Boeing B-52 Bomber Flies into the Future with Digital Upgrades
OREANDA-NEWS. October 06, 2015. The nation’s entire B-52 bomber fleet will soon be equipped with technology that greatly enhances the aircraft’s combat capabilities in the digital battlespace. The U.S. Air Force awarded Boeing [NYSE: BA] a contract for B-52 bomber Combat Network Communications Technology, known as CONECT.
The new CONECT contract will bring capability to the entire fleet. Boeing and the Air Force worked closely under urgent deadlines to complete contract negotiations in time for upgrades to continue uninterrupted.
“The multifunction, critical capability that CONECT provides for the B-52 was at risk for missing kit installation schedule. Boeing and the Air Force's collaborative effort to reduce the kit contracting process by 50 percent paved the way to deliver on-time, quality war-fighting capabilities. Parallel efforts, which required early participation, communication and coordination from Boeing, sub-tier suppliers, DCAA and DCMA were key in making CONECT a success!” said Renee Sauerland, B-52 CONECT project manager for the Air Force.
Boeing’s CONECT modernizes communication systems for the B-52 bombers with enhancements that keep the bombers in flight.
“Each B-52 bomber comes in for program depot maintenance once every four years, and CONECT is installed at that time. We have delivered all previously contracted kits to the Air Force but needed to get additional kits on contract so upgrades could continue on every bomber that comes through – once you miss an aircraft, it is four years before you have another opportunity to touch it. I’m proud of the Boeing team and thankful for our cooperative relationship with the customer that allowed us to complete negotiations so that the remainder of the fleet will receive CONECT,” said Scot Oathout, B-52 program director for Boeing.
The B-52 bomber was built during the Cold War, but CONECT provides 21st century digital capabilities that give the bomber the agility and flexibility needed for the modern battlefield.
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