B-52 stratofortress
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Larry Littrell prepares to land a B-52 Stratofortress aircraft as he surpasses his 5,000-hour mark at an undisclosed location April 4, 2006. Littrell is currently assigned to the 40th Air Expeditionary Group. (CREDIT: Senior Master Sgt. John Rohrer)

B-52 Fleet Sees Safety Boost with Communications Upgrade

U.S. Air Force's B-52 fleet has begun using Combat Network Communications Technology (CONECT).

The U.S. Air Force has introduced the first aircraft in its B-52 fleet with Combat Network Communications Technology (CONECT), a communications upgrade that will keep the long-running fleet ahead of potential threats in the air.

According to a release from Boeing:

The CONECT modification adds to the B-52 several communication data links, full-color LCD displays with real-time intelligence feeds overlaid on moving maps, a state-of-the-art computing network, and the ability to retarget a weapon, or mission parameters, in flight.

“The delivery of the first B-52 to Barksdale Air Force Base, La., with the CONECT upgrade is a landmark event between Boeing and the Air Force customer,” Boeing B-52 program director Scot Oathout said in a release. “CONECT not only provides valuable new capability to the aircraft, but does so in a cost-effective manner and ensures the aircraft will remain relevant in the future.”

The Air Force anticipates modernizing its entire B-52 fleet with the innovative CONECT capability.

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