Northrop Begins B-2 EHF Satcom Hardware Flight Test

18 October 2010 (Last Updated October 18th, 2010 18:30)

Northrop Grumman has begun flight testing of the new computing hardware and communications infrastructure for the US Air Force's B-2 stealth bomber. The new B-2 extremely high-frequency (EHF) Satcom Hardware will enable the bomber to send and receive battlefield information by satellite

Northrop Grumman has begun flight testing of the new computing hardware and communications infrastructure for the US Air Force’s B-2 stealth bomber.

The new B-2 extremely high-frequency (EHF) Satcom Hardware will enable the bomber to send and receive battlefield information by satellite more than 100 times faster.

The flight test programme is part of Increment 1 of the USAF’s B-2 EHF satellite communications programme.

The flight test programme demonstrated that the EHF increment 1 computer upgrade system has reached a maturity level to allow to conduct test sorties beyond the Edwards AFB local area.

The EHF Increment 1 system that took the flight test includes a new integrated processing unit to replace up to a dozen current stand-alone avionics computers on the B-2.

It also includes a new disk drive unit to enable transfer of EHF data onto and off the B-2 and a network of fibre optic cables to support the high speed data transfers within the aircraft.

The B-2 is the only US aircraft that combines stealth, long-range, large-payload and precision weapons in a single platform.