All long-range bombers B-52 Stratofortress USAF crossed the 50-year mark, the report said the U.S. aircraft manufacturing concern Boeing. According to the group, October 26, 2012 marks 50 years of B-52H aircraft, tail number 61-040, U.S. Air Force put the last one in 1962. This bomber is assigned to the Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota.
The oldest B-52H bomber in May 2012 was 51 year. Supply aircraft version H USAF concern Boeing exercised from May 1961 to October 1962. During this time the aircraft 102 produced by B-52 in eight different ways. Currently in service with the U.S. Air Force bombers are 76 B-52H, two of which are involved in the testing and assigned to Edwards Air Force Base.
According to current plans, the Ministry of Defense B-52 bombers will stand in service at least until 2040. Then the most "young" such aircraft will already be 78 years old. According to Boeing, the service life can be extended bombers continue in 2040. In September 2012, the Pentagon has concluded a contract with Boeing to upgrade weapons systems B-52.
As part of the extension of the service life of the B-52 Air Force plan several times to modernize these aircraft. In particular, by 2022 they should get a new radar, navigation and communication, as well as weapons systems. B-52 also will be integrated into a single information network and the Pentagon will be able to exchange data with other U.S. troops.
Production of the B-52 was conducted in the United States from 1952 to 1962. During this time, Boeing has issued 744 bomber. Combat radius of the B-52 is about 7200 kilometers, and ferry range — 16000 miles. The aircraft is capable of speeds up to 950 kilometers per hour and carry a bomb load of up to 31 tons. In the future, all the B-52 bombers will be replaced by the new NGB.