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Lockheed to repair, overhaul stealth bomber countermeasure systems

By Stephen Carlson
Lockheed to repair, overhaul stealth bomber countermeasure systems
A U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit bomber takes off form Andersen Air Force Base Jan. 11, 2018. Photo by Airman 1st Class Gerald Willis/36th Wing Public Affairs/U.S. Air Force

Sept. 5 (UPI) -- Lockheed Marti has received an $47.5 million contract for repair and overhaul of the B-2 digital countermeasure receiver.

Work on the contract, announced Tuesday by the Department of Defense, will be performed in Oswego, N.Y., and is expected to be completed August 2023. Air Force capital funds will be obligated on the basis of individual orders.

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The B-2 Spirit long-range heavy stealth bomber is tasked with delivering both conventional munitions and nuclear weapons. It is the only class of large stealth bomber currently in use.

The aircraft's primary mission is to strike heavily defended high-value targets using its stealth capabilities to avoid enemy detection by radar, infrared, and electromagnetic energy sensors. The B-2s flying wing design, composite materials, radar absorbing coatings and other stealth systems make it very difficult to detect, track, and engage using guided weapons systems.

It can carry most conventional air-to-ground ordinance in use by the U.S. Air Force, ranging from conventional bombs to the Massive Ordnance Penetrator for highly fortified targets. It has intercontinental range with in-flight refueling and forms a key part of the U.S. airborne nuclear deterrent.

The B-2 was designed to penetrate heavy Soviet Union air defenses during a potential nuclear conflict and saw its first flight in 1989. It operates out of Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., with 20 aircraft operational.

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It is expected to eventually be replaced by the B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber currently under development.

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