Boeing has contracted Raytheon Technologies unit Collins Aerospace to modernise the B-52 bomber aircraft with a new electric power generation system (EPGS).
The contract is part of the US Air Force’s (USAF) ongoing modernisation efforts to keep the B-52 bomber flying through the 2050s.
Under the contract, the unit will deliver a modern EPGS derived from industry-leading commercial technology.
Collins Aerospace noted that the new EPGS will be an upgrade to the B-52’s existing seven-decades-old system, with advanced technology that requires less operational power from the engine.
This technology will enable the USAF to achieve its goal of a 30% improvement in fuel efficiency for the B-52 bomber.
Collins Aerospace Electric Power Systems vice-president Stan Kottke said: “Collins Aerospace is a leading provider of electric power systems for military platforms and the supplier of choice for virtually all US Air Force aircraft.
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“Our new EPGS for the B-52 will leverage proven commercial technology to support greener aircraft operation while also paving the way for future platform enhancements that will extend the operational service life of the Stratofortress for decades to come.”
The new EPGS will comprise eight generators per aircraft and provide additional redundancy in onboard electrical power necessary to support future B-52 upgrades for radar, avionics and mission systems.
Upgrade work is expected to generate 60 jobs at Collins Aerospace’s Electric Power Systems Center of Excellence facility in Illinois, US.
Besides the EPGS, Collins was also selected to provide new wheels and carbon brakes for the B-52.
In April 2021, Collins Aerospace won a contract from the USAF for the ‘B-52 Wheel and Brake System Improvement’ programme.
The B-52H is the USAF’s principal strategic nuclear and conventional weapons platform. It supports the US Navy in anti-surface and submarine warfare missions.
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