WICHITA, Kan., Dec. 13 (UPI) -- Boeing is awaiting U.S. Air Force authorization for low-rate initial production of a new B-52 bomber communications system.
The company said it conducted required flight testing of the B-52 Combat Network Communications Technology system with the Air Force at Edwards Air Force Base in California and hopes to receive the green light for LRIP by the middle of next year.
"Completion of the LRIP flight test phase means CONECT is ready to be reviewed by our customer for initial production authorization," said Scot Oathout, B-52 program director.
"CONECT increases B-52 operational effectiveness by providing improved mission flexibility, increased situational awareness and new network-centric capabilities.
"In addition, CONECT paves the way for easier integration of future upgrades."
The CONECT modification enhances situational awareness for B-52 crews through the use of several added communications data links and full-color LCD displays, with real-time intelligence feeds overlaid on moving maps.
Boeing said CONECT enables future B-52 improvements with its onboard, high-speed network.