Stealth Bomber radar upgrade enters new phase

Northrop Grumman’s Integrated Systems sector has been awarded an $85.9 million contract by the US Air Force for the next phase of the B-2 radar modernisation program.

Northrop Grumman’s Integrated Systems sector has been awarded an $85.9 million contract by the US Air Force for the next phase of the B-2 radar modernisation program, a multiyear effort to design and integrate a new radar antenna on the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber.

In this phase, Northrop Grumman, the B-2 program prime contractor, will establish specifications and design new and modified components. The company also will perform technical demonstrations to reduce risk in the system level design. The work is scheduled to be completed in August 2004.

The radar modernisation effort consists of replacing the B-2’s current radar antenna with a Ku-band active electronically scanned array antenna.

The new antenna reportedly resolves potential conflicts in radio frequency usage between the B-2 and commercial satellite systems that also use the Ku-band spectrum. Installation of the new antenna on the B-2 fleet is scheduled to be completed by the end of the decade.

Northrop Grumman’s work on the radar modernisation program began in October 2002 with a $34.2 million contract for the first phase.

The program is estimated to be worth more than $900 million to the company through to 2010.