USAF awards $9.9bn B-2 modernisation and sustainment contract to Northrop


B-2 bomber

Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems has been awarded a $9.9bn contract to support the modernisation and sustainment of the US Air Force's (USAF) B-2 Spirit stealth bomber aircraft.

The indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) flexible acquisition sustainment team (FAST) II contract covers B-2 enhancements, sustainment logistics elements, including sustaining engineering, software maintenance and support equipment.

Programmed depot maintenance of the B-2 fleet and other interim contractor support are also included in the contract, which was awarded by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, B-2 Division Contracting, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center/WWZK in Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, US.

The contract commits 2014 research, development, test and evaluation funds amounting to $6.35m at time of award on delivery order 0001 for common very low frequency receiver increment 1 (CVR INC 1).

"The contract also includes an option, which if exercised, would extend the timeframe to May 2024."

Work under the contract will be carried out at the company's facility in Palmdale, California, and at other locations, namely Whiteman Air Force Base (AFB), Missouri, Tinker AFB, Oklahoma, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, Edwards AFB, California, and Hill AFB, Utah, US.

The base period work is scheduled to be completed by May 2019, but the contract also includes an option, which if exercised, would extend the timeframe to May 2024.

Manufactured by Northrop, the B-2 Spirit is a low-observable, strategic, long-range, heavy bomber designed to penetrate complex air-defence shields, attack heavily defended targets, and deploy conventional and nuclear weapons on the battlefield.


Image: A USAF B-2 Spirit multi-role bomber in flight. Photo: courtesy of USAF Staff Sgt. Bennie J. Davis III.

Defence Technology