Defense

May 14, 2012

Global Strike Command leader previews B-52 upgrades

Tags:
Air Force photographs by Jet Fabara

Lt. Gen. Jim Kowalski operates the combat network communications technology program on board a B-52H Stratofortress test bomber May 2, 2012, at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The communications program is designed to bring the B-52H from the analog to the digital age, enabling it to effectively communicate, integrate and network within the joint force environment. Kowalski is the commander of Air Force Global Strike Command.

During a recent visit to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., the commander of Air Force Global Strike Command spent time with B-52 Stratofortress combined test force officials to preview the combat capability enhancements made to the B-52H.

Modernizing and sustaining the nation’s long-range strike aviation capability is a top priority for the command, Lt. Gen. Jim Kowalski, said.

Kowalski also emphasized that this is the “Year of the B-52,” marking both the 50th anniversary of the last delivery of a B-52H to Minot Air Force base, N.D., and the 60th anniversary of the first test flight of the YB-52 prototype.

He attributed the reliability and combat capability of the dual-role bomber to talented maintenance personnel, outstanding depot support and the Air Force’s continued investment in the airframe.

The B-52H is a dual-capable aircraft designed to carry a variety of weapons in support of a range of military operations. It has been projected for a number of upgrades, which have already been made to the two B-52H test aircraft at Edwards AFB.

These upgrades are integral to ensuring the B-52H is both effective and able to fully integrate with other services as envisioned in the Air-Sea Battle concept, according to command officials.

Among the upgrades is a guided “smart weapon” capability in the B-52H’s internal weapons bay that provides a 66 percent increase in guided weapons payloads. Another current program is an upgrade to the latest advanced targeting pod, which will increase the B-52H effectiveness when performing close air support and other missions.

Lt. Gen. Jim Kowalski discusses upgrades made to a B-52H Stratofortress test aircraft with Maj. Jonathan Beich and Mr. John Kirk on May 2, 2012, at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Kowalski is the commander of Air Force Global Strike Command; Beich and Kirk are B-52H test radar navigators.

One of the test aircraft at Edwards AFB also featured an improved on-board communications upgrade called combat network communications technology. The CONECT program brings the B-52H from the analog into the digital age, command officials said, providing an invaluable data link, over which to pass mission and threat data.

The new defense strategy places a greater emphasis on the Pacific, Kowalski said, making it important that U.S. bombers are fully networked and integrated with the joint force.

The AFGSC provides a fleet of B-52Hs and a cadre of Airmen from Minot AFB, and Barksdale AFB year-round in support of the continuous bomber presence mission in the Pacific, which ensures stability and peace in the region.

“Long-range, payload, persistence … these three attributes underlie key capabilities provided by Global Strike Command’s B-2 Spirit and B-52H fleet,” said Col. Rick Mitchell, the command’s bomber requirements division chief. “These attributes become increasingly important to combat the ‘tyranny of distance’ posed by the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean.

These digital enhancements will ensure the viability of the B-52H well into the 21st century, Mitchell said.

 




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


 
 

 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Army to launch cruise missile-detecting aerostat at Aberdeen Proving Ground

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez The Army plans to launch an aerostat, part of the “Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor,” in late December 2014. The JLENS aerostat will be tethered to the...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Jordan Castelan

AF delivers Iraqi F-16s for training in US

Air Force photograph by SrA. Jordan Castelan Iraqi air force captain Hama conducts preflight inspections while inside a new to service Iraqi F-16 Fighting Falcon Dec. 17, 2014, located at the nearby Tucson International Airport...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Derek VanHorn

Short-notice: A new way to exercise

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Derek VanHorn Airmen from Kadena Air Base, Japan, prepare for an aeromedical evacuation exercise on a KC-135 Stratotanker Dec. 5, 2014, at Misawa Air Base, Japan. The operation was executed in supp...
 

 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Andy Wolfe

Japan, Australia to provide F-35 maintenance sites in Pacific region

Lockheed Martin photograph by Andy Wolfe An F-35C Lightning II joint strike fighter carrier variant prepares to launch from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the Pacific Ocean, Nov. 6, 2014. Japan and Australia will be sharing...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Maeson L. Elleman

Hanscom working to provide 5th, 4th gen aircraft common tactical picture

Air Force photograph by SrA. Maeson L. Elleman A U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagle taxis for takeoff on Kadena Air Base, Japan, Sept. 16, 2014. The Space, Aerial and Nuclear Networks Division at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., is worki...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SSgt. Staci Miller

Australian F-35 lands at new home

Air Force photograph by SSgt. Staci Miller The first Royal Australian Air Force F-35A Lightning II jet arrives at Luke Air Force Bas, Ariz., Dec. 18, 2014. The jet’s arrival marks the first international partner F-35 to a...
 




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>