The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has been awarded a $45 million U.S. Air Force contract to upgrade the B-1B bomber's avionics software.
The contract award continues an annual upgrade program launched in 2003 to update the aircraft's avionics software through "Sustainment Blocks." This latest upgrade is designated Sustainment Block 14. Boeing engineers in Long Beach, Calif., and Oklahoma City, Okla., produce upgraded B-1B avionics software every 12 months for the nation's fleet of 67 B-1B long-range heavy bombers.
"This contract ensures that B-1B users have the latest software improvements, allowing them to exploit the awesome potential of the bomber in its ever-expanding roles," said Greg Burton, Boeing B-1B program director.
Carrying the largest payload in the Air Force inventory, the multi-mission B-1B forms the backbone of America's long-range bomber force. Its low radar cross-section, variable-geometry wings, turbofan afterburning engines and advanced electronic countermeasures combine to provide long range, maneuverability and high speed while enhancing survivability.
B-1B aircraft have delivered more tonnage of ordnance while flying fewer sorties than any other aircraft during Operation Iraqi Freedom.