B-52 bombers on a rotational basis based on the Air Force base on the peninsula of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean and from there support operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. In late 2001, 10 B-52s took off one third of the bombs used in Afghanistan. This is an excellent indicator for the 60-year-old aircraft. B-52 also has a low level crash than bomber B-1 and B-2. Compared to the supersonic B-1 and sverhtehnologichnym B-2, B-52 is a flying truck. So Makar, regardless of their own age, the B-52 was the cheapest kind, the most harmless and the most reliable method of delivering smart bombs in Afghanistan.
In Afghanistan, with a dozen 909-kg JDAM (controlled by GPS) bombs or with a huge number of the smallest caliber bombs on board the B-52 can be over the war zone for a few hours, waiting for the coordinates of the objectives of the Special Forces mission from the ground or from the advanced air force gunners . Accuracy JDAM (in 90 percent of cases) is within 16 meters of this coordinate. Moreover, most of the bomb hits targets within 10 minutes after the request.
B-52 bomber was the main languishing in for most of the cool War (1947-91gg). Layout-52 made its own first flight in 1952. In the last-52H was built in 1962. B-52 has seen almost everything in Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, the Balkans and Afghanistan. His crew consists of 5 members (commander, 2nd pilot, radar operator, navigator and electronic warfare operator). Prior to 1990 was also the operator-gunner stern 20-mm cannon. Automation makes it possible to further reduce the number of crew. The crew of the B-1 era of the 1970s consists of 4 people, and the crew of the B-2 era of the 1980s consists of only 2 persons. The only modification of a flying B-52 models are in-52H, which significantly changed from the time the last time left the assembly flow in the 1962nd year.
True substitution-52 and was never built, for the reason that no one could predict the development of clear and smart bombs to destroy the possibility of the U.S. Air Force most of enemy air defenses. In reality, even when faced with a strong defense of the enemy, the B-52 was able to carry out their puzzle. Within 12 days of the operation Linebacker II in North Vietnam in 1972nd year of the fire Russian SAM-2 missiles were lost 15 B-52 bombers. 150 B-52 bombers stationed at the air base of Guam, performed 729 operations, with all this loss were in the range of 2-percent. But when you consider the number of sorties, then we lost about 10 percent of the B-52. Of the 92 crew members of downed aircraft killed 33.
After the Vietnam War, the B-52 has received several new generations of electronic warfare, based on the experience gained during Operation Linebacker II. Yet never had enough money to keep the B-52 into a vibrant state, in particular, it deals with the equipment needed for the introduction of some new bombs. As a result, some B-52 received equipment, necessary for the implementation of JDAM bombs specifically to the war in Afghanistan in 2001. B-1 has been modernized to implement JDAM to B-1B, since B-52 is considered more reliable. In any case, the upgrade was a cheap — wiring from the control station instrument to bombs, so Makarov, your GPS location of the target can be changed in flight. 50-year-old B-52 soon became a favorite weapon in Afghanistan, able to hover for a few
hours, and at the request of one-color drop a bomb JDAM.
At the current time, the U.S. Air Force are able to kill high-altitude anti-aircraft missiles, and then use the B-52 from a great height in order to avoid their defeat low-altitude anti-aircraft guns and mobile anti-aircraft missile systems. Bombers B-1 and B-2 have been made to deal with more more saturated air defense. But with the collapse of the Russian Union in 1991, no one else has a similar system. Maybe in the future China will be able to build another such formidable air defense system. Now due to the lack of high-end air defense system capable of suspending him, B-52 can still break into a war zone, even for the delivery of nuclear weapons.