In 1974, after a long and distinguished service record, the B-52 faced a threat it had never encountered in combat: retirement at the hands of a newer, more advanced model. One of the longest serving aircraft in the history of the U.S. Air Force came close to be forced into retirement exactly 40 years ago.
The B-1 Bomber was a better and more technologically advanced than the old B-52. Designed to beat the USSR in mind, its only drawback was the mammoth price at the time.
The price was a political battle and ultimately the B-52 kept its role. The rest is history.