B-2 passes modernisation milestones
By Gareth Jennings
The Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit stealth bomber has recently successfully completed two milestones that should significantly increase its capability as a frontline strike platform over the coming years, the company has announced.
On 22 July Northrop Grumman declared that it had, in conjunction with the US Air Force (USAF), recently demonstrated that the new radar developed for the B-2 can fulfil the performance requirements for its designated missions, both conventional and strategic. This was in addition to verifying that the equipment required to integrate the new Boeing Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) on the B-2 fits together properly inside the aircraft.
The company recently passed the second of two USAF audits of the B-2 Radar Modernization Programme (RMP) known as verification compliance reviews. In February 2009 Northrop Grumman passed Verification Compliance Review (VCR)-1, which audited the company's testing of the B-2 radar's hardware and basic operational modes. VCR-2, which confirmed the company's results for the testing of the radar's strategic mission modes, was successfully completed in mid-June.
The RMP contract to upgrade the B-2's Raytheon AN/APQ-181 radar with a more advanced active electronically scanned array (AESA) system was awarded to Northrop Grumman and Raytheon in 2002. Development of the upgrade started in 2002, which was followed by a demonstration in late 2004.211 of 571 words
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