- Airman Magazine/Flickr
After about 45,000 man-hours spent restoring a 55-year-old airframe, the US Air Force welcomes its newest B-52H Stratofortress strategic bomber, named “Ghost Rider,” to the 5th Bomb Wing of the Air Force Global Strike Command, IHS Jane’s reports.
The bomber underwent a significant 19-month restoration transitioning it from the so-called boneyard, where old US military planes are stored in retirement, to Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota as a fully operational nuclear-capable bomber.
“Ghost Rider” will help compensate for losses to the B-52 fleet in recent years, like the B-52 that exploded on the runway in Guam in May.
The US has increasingly turned to salvaging scrapped planes from the boneyard, as tight budgets and overworked air crews struggle to make do.
The US still operates 76 B-52 bombers, a type of aircraft first introduced in the mid-1950s. The B-52s serve as a very visible element of the US’s nuclear-deterrence strategy.
- US Air Force