DoD

July 3, 2013

B-52s to receive communications upgrade

Mike W. Ray
Tinker AFB, Okla.

B52-upgrade
Installation of a communications system upgrade earmarked for the venerable U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress bomber fleet is scheduled to start at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., in July.

The Combat Network Communications Technology system will enable aircrews to send and receive information via satellite links, allowing them to change mission plans and retarget weapons while in flight. In addition, pilots will be able to interact better with other aircraft and with ground forces. Currently, mission information must be uploaded to a B-52 before each flight.

Other improvements will include a state-of-the-art computing network with workstations at each crew position and an integrated digital interphone with increased capacity that will allow crew members to talk with each other over headsets equipped with noise-canceling technology.

The $76 million CONECT upgrade will be performed by Boeing and covers a low-rate initial production of the first CONECT kits, along with spare parts, maintenance and service at Tinker.

Low-rate initial production is the first effort in the production phase of the program. The first eight CONECT kits in lot 1 will establish an initial production base for the system and will permit an orderly increase in the production rate for the CONECT system that is sufficient to lead to full-rate production upon successful completion of operational testing.

The contract for lot 2 is projected to be awarded in May 2014, for 10 CONECT kits. Then the full-rate production contract, projected for award in January 2015, will be for 10 CONECT kits.

Ultimately, CONECT is expected to be installed on all B-52H in the fleet.

The first B-52H to receive a CONECT kit will enter programmed depot maintenance at Tinker AFB in July and is scheduled to depart PDM next April. Each upgrade will take an estimated nine months to complete.

A CONECT kit was installed in a modified B-52 at Edwards AFB, Calif., and has been field tested for several years, Boeing spokesperson Jennifer Hogan said.

The B-52H was delivered to the Air Force in 1961-62. The aircraft have been kept aloft through regular maintenance and periodic upgrades. For example, GPS capabilities were incorporated into their navigation systems in the late 1980s.

“We are bringing this amazing workhorse of a bomber into the digital age and giving our customer the infrastructure necessary for continued future improvements,” said Scot Oathout, Boeing’s B-52 program director.

Citing engineering studies, Air Force officials said the heavy bombers could keep flying for at least another quarter-century.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Courtesy Photo

Airman leaves AF to pursue college B-ball career

Courtesy Photo Senior Airman Patrick Paul, 56th Logistics Readiness Squadron, shoots a jump shot during a game against the 56th Security Forces Squadron at the Bryant Fitness Center. Paul is finishing out his Air Force commitme...
 
 
140307-F-CB366-007

Airmen shave heads for pilot’s son battling cancer

Senior Airman David Owsianka Airmen from the 62nd Fighter Squadron recently shaved their heads to support a deceased officer’s son who is battling with cancer. Second Lt. Dave Mitchell, former 62nd FS pilot, lost his life dur...
 
 

Three steps to avoid ‘toxic leadership’

Toxic leadership. Sadly, this term has recently become vogue in the lexicon of the Defense Department to describe leaders possessing unfavorable leadership characteristics and whose actions eventually rot an organization from the inside out. Examples of these leaders drape across the weekly headlines and sound bites of newspapers, radio and television. “Leaders” who become drunk...
 

 

Personal improvement, goal setting all part of leadership

In preparation for the changes in regard to officer and enlisted performance reports, and force management issues, it is important to reflect on personal improvement and goal setting. This topic is close to my heart and revolves around leadership. As officers, leaders and mentors, we can all benefit from refreshing our vigilance and attention to...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Instructor pilot selected as Olmsted scholar

Courtesy photo Capt. Daniel Wynn, 56th Operations Support Squadron operations flight commander, prepares to refuel in an F-16 Fighting Falcon during a combat mission over Afghanistan in August 2011. For many U.S. military membe...
 
 

News Briefs April 11, 2013

Base-wide exercise The 56th Fighter Wing will conduct a natural disaster exercise today, which will include military, local, county and state law enforcement, and fire departments. Those traveling on base should expect traffic disruptions, gate closures or delays, and interruptions of customer service operations. Expect to see simulated explosions, smoke, role players depicting individuals with...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin