BUFF Radar

The Air Force has laid in money in the Fiscal 2017 budget to start replacing the B-52’s radar, service plans and requirements chief Lt. Gen. Mike Holmes said Thursday. “If we’re going to keep the B-52 around” until the 2040s, Holmes said, then it makes good operational and fiscal sense to replace the radar, which is becoming unsupportable and has a mean time between failure shorter than most operational missions, meaning the jets are “flying around with a broken radar a lot. So we will be buying a new radar.” USAF is “working through the requirements” for what the radar needs to be able to do, he said. Holmes added that, “if I had to guess,” USAF will use an existing radar and adapt it to the bomber, “rather than something new.” Service officials have been saying for several years that they would like to adapt one of the current generation of Active Electronically Scanned Array radars for the B-52, to give it synthetic aperture capability and reduce its electromagnetic footprint.