USAF B-1B strategic bomber aircraft

ITT Exelis has offered open architecture automated testing equipment for the US Air Force (USAF) to test the B-1B bomber aircraft’s integrated electronic warfare (EW) system, in a bid to reduce maintenance effort and cost throughout its life cycle.

Exelis Electronic Systems integrated electronic warfare systems business area vice president and general manager Rich Sorelle said: "Our open architecture and modular approach will lead to the lowest possible cost of ownership throughout the B-1B’s lifetime."

As the original designers of the B-1B’s EW system ALQ-161A, Exelis Electronic Systems has drawn on decades of experience integrating the system into existing software, allowing B-1B bomber aircraft to operate effectively.

Based on the Lockheed Martin-built LM-STAR, the system is also designed to support both the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter programmes.

Using a modern user interface with updated benefits to operators and developers, the test system also maximises reductions to overall run times while reducing maintenance costs, creating an overall lower cost of AN/ALQ-161A ownership.

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The system features an optimum mix of Agilent rack-mount commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) equipment and synthetic instrumentation to support RF stimulus and measurement, while the station hardware and software components provide the optimum environment for test programme set development.

Rockwell International-developed B-1B Bomber is capable of carrying the AGM-86B air launch cruise missile (ALCM) and the AGM-69 short-range attack missile.

With a maximum take-off weight of 216,363kg, the aircraft weighs around 86,182kg and can fly at a maximum speed of 1,448km/h with service ceiling of 9,144m.

Image: A USAF B-1B strategic bomber aircraft flying after air refuelling training. Photo: Courtesy of Bennie J. Davis III.