The B-52 Bomber Gets Super Hornet’s AESA Radar

The B-52 Bomber Gets Super Hornet’s AESA Radar
The B-52 Bomber Gets Super Hornet’s AESA Radar

The US Air Force’s (USAF) oldest and most capable strategic bomber, the B-52 Stratofortress, is about to undergo a major upgrade of new electronics, avionics, radar and engines. The aircraft will be equipped with the APG-79B4 radar. It will be redesigned and codenamed B-52J or B-52K.


Boeing uses the APG-79B4 Active Electronic Scanned Array ( AESA ) type radar on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter jets offered to the Indian Navy. The APG-79B4 mounted on the Super Hornet is on the nose, while the one mounted on the B-52 will be turned upside down. Thus, the radar can see more of the ground than the sky.

The B-52 Bomber Gets Super Hornet’s AESA Radar

The current B-52 flies with a mechanically scanned radar dating back to the 1960s. Migration to a newer radar and other upgrades will put it on par with the B-21 Raider under development. The B-21 and B-52J/K bombers will serve as a two-bomber fleet for the next three decades into the 2050s.

Currently, the USAF operates 58 B-52s. Another 18 are kept in reserve, and a dozen are in long-term storage. In total, Boeing produced 744 units of the B-52 in various variants.



The bomber, with a payload capacity of 31,751 kg, can fly up to a distance of 14,162 km without aerial refuelling.