Charlie Brown BUFF

Re-engining the B-52—a perennial dream of those heading Global Strike Command—is being “looked at again,” but no one should hold his breath for it, Air Force acquisition chief William LaPlante said in an interview. “I know that this has been ‘Lucy and the football’ for awhile,” he said in an interview with Air Force Magazine, and “it may not be feasible, but it’s always worth trying to save money.” LaPlante acknowledged that USAF plans to keep the B-52 in service well into the 2040s, and “if it’s possible to come up with a scheme that actually saves us money, we will try to do it.” However, the budget is really tight, and a powerful case would have to be made for substantial cost reductions in fuel and maintenance. Some have suggested funding the re-engining through a federal law allowing managers to add “green” or efficiency upgrades to facilities with the anticipated savings, but “the current answer as I understand it is ‘No,'” LaPlante said. He added that he’s “open minded to any idea that people think will save money, even if it’s an idea that’s been tried before.” The trick is to study why it didn’t work previously “and learn from the lessons,” he said.