The United States Air Force has just begun the first steps of a multi-year technological upgrade of its Rockwell B1-B Lancer bomber fleet. According to Defense Tech, new displays, computer technology and avionics will be fitted on all 62 aircraft in the fleet as part of the project.
As Defense Tech notes, the long-term program, dubbed Integrated Battle Station (IBS), is a three-stage process involving new displays, integrated data links and diagnostic technologies. Production of the first IBS aircraft began last year. The entire fleet will be upgraded with new technology by 2019.
“This modernization is the most significant upgrade to the B-1 since initial production,” said Maj. Mick Szczukowski, program element monitor, Air Force acquisition. “Concurrent procurement and installation of all three upgrades reduces installation costs, reduces aircraft downtime, and keeps fielded aircraft configurations to a minimum for aircrew training, maintenance, and operational deployment efficiencies.”
According to Defense Tech, the upgrades will serve to extend the service-life of the B-1 aircraft — originally built in the 1980s — through 2040.
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by Tactical-Life / Feb 24, 2014