Boeing’s upgraded B-52 aircraft has completed its first flight.

The aircraft has been upgraded with new combat network communications technology (CONECT) for enhanced situational awareness and system flexibility

The CONECT system fitted to B-52 allows it keep contact with the air force’s digital communications network, tie in with air force command and control centres, ground forces and other platforms.

The first aircraft will be delivered to the Edwards US Air Force Base in California in June 2009 for flight tests.

All 76 aircraft in the fleet will receive the CONECT modification after the flight test programme is complete.