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Boeing to begin B-52 upgrade

July 1, 2013 at 12:32 PM

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla., July 1 (UPI) -- A $76 million communications system upgrade by Boeing of U.S. Air Force B-52 bombers is to begin this month.

The upgrade will enable the bomber's aircrew to change mission plans and re-target weapons while in flight, and also enhance communications with other aircraft and ground forces.

The upgrade process will include adding state-of-the-art computing networking, with workstations at each crew position, and a digital interphone system with noise-canceling technology.

"We are bringing this amazing workhorse of a bomber into the digital age and giving our customer the infrastructure necessary for continued future improvements," said Scot Oathout, Boeing's B-52 program director.

The Air Force said the upgrade contract to Boeing covers low-rate initial production of the first Combat Network Communications Technology system kits, as well as spare parts and maintenance and service at Tinker Air Force Base.

Boeing is producing eight CONECT kits under the LRIP 1 contract. The initial kits will establish an initial production base for the system to enable an orderly increase in the production for the longer term.

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