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U.S. Air Force Fact Sheet B-52 STRATOFORTRESS Mission The B-52 is a long-range, heavy bomber that can perform a variety of missions. The bomber is capable of flying at high subsonic speeds at altitudes up to 50,000 feet (15,166.6 meters). It can carry nuclear or precision guided conventional ordnance with worldwide precision navigation capability. Features In a conventional conflict, the B-52 can perform strategic attack, close-air support, air interdiction, offensive counter-air and maritime operations. During Desert Storm, B-52s delivered 40 percent of all the weapons dropped by coalition forces. It is highly effective when used for ocean surveillance, and can assist the U.S. Navy in anti-ship and mine-laying operations. Two B-52s, in two hours, can monitor 140,000 square miles (364,000 square kilometers) of ocean surface. All B-52s can be equipped with two electro-optical viewing sensors, a forward- looking infrared and advanced targeting pods to augment targeting, battle assessment, and flight safety, thus further improving its combat ability. Pilots wear night vision goggles, or NVG, to enhance their vision during night operations. Night vision goggles provide greater safety during night operations by increasing the pilot's ability to visually clear terrain, avoid enemy radar and see other aircraft in a lights-out environment. Starting in 1989, on-going modifications incorporate the global positioning system, heavy stores adapter beams for carrying 2,000 pound munitions, and a full array of advance weapons currently under development. The use of aerial refueling gives the B-52 a range limited only by crew endurance. It has an unrefueled combat range in excess of 8,800 miles (14,080 kilometers). Continued on Next Page