Boeing has chosen Raytheon to serve as radar supplier for the modernisation programme of the US Air Force’s B-52 Stratofortress bomber aircraft.

The contract requires Raytheon to design, develop, produce and sustain active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar systems for the entire B-52 fleet.

The radar upgrade is intended to ensure the bomber aircraft remains mission ready beyond 2050.

Raytheon will begin low-rate initial production of the radars in 2024.

The AESA radar installation will deliver improved navigation reliability to support nuclear and conventional missions.

Radars will be based on AESA technologies developed from Raytheon’s APG-79/APG-82 radar family.

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By GlobalData

Raytheon secure sensor solutions vice-president Eric Ditmars said: “When it comes to years spent flying in support of our nation’s defence, our new AESA radars give aircrews the eyes they need to achieve their mission for the duration of the B-52’s service life.”

Furthermore, the upgraded radar will provide the B-52 with improved mapping and detection range and an increase in the number of targets that can be engaged simultaneously.

The AESA radar will allow crews to see further and more accurately. It is being positioned as a more reliable radar when compared to the existing system on the B-52 aircraft.

The radar does not have moving parts and features modern operating software.

In April, Boeing won a $14.31bn flexible acquisition and sustainment contract for the B-1 Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress strategic bombers.

The contract covers the modification, modernisation, engineering, sustainment and test of the weapons systems.