BUFF Set to Buff Up Armaments

The planned addition between now and 2020 of a range of new weapons to the B-52—USAF’s versatile and oldest bomb truck—is underway, according to a June 16 Pentagon contract announcement. The Air Force awarded Boeing $150 million to kick-start the effort, known as Smart Weapons Integration Next Generation (SWING) Program. First up will be integration of the Miniature Air Launched Decoy, followed by such existing weapons as the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range and MALD jammer, as well as new munitions, such as the Small Diameter Bomb and Boost Phase Interceptor. Under SWING, the Air Force expects Boeing to modify the bomber’s weapon delivery software and perform aircraft modifications to integrate each new weapon.