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Boeing awarded $400M contract for B-1, B-52 engineering services

By
Stephen Feller
A B-1B Lancer takes off from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., on Dec. 9, 2019. Ellsworth is home to the largest B-1 combat wing in the U.S. Air Force, and currently operates a fleet of 27 B-1s. Photo by Airman 1st Class Christina Bennett/U.S. Air Force
A B-1B Lancer takes off from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., on Dec. 9, 2019. Ellsworth is home to the largest B-1 combat wing in the U.S. Air Force, and currently operates a fleet of 27 B-1s. Photo by Airman 1st Class Christina Bennett/U.S. Air Force

Dec. 24 (UPI) -- Boeing has been awarded a $400 million contract by the U.S. Air Force for engineering work on two of the United States' three strategic bomber aircraft.

The deal, announced Tuesday by the Department of Defense, covers recurring and non-recurring engineering services on the B-1 Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress long-range bombers.

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Work under the new deal will be performed at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, Edwards Air Force Base in California, Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana and at other locations in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Boeing has previously been awarded the service contract, including one covering work in 2019 that the company received roughly one year ago. The new contract runs through Dec. 31, 2020.

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Boeing, in April, was awarded a $14 billion contract for modernization and sustainment work on the both the B-1 and B-52 over the next decade, upgrades which are meant to increase lethality, enhance survivability, improve supportability and increase responsiveness.

The two aircraft, with the B-2 Spirit, often referred to as the stealth bomber, form the U.S. military's trio of long-range strategic bombing aircraft.

B-1 Lancer deliveries to the Air Force started in 1986, with it entering service as a nuclear bomber. In the early 1990s, as the B-2 program started to mature -- it reached initial operational capacity in 1997 -- the Lancer was redesignated as a conventional bombing platform. The B-1 fleet is expected to remain in use through 2036.

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The B-52 Stratofortress has been in service with the Air Force since 1955, dropping conventional bombs for most of that time. In June, however, the Air Force test launched a hypersonic missile from the aircraft for the first time, which is expected to stay in use through 2050.

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