Defense

June 28, 2013

B-52s to receive communications upgrade

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 AFB here.

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.


 
 

 
Navy photograph

Surface-to-surface missile test for LCS successful

Navy photograph Three missiles from a ripple fire response strike their moving targets during an engineering development test of modified Longbow Hellfire missiles. The missile system, designated the Surface-to-Surface Missile ...
 
 
NASA/JPL-Caltech  image

NASA’s Spitzer confirms closest rocky exoplanet

NASA/JPL-Caltech image This artist’s concept shows the silhouette of a rocky planet, dubbed HD 219134b. At 21 light-years away, the planet is the closest outside of our solar system that can be seen crossing, or transitin...
 
 

Raytheon appoints president, Integrated Defense Systems

Raytheon Chairman and CEO Thomas A. Kennedy announced July 30 the appointment of Wesley D. Kremer as President, Integrated Defense Systems, effective immediately. Kremer, 50, previously served as vice president of the Air and Missile Defense Systems product line of Raytheon Missile Systems. He succeeds Daniel J. Crowley, who informed the company of his intention...
 

 

Headlines July 29, 2015

News: Lockheed F-35s reliability found wanting in shipboard testing – The Marine Corps’ version of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter demonstrated poor reliability in a 12-day exercise at sea, according to the U.S. military’s top testing officer.   Business: Rockwell Collins to upgrade Boeing comms system – Rockwell Collins will upgrade the low-frequency transmi...
 
 

News Briefs July 29, 2015

U.S. Navy examines health concerns near Guantanamo court A complaint lodged with the Pentagon has prompted the U.S. Navy to look into the possible presence of anything that may cause cancer in a section of the base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a military spokeswoman said July 28. The Navy Marine Corps Public Health Center and...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Betty R. Chevalier

New interrogation system installed on AWACS, more in pipeline

Air Force photograph by SrA. Betty R. Chevalier An E-3 Sentry AWACS from Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., prepares to land May 16, 2015. AWACS have the capability to detect enemy as well as friendly aircraft at great distances usi...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>