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.


 
 

 

Headlines January 28, 2015

News: Panel will propose new military retirement system - The long-awaited report on military compensation set to drop Thursday will propose fundamental changes to military retirement and health care benefits, according to several people familiar with the report. Source: DOD to request $585 billion for fiscal 2016 - The Department of Defense is preparing to submit a...
 
 

News Briefs January 28, 2015

Defense contractor to pay $2 million to settle claims A Northern California defense contractor will pay the federal government $2 million to settle claims about its manufacturing of parts for remote-controlled aircraft. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Sacramento says Sacramento-based Composite Engineering Inc. agreed to pay the money to end allegations that it artificially inflated...
 
 
Navy photograph

USS Roosevelt marks 200,000 trap

Navy photograph An F/A-18F Super Hornet flown by Capt. Daniel Grieco, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), and Capt. Benjamin Hewlett, deputy commander of Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, complet...
 

 
Navy photograph by PO1 William Larned

USS California returns from maiden deployment

Navy photograph by PO1 William Larned The Virginia-class attack submarine USS California (SSN 781) returns from its maiden deployment to its homeport at Naval Submarine Base New London. Under the command of Cmdr. Shawn Huey, Ca...
 
 
Army photograph

Army proves new watercraft capabilities

Army photograph Marine Corps assets are loaded onto the USNS Sgt. Matej Kocak (T-AK 3005), from an U.S. Army Landing Craft Utility, or LCU, USAV Port Hudson during port operations, at White Beach Naval Base, Jan. 22, 2015. Sold...
 
 

Orbital stockholders approve merger with ATK’s aerospace, defense groups

Orbital Sciences Corporation announced Jan. 27 that at a special meeting, the company’s stockholders voted overwhelmingly to approve the proposed merger with the Aerospace and Defense Groups of Alliant Techsystems Inc., pursuant to the definitive transaction agreement dated April 28, 2014. Approximately 99 percent of the votes cast at the special meeting voted in favor...
 




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>