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B-52 Defense  
User currently offlineEWRlovr From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 21 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 8618 times:

hey guys,

I was just wondering why the B-52 when it first came out only had one source of defense, the rear gun turret and thats it? I'd really appreciate your answers. thanks alot!

10 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineZkpilot From New Zealand, joined Mar 2006, 4775 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 8596 times:

Quoting EWRlovr (Thread starter):
hey guys,

I was just wondering why the B-52 when it first came out only had one source of defense, the rear gun turret and thats it? I'd really appreciate your answers. thanks alot!

post in military... this is civil aviation.
As to your question, I would hazard a guess and say that at the time missiles/counter-measures etc just weren't available/suitable. Remember the B-52 is a very old aircraft.



54 types. 38 countries. 24 airlines.
User currently onlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8095 posts, RR: 24
Reply 2, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 8482 times:

The B-52s have always had enourmous numbers of flares for defense. There's a story of an F-4 in mock-combat with a Buff (back when the phantom didn't have a gun) being unable to ever get a lock because the -52 just kept dumping limitless flares.


This Website Censors Me
User currently offlinePtrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3884 posts, RR: 19
Reply 3, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 8198 times:

Quoting EWRlovr (Thread starter):

Are you asking why it didn't have more gun turrets or what?

Peter



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineMDorBust From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 8152 times:

Quoting EWRlovr (Thread starter):
I was just wondering why the B-52 when it first came out only had one source of defense, the rear gun turret and thats it?

The B-52's best defensive system has never been it's turret. It's actually a very powerful, and very top secret jamming system. Judging by the number of antennas 52s seem to grow everytime I see one, it's getting better with age.


User currently offlineF4wso From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 974 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 8131 times:

The B-52 was designed during the Korean War era when the .50 caliber machine gun and 20 mm cannon were the primary air to air weapons. Chaff and electronic countermeasures were available to counter the ground and air search radars.

Gary
Cottage Grove, MN, USA



Seeking an honest week's pay for an honest day's work
User currently offlineDrewfly From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 303 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 8061 times:

According to http://www.airforce-technology.com/projects/b52/

Quote:
The B-52H is equipped with a wide range of electronic warfare equipment. The ITT AN/ALQ-172(V)2 electronic countermeasures system features multi-band threat recognition and multiple threat jamming. The AN/ALR-20A radar warning system detects and prioritises multiple threats.

The Northrop Grumman (Litton) AN/ALR-46 digital warning receiver detects radar emissions in the 2GHz to 18GHz band, and can simultaneously identify up to 16 radar signals. Northrop Grumman's AN/ALQ-155 jammer power management system gives 360-degree coverage in D,E,F,G, and H radar bands.

It is also equipped with Motorola AN/ALQ-122 multiple false target generator, AN/ALT-32 noise jammer and Northrop Grumman AN/ALQ-153 tail warning set, which is a pulse Doppler threat warner.

Twelve AN/ALE-20 infrared flare dispensers and eight launchers for the AN/ALE-24 chaff dispenser are fitted.

Another interesting little tidbit:

Quote:
From 2009, it is planned that the B-52 will undertake an expanded mission with a new role to include standoff jamming. The aircraft will carry new large wingtip pods, weighing up to 2,260kg, which will carry a suite of powerful jamming systems.

The aircraft will be renamed B-52 SOJ and will form part of the USAF Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA) system. 16 SOJ systems are required but a larger number of aircraft could be modified to carry the pods.

A contract for development of the SOJ is to be awarded in 2006. Two teams - Boeing / BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman - have submitted proposals.



A-10 Thunderbolt II, ugly as hell, efficient as hell, would you like to meet my boomstick?
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12065 posts, RR: 52
Reply 7, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 7916 times:

The B-52 has always had a very effective ECM suite along with flairs and chaff. The tail guns (quad .50 caliber in the B-G models and a 6 barrel 20mm for the H model) were removed in the early 1990s, and the gunners were all reassigned to other aircraft (some even became KC-135 Boom Operators). The thoughts were the guns were usless even though 2 B-52Ds and a B-52G had Mig kills during the Vietnam War.

The ECM suite has been steadily improved over the years to keep up with defending the B-52.


User currently offlinePrebennorholm From Denmark, joined Mar 2000, 6296 posts, RR: 54
Reply 8, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 7693 times:

Quoting EWRlovr (Thread starter):
I was just wondering why the B-52 when it first came out only had one source of defense, the rear gun turret and thats it?

Dear EWRlovr, most of the answers you got so far tell a lot about later or present defense systems on the B-52. But you asked: "...when it first came out...".

Initially the major "defense system" on the buff was its speed and altitude.

At that time practically all potential opponent fighter aircrafts would struggle to get to that altitude, wouldn't overtake the buff in speed, and would hardly be able to maneuver at that altitude.

It was very dangerous to get on the tail of a buff. You would struggle to keep your (MiG-) fighter within coffin corner, not exactly the best way to aim a gun. And firing your gun might easily put you on the south side of coffin corner and into a thousands of feet deep spin. And better not get anywhere near that buff tail gunner, who enjoyed a stable platform and had nothing else to do than to aim his gun.

That situation changed dramatically rather fast, as Mach 2 fighters became the norm as well as and large, high altitude SAMs and precise AAMs.

The same bomber defense philosophy was followed with the B-58 Hustler, only even higher and much higher speed.

But unlike the B-52 the Hustler could not be adapted into a sophisticated low altitude bomber. And also the Hustler did not have a bomb bay to carry long range stand off weapons. It was designed to deliver one combined nuke bomb / fuel tank on one single target.



Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs, Preben Norholm
User currently offlineF4wso From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 974 posts, RR: 12
Reply 9, posted (7 years 6 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 7649 times:

I know the A model had the four .50 caliber machine guns. Was this original equipment or later modification. I thought it was designed with the six crew positions.

From Joe Baugher's site on the B-58 tail gun...
The defensive armament of the B-58 consisted of a General Electric T-171E-3 six-barrel 20-mm rotary cannon with a maximum firing rate of 4000 rounds per minute. The gun was mounted inside the extreme tail, on the axis of an articulated cone which consisted of tapered, concentric aluminum rings which were spring-loaded against each other. The tailgun assembly was aerodynamically faired to conform to the rest of the aircraft.

Gary
Cottage Grove, MN, USA



Seeking an honest week's pay for an honest day's work
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12065 posts, RR: 52
Reply 10, posted (7 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 7549 times:

Quoting F4wso (Reply 9):
I know the A model had the four .50 caliber machine guns. Was this original equipment or later modification. I thought it was designed with the six crew positions.

Yes, the 3 B-52As that were built were built with the quad .50s, but since SAC never took the "A" model (first operational B-52s were B/RB-52Bs), Boeing removed the tail guns. The tail gunner position became a flight test observer position.


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