B-1 Lancer

Boeing has awarded an initial production contract to Rockwell Collins for the delivery of advanced 6inx8in colour display systems for integration into the US Air Force’s (USAF) B-1B Lancer long-range strategic bomber fleet.

Awarded as part of the B1-B Integrated Battle Station (IBS) programme, the $21m order follows the successful implementation of an earlier development contract by Rockwell.

Under the terms of contract, the company will supply its high-resolution active matrix liquid crystal display (AMLCD) technology to Boeing, to replace the bomber’s monochrome cathode ray tube (CRT) displays in both the forward and aft cockpits.

Dave Nieuwsma, Rockwell Collins Airborne Solutions vice president and general manager, said the upgrade will mark an important and much needed advancement in cockpit display technology for B-1 aircrews.

”By replacing the current monochrome displays with our most advanced AMLCD displays, B-1 operators will experience enhanced situational awareness and reduced pilot workload, resulting in increased flight safety and mission effectiveness,” Nieuwsma added.

The IBS programme includes three major aircraft modifications including an upgraded front and aft cockpit, a new diagnostics system and a new Link 16 data system.

Powered by four General Electric F101-GE-102 turbofan engines, the B-1 Lancer is a long-range and supersonic variable-sweep wing bomber operated by the USAF in support of the US and Nato missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, the company’s joint venture with BAE Systems, Data Link Solutions (DLS), received a $31m contract from Boeing for supply of multifunctional information distribution system – low volume terminals (MIDS-LVTs) Link-16 terminals for the USAF’s KC-46 tanker development programme.

Image: A B-1 Lancer conduct a fly-by during a firepower demonstration over Indian Springs AIR Force Auxiliary Field in Nevada, US. Photo: courtesy of Master Sgt. Robert W. Valenca, US Air Force.