Son of ALCM, Son of B-52

STRATCOM chief Gen. Kevin Chilton believes that the current inventory of AGM-86B Air Launched Cruise Missiles can be modified “as a bridge” to last until about 2030, he said at a Washington conference Wednesday. To replace it, he thinks a follow-on, “single type” cruise missile, likely undertaken in partnership with the Navy, should be developed starting in the mid-2020s. Chilton also said that the B-52’s history—evolving from a high-altitude bomber to a low-altitude bomber and eventually to a standoff bomber—will be the pattern followed by the next long-range strike aircraft. “We ought to think about those things and plan for it in advance,” he said.