B-1B Lancer

AAI Test & Training has been awarded a contract to support the US Air Force’s (USAF) Advanced Radar/Electronic Warfare Test Station (ARTS) programme for the B-1 Lancer strategic bomber.

The $12.7m contract, with a performance period of 30 months, includes options which could extend it by up to seven years.

Under the contract, AAI will develop and supply a total of three B-1 ARTS automatic test equipment (ATE) systems, along with several line-replaceable unit test programme sets (LRU TPS).

Other components to be delivered include station self-test and calibration equipment, six application development environments and data products for all supplied systems to the air force.

AAI will also supply an additional 20 B-1 ARTS ATE systems to be used by both the USAF and Air National Guard (ANG) end operators.

Robert Peters, AAI Test & Training senior vice president and general manager, said the B1-ARTS was compatible with the Air Force’s Versatile Depot Automatic Test Station (VDATS) system for seamless integration into the currently used test architectures.

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"We also made use of available, off-the-shelf ATE design for affordability. Together, our approach was intended to offer precise, reliable testing and great value to meet our customer’s requirements today and into the future," said Peters.

The ARTS programme aims to replace the traditional ATE systems with one integrated unit containing an advanced commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) test system which addresses testing requirements of the ALQ-161 LRUs.

The B-1 Lancer is a long-range and supersonic variable-sweep wing strategic bomber operated by the USAF in support of US and Nato missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Image: A USAF’s B-1B Lancer heavy bomber aircraft with wings swept full forward. Photo: courtesy of Denniss.