PALMDALE, Calif., Oct. 12 (UPI) -- High-speed processing systems for communications and weapons delivery by U.S. Air Force B-2 bombers are entering low-rate production.
Northrop Grumman said the new subsystems -- both hardware and software -- are being produced as part of Increment 1 of the Air Force's B-2 extremely high frequency satellite communications program and carry a value of $108 million.
"The EHF Increment 1 upgrades provide a smart, cost-effective way to enable future combat capability on the B-2," said Ron Naylor, director of B-2 modernization and transformation for Northrop Grumman.
"Every current and future upgrade program for the jet will benefit from the quantum leap in processing power and data handling capacity provided by this new hardware and software."
The EHF Increment 1 hardware kits include an integrated processing unit -- developed by Lockheed Martin -- to replace as many as a dozen stand-alone avionics computers; a disk drive unit from Honeywell Defense and Space Electronic Systems that enables transfer of EHF data to and from the B-2; and a fiber-optic network cable for enhanced data transfer within the bomber.
Northrop said it is also starting to install new subsystems in a limited number of B-2s as part of the EHF Increment 1 system development and demonstration contract.