Friday, April 12, 2024

U.S. B-52 strategic bombers to get new radar systems

The first U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress bomber arrived in San Antonio for upgrades as part of the Radar Modernization Program.

The U.S. B-52 strategic bomber to receive the Active Electronically Scanned Array system (AESA), as part of the Air Force’s B-52 Radar Modernization Program.

In addition to increased situational awareness and navigation and targeting ability, AESA is designed to be adaptable, so that new capabilities to address future threats, can be added via software modifications.

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Boeing and Raytheon are both heavily involved in the installation process.

“Boeing is the OEM [original equipment manufacturer] for the B-52, so their long-standing history and knowledge of the platform is really critical to making sure we can get this [AESA] out as quickly as possible,” he said. “We are also working with Raytheon on the radar side. Overall, the partnership helps ensure we have a government off-the-shelf solution that minimizes development and helps reduce both the development and test timelines.”

American plane maker Boeing announced on its Twitter account that the aircraft will depart with more accurate navigation, improved targeting and tracking, new, high-res mapping and the ability to engage multiple targets simultaneously.

Installation of AESA is one of the largest upgrades to the B-52 in the history of the fleet. The effort will cost approximately $2.8 billion, with initial operational capability expected in 2027.

“Sustainability is an important part of this effort, because the old radar is unsustainable,” said Ruscetta. “The advancement in combat capability that AESA will bring is really critical in keeping this aircraft effective with our near-peer adversaries. The new radar is an enabler for our long-range standoff capability and will prepare the aircraft for optimized lethality.”

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Executive Editor

About author:

Colton Jones
Colton Jones
Colton Jones is the deputy editor of Defence Blog. He is a US-based journalist, writer and publisher who specializes in the defense industry in North America and Europe. He has written about emerging technology in military magazines and elsewhere. He is a former Air Force airmen and served at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany.

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