USAF Bomber Upgrades Pass Major Milestones



Upgrades for the U.S. Air Force’s B-1 and B-2 bomber forces have passed major milestones with production of a new navigation system beginning for the B-1 and validation of a computer upgrade for the B-2 recently completed.
Boeing is acquiring the first navigation system upgrade kits for the B-1 following the award of a $55.3 million production contract to replace the original navigation hardware with a new ring-laser gyro system. Under the 3.5-year contract, Boeing will perform retrofits at Dyess AFB in Abilene, Texas, and Ellsworth AFB in Rapid City, S.D.
The contract follows the completion of developmental test flights in July 2011, and will see initial aircraft modifications beginning in January 2013. The upgrade is expected to be completed by mid-2015.
A B-2 has completed a long-range flight over the North Pole to validate a new flight management system for the Extremely High Frequency (EHF) Increment 1 computer upgrade, clearing the way for the start of low-rate initial production. The 18.5-hr. sortie also included air refueling to and from the North Pole from Edwards AFB, Calif., and forms part of a wave of structures, systems and weapons upgrades being rolled into the B-2 as part of efforts to keep the stealth bomber on the front line to 2050 and beyond.
The high-bandwidth EHF satcom and computers upgrade is designed to be the initial step to making the B-2 into a node for other stealthy platforms in the combat area.
Associated upgrades believed to be in process or entering the fleet include the Link-16 Center Instrument Display/In-Flight Replanner system as well as a Mode 5/S Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) improvement.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

USAF Bomber Upgrades Pass Major Milestones


Upgrades for the U.S. Air Force’s B-1 and B-2 bomber forces have passed major milestones with production of a new navigation system beginning for the B-1 and validation of a computer upgrade for the B-2 recently completed.
Boeing is acquiring the first navigation system upgrade kits for the B-1 following the award of a $55.3 million production contract to replace the original navigation hardware with a new ring-laser gyro system. Under the 3.5-year contract, Boeing will perform retrofits at Dyess AFB in Abilene, Texas, and Ellsworth AFB in Rapid City, S.D.
The contract follows the completion of developmental test flights in July 2011, and will see initial aircraft modifications beginning in January 2013. The upgrade is expected to be completed by mid-2015.
A B-2 has completed a long-range flight over the North Pole to validate a new flight management system for the Extremely High Frequency (EHF) Increment 1 computer upgrade, clearing the way for the start of low-rate initial production. The 18.5-hr. sortie also included air refueling to and from the North Pole from Edwards AFB, Calif., and forms part of a wave of structures, systems and weapons upgrades being rolled into the B-2 as part of efforts to keep the stealth bomber on the front line to 2050 and beyond.
The high-bandwidth EHF satcom and computers upgrade is designed to be the initial step to making the B-2 into a node for other stealthy platforms in the combat area.
Associated upgrades believed to be in process or entering the fleet include the Link-16 Center Instrument Display/In-Flight Replanner system as well as a Mode 5/S Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) improvement.

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