The B-52 combat network communications technology (CONECT) interphone system has completed an evaluation flight at Edwards Air Force Base, California, US.

The six-hour flight validated the interphone system’s readiness for flight tests, and formal flight tests of other CONECT capabilities.

The interphone system facilitates communication among crew members and enables them to maintain communication with other aircraft and the ground network.

Boeing B-52 programme director Scot Oathout said flight tests were scheduled for the end of October.

CONECT will also increase the B-52 bomber’s flexibility by enabling additional capabilities for retasking of missions while in flight.

“CONECT gives the B-52 the ability to participate in net-centric operations. This means the aircraft can exchange real-time digital information with other ground-based and airborne assets while on a mission, increasing its effectiveness, survivability and lethality. CONECT keeps the B-52 in the fight,” Oathout added.