Raytheon Technologies unit Collins Aerospace has secured a contract from the US Air Force (USAF) for the ‘B-52 Wheel and Brake System Improvement’ programme.

The contract will see Collins Aerospace design and develop a new wheel and carbon brake for the platform. The programme will result in retrofitting of 77 aircraft.

According to the company, the latest contract award comes as the USAF extends the operational service life of the B-52 Stratofortress long-range multirole bomber into the 2050s.

Collins Aerospace Landing Systems vice-president Ajay Mahajan said: “Since the first Stratofortress variant took flight in the 1950s, Collins Aerospace has been on board.

“Our world-class engineers will develop a solution that offers seamless technology insertion to help sustain the B-52 as it continues flying for another three decades.”

The B-52H is the USAF’s principal strategic nuclear and conventional weapons platform that supports the US Navy in anti-surface and submarine warfare missions.

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Currently, Collins supplies numerous systems such as generators, communication and navigation systems, environmental control systems, as well as engine systems and sensors for the B-52.

The company is actively working with the USAF and the bomber’s manufacturer Boeing to explore how it can further support modernisation efforts with respect to B-52.

Collins is a provider of wheels and brakes for the USAF’s F-15, F-16, C-5, C-130 and Global Hawk fleets.

The company has also completed wheel and brake upgrades for several global air forces.

Last month, Collins Aerospace received an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) modification contract from the USAF for the service’s new fast-jet reconnaissance pod, dubbed ‘MS-110 multispectral airborne reconnaissance system’.