ASC19 Conference Envisioned What The Future U.S. Air Force Bomber Fleet Will Look Like

As you may already know, the Air Force Association held its 2019 Air, Space & Cyber Conference in Washington from September 16 ? 18, where U.S. Air Force leaders shared the current status of the service and the latest news about development programs, like the official designation of the T-7 Red Hawk and the presentation of Raytheon?s Peregrine air-to-air missile.

One of the recurring topics of the conference was the present and future situation of the bomber fleet. Gen. Timothy Ray, Global Strike Command chief said during his speech that right now the Air Force has 156 bombers in active service, comprehensive of 75 B-52H, 62 B-1B and 19 B-2A. The service determined that it needs 386 combat squadrons to get to a low-risk posture and research shows that, in order to meet this goal, the bomber fleet should grow from the current 156 aircraft to at least 225. Under the current National Defense Strategy, the Air Force is planning to field the new B-21 in the 2020s while retiring the B-1 and B-2 in the same timeframe. Even with the B-52 in service until 2050, the bomber fleet may not be able to reach the 225 aircraft goal.


Marines’ Classic Hornet Jets to Get Upgraded Radar

The U.S. Marine Corps’ F/A-18C/D Hornet fighter fleet is getting a radar upgrade. The service selected Raytheon Co. to upgrade the aircraft to the APG-79(v)4 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, according to a company announcement.

The radar is a scaled version of the APG-79 AESA, which has been integrated into Super Hornets and EA-18G Growlers. The APG-79 gives pilots additional situational awareness, high-performance targeting and extended range. A contract amount was not disclosed.