It is one of the Air Force’s longest serving bombers, having been in service since 1952.
Yet the B-52 bomber could soon get a radical overhaul, making it one of America’s first military planes to have a laser weapon system.
Air Force bosses are experimenting with fitting external laser pods to the giant plane, allowing it to blast incoming missiles out of the sky or jam their navigation systems.
The project is part of the Air Force Research Lab’s five-year plan to create power, optics and lasers to help defend large bombers such as the B-52.
Air Force Chief Scientist Greg Zacharias told Scout Warrior: ‘You can take out the target if you put the laser on the attacking weapon for a long enough period of time.’
The researchers say the older, larger plane cold be perfect for laser weapons, and attaching an external pod would not affect its capabilities.