Lockheed Martin has been awarded a USD28 million contract for the B-2 Spirit bomber defense management system overhaul, the US Department of Defense (DoD) disclosed on 10 July.
The DoD announced on Monday that Lockheed Martin, Owego, New York, has been awarded a USD28 million firm-fixed price delivery order, (FA8119-18-F-0096), against basic contract FA8119-13-D-0001 for the B-2 defense management system overhaul.
Details of the contract are not reported, but it was known that work is expected to be completed by July 9, 2020, and will be performed in Owego, N.Y.
Some source reported that the upgrades of the B-2 defense management system will include a digital electronic support measures (ESM) subsystem, new ESM antennas, and modern display processing units to improve threat radar detection, identification, and avoidance capabilities. Associated software components integrate these upgraded systems with existing B-2 avionics systems to improve overall pilot threat awareness, threat reaction, and survivability.
“The unique combination of range, precision, payload and ability to penetrate and operate in anti-access/area denial environments allow the B-2 to identify, locate, target and destroy the highest value enemy targets,” said the representative of U.S. Air Force. “With necessary upgrades, the B-2 can accomplish its mission regardless of location, return to base safely, and permit freedom of movement for follow-on forces, including other long-range strike platforms.”
The B-2 is the only U.S. aircraft that combines long range, large payload and stealth in a single platform, giving it the ability to project air power anywhere in the world. It can fly 6,000 nautical miles unrefueled and 10,000 nautical miles with just one aerial refueling. With its ability to carry more than 20 tons of conventional and nuclear ordnance and deliver it precisely under any weather conditions, the B-2 also has the ability to change the outcome of a conflict with a single mission.
The B-2 provided the US with an immense strategic advantage at the time of its entry into service, despite the fleet consisting of only 20 aircraft.