It seems that the USAF cannot get through a year without being inundated with calls to replace the engines on the B-52. Recent calls from Air Force Global Strike Command, Boeing, General Electric and Pratt & Whitney have renewed the vigor of the program despite the general lack of funding and enthusiasm for large dollar aircraft procurement. Fuel savings and increases in capability are touted as the driving factors in these programs. However, for the B-52 these arguments show little merit when they are studied with any depth.
Where it concerns the B-52, we are fortunate that there is a long and well documented history of the design process. Not only do we know the specifics of the design, we know why it was designed a specific way. Its strengths and weaknesses have been well vetted through a half century of combat. That history can guide us towards a full understanding of what a re-engine program may entail.