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October 6, 2021

L3Harris to upgrade USAF B-52 bomber’s self-defence

The IDIQ contract will extend the B-52’s electronic warfare relevance and reliability throughout its lifespan.

L3Harris Technologies has received a new ten-year, $947m indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract from the US Air Force (USAF).

Under the sole-source contract, the company will upgrade the self-defence, spectrum dominance systems of the USAF B-52 Stratofortress long-range, subsonic, jet-powered strategic bomber.

The contract will see the company improve the aircraft’s AN/ALQ-172 electronic warfare self-protection system.

L3Harris can expand its work on the programme, right from software sustainment to other hardware upgrades.

This modernisation will improve the bomber’s ability to protect aircrew against enemy radar threats and electronic warfare attacks.

The upgrade will include the provision of a combat-proven integrated radiofrequency system that can concurrently counter multiple electronic spectra related to aircraft operations.

L3Harris Space and Airborne Systems president Ed Zoiss said: “Competition for the electromagnetic spectrum is fierce and without spectrum dominance, our armed forces lose competitive advantage.

“It’s critical to continue upgrading our platforms to maintain spectrum superiority.”

L3Harris has more than five decades of experience in providing electronic warfare technology to the B-52.

The latest IDIQ contract will extend the B-52’s electronic warfare relevance and reliability throughout its lifespan.

L3Harris noted that it would continue the spectrum dominance programme until 2031 for other future upgrades.

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

The USAF plans to re-engine its B-52 fleet under the Commercial Engine Re-engining Program (CERP).

Last month, B-52 Stratofortress bombers deployed to support Pacific Air Forces’ Bomber Task Force (BTF) missions in the Indo-Pacific region.

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