The Palmdale facility of Northrop Grumman Corp. recently contributed to an upgrade of the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber.
The aerospace and defense contractor completed this month, in partnership with the Air Force, an integrated airborne mission transfer demonstration with the B-2 at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri. The demonstration is part of the ongoing modernization efforts to incorporate digital engineering into the aircraft.
The B-2 Program is headquartered out of Northrop’s facility in Palmdale. Engineering support is performed out of several locations, including Palmdale and Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma.
The integrated airborne mission transfer demonstration project allows the B-2 to complete a digital, machine-to-machine transfer of new missions received in flight directly into the aircraft, according to a release from Northrop.
Nikki Kodama, vice president and B-2 program manager at Northrop, said that the company is providing the B-2 with the capabilities to communicate and operate in advanced battle management systems to keep it ahead of evolving threats.
“The integration of this digital software with our weapon system will further enhance the connectivity and survivability in highly contested environments as part of our ongoing modernization effort,” Kodama said in a statement.
The demonstration included approximately 50 mission transfers during a two-day period in partnership with the Air Force.
Aircraft vehicle 1086, the Spirit of Kitty Hawk, was configured with Northrop Grumman’s multimission domain architecture – an open-mission system design for the B-2 that allows rapid and affordable fielding of modern mission capabilities, according to Northrop.
In the demonstration, the aircrew received an incoming transmission from the adaptable communications suite ground station, which loaded the mission directly through multi mission domain interfaces to the B-2 disk drive unit, Northrop added.
B-2 flight crews can now focus more on mission execution in today’s dynamic battlespace thanks to progressive digital technology, the company said.