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The B-52 is an American long-range strategic bomber, operated by NASA and the United States Air Force (USAF) since the 1950’s. It was designed and built to carry nuclear weapons during the cold war, however has only dropped conventional munitions during combat.
With a payload capacity of up to 70,000lbs of assorted munitions, it has been an effective strategic bomber within past conflicts such as Vietnam and the Gulf War. Despite the introduction of modern bombers such as the Stealth B-2 Spirit, the B-52’s performance and low operating costs have kept it in service.