Northrop Grumman Wins $7B for B-2 Modernization

Recent B-2 upgrades include advanced JASSM-ER integration, Radar Aided Targeting System, and enhanced communication systems for security.
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  • 05:02 AM, May 3, 2024
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Northrop Grumman Wins $7B for B-2 Modernization
B-2 Spirit bomber

Northrop Grumman has been awarded a contract worth up to $7 billion for the modernization and sustainment of the B-2 Spirit Stealth bomber fleet.

The contract, announced today, aims to enhance and maintain the capabilities of the B-2 bomber, a critical component of the United States' strategic defense arsenal.

The contract, slated to conclude by May 3, 2029, covers a range of enhancements and logistical support for the B-2 fleet, including sustaining engineering, software maintenance, and support equipment. One of the key aspects of the contract is the programmed depot maintenance of the existing fleet along with interim contractor support.

Currently, the U.S. Air Force operates a fleet of 20 B-2 bombers, which have been undergoing modernization efforts to enhance their effectiveness in contemporary combat environments.

In recent years, Northrop Grumman, in collaboration with the U.S. Air Force, has been actively upgrading the B-2 fleet. Notably, successful integration efforts have enabled the B-2 to deploy advanced weaponry such as the Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile – Extended Range (JASSM-ER), extending the bomber's reach and targeting capabilities.

Furthermore, the B-2 modernization initiatives include the implementation of the Radar Aided Targeting System (RATS), which ensures the bomber's ability to utilize the B-61 mod 12 nuclear bomb even in scenarios where GPS signals are compromised during missions.

Additional upgrades to the B-2's communication systems are underway to bolster communication security in evolving threat environments. Flight tests conducted by Northrop Grumman at its Oklahoma City Weapons System Support Center have demonstrated integration of modern cryptology and advanced communication devices.

Looking ahead, the U.S. Air Force plans to invest in a comprehensive cockpit upgrade for the B-2, incorporating advanced graphics processors and modernized displays. This upgrade aims to enhance pilot capabilities and ensure the B-2 remains at the forefront of stealth bomber technology.

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