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Plans for Pentagon’s Future Flying Bomb Truck Begin to Take Shape

Defense Department officials may select a bomber already in the Air Force’s inventory to become its munitions-packed “arsenal plane,” Dr. Will Roper, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, said Tuesday.

Roper told reporters in Washington, D.C. that the service has a vision for its current bomber fleet, which constitutes turning the bomber force — the B-52 Stratofortress, B-1 Lancer or B-2 Spirit — into “something else” in the future. Hypothetically, a B-52 loaded with multiple hypersonic weapons can evolve from its standard function into a “missileer,” Roper said.

The acquisition chief said the service has been working with the Air Force Global Strike Command on hypersonic weapons tests on the B-52. The Air Force in June flew its first test flight of the AGM-183A Air Launched Rapid Response Weapon, a hypersonic weapon known as ARRW (pronounced “Arrow”).

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Students Design $1.25 Piece to Help Prevent B-2 Stealth Bomber Emergencies

One of the world’s most advanced bombers is flying with a plastic switch cover, designed by Missouri high school students, in its cockpit to prevent possible in-flight emergencies, the Air Force says. The Stealth Panthers robotics team at Knob Noster High School near Whiteman Air Force Base worked with pilots and engineers last fall to create and test the 3D-printed prototype in a B-2 Spirit training simulator.

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