The U.S. Air Force continues to work on upgrading the electronics on an estimated 60 B-1B and 76 B-52H bomber aircraft as part of a $250 million modernization effort for the aging fleet, National Defense Magazine reported May 21.
Sandra Erwin writes that the Air Force is replacing the old electronics and computers with Boeing-built avionics through 2020 to extend the bombers’ service life through 2040.
The company has already delivered 18 of 33 contracted “integrated battle station” kits for the B-1 upgrade work at the Tinker Air Force Base maintenance depot in Oklahoma, the report said.
According to the publication, each kit includes more than 2,000 pieces of equipment such as digital cockpits and communication systems that government workers at the depot will install onto the bomber aircraft.
Meanwhile, Erwin reports that the company has already delivered 10 of 30 ordered B-52 upgrade kits, with a potential additional order for the remaining 46 kits.
The B-52 upgrade includes the $76 million combat network communications technology, said Jim Kroening, B-52 development programs manager at Boeing.