Air Platforms

Northrop Grumman gets USD9.9 billion for B-2 sustainment

04 June 2014
Northrop Grumman will continue B-2 modernisation and sustainment. Source: USAF

Key Points

  • Northrop Grumman's contract period concludes in 2019 but could be extended to 2024
  • The company is simultaneously conducting several software and hardware upgrades of the fleet

The US Air Force (USAF) has awarded Northrop Grumman a sole-source contract with a USD9.9 billion ceiling to support modernisation and sustainment of the 20-aircraft B-2 Spirit stealth bomber fleet, the Pentagon announced on 3 June.

The indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity Flexible Acquisition Sustainment Team (FAST) II contract includes B-2 "enhancements, sustainment logistics elements, including sustaining engineering, software maintenance, and support equipment", according to the Pentagon.

Programmed depot maintenance and other interim contractor support are also included in the deal. The contract period concludes in May 2019 but also includes an option that, if exercised, would extend the timeframe to May 2024.

Work will be conducted at Northrop Grumman's facility in Palmdale, California, and at air force bases including Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, Edwards Air Force Base in California, and Hill Air Force Base in Utah.

COMMENT

In April Northrop Grumman completed a preliminary design review of a new software package for the B-2. The software, known as the USAF's 'Flexible Strike Phase 1' programme, was created to streamline weapons management on the platform. The aircraft currently have several standalone software programmes that each manage a specific mission, and the ongoing simplification will reduce maintenance costs, and increase reliability, according to Northrop Grumman.

The company also began software and hardware upgrades to the aircraft's Lockheed Martin AN/APR-50 defensive management system (DMS) in February. In October 2012 Northrop Grumman completed field installations of the B-2's active electronically scanned array (AESA)-upgraded Raytheon AN/APQ-181, under the radar modernisation programme.

Other enhancements to the B-2 include improvements to the cockpit weapon interfaces to accommodate new munitions, such as the Small Diameter Bomb II, and Massive Ordnance Penetrator; the fitting of enhanced communications; and the installation of a Universal Armament Interface.



(325 words)
By posting a comment you confirm that you have read and accept our Posting Rules and our Terms of Use of this site.

RELEVANT PROFILE LISTINGS

  • DRDO Abhyas

    Type Expendable aerial target. Development Abhyas is an expendable high speed unmanned aerial target being developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to meet the requirements of the Indian Armed Forces. Description Airframe High-wing monoplane with cropped-delta

  • Meggitt BTT-1 Imp

    Type Training and all-arms air defence target. Development More than 500 Imps have been produced since 1983 for a variety of customers. They are used as targets for a variety of light air defence weapons, including 0.50 in general purpose machine guns and a range of visually controlled gun

  • Orbital Sciences GQM-163A Coyote

    Type Supersonic Sea-Skimming Target (SSST). Development The Orbital Sciences Corporation's (Chandler, Arizona) GQM-163A Coyote is an analogue for supersonic, sea-skimming anti-ship cruise missiles such as the Raduga 3M80 (NATO Reporting Name 'Sunburn') and is designed to support ship defence

  • Adcom Systems Yabhon-GRN 1 and 2

    Type Advanced high performance jet turbine and long endurance airframe target. Development Designed as enhanced performance targets for air-to-air or ground-to-air missile systems, these new generation high-speed targets were displayed at the Dubai air show in November 2011. The Yabhon-GRN 2 is

  • Adcom Systems Yabhon-HMD

    Type Recoverable aerial target. Development The Yabhon-HMD is designed as a high performance, high manoeuvrability and high altitude jet engine target; specifically for use with anti-aircraft guns, surface-to-air missiles and air-to-air missiles. It is a derivative of Adcom System's earlier

ADVERTISEMENT

Industry Links

IHS Jane's is not responsible for the content within or linking from Industry Links pages.
ADVERTISEMENT