Air Force scours industry for replacement part to nuclear bomber communications system

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla., 12 March 2013. U.S. Air Force aircraft communications experts are scouring industry to find companies able to build replacements for the obsolete CU-2421 antenna coupler for the AN/ARC-211 HF radio that Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, designed for the B-2 nuclear bomber aircraft.

Officials of the Air Force Materiel Command at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., issued a source-sought notice last week (5985-01-368-8340) looking for companies able to replace the obsolete part for the B-2 communications HF radio system.

An antenna coupler essentially tunes an antenna to enable it to transmit and receive radio waves efficiently over a relatively wide frequency range. Without such a coupler to tune the antenna to many different frequencies, radios would require many different antennas to operate reliably.

The AN/ARC-211 radio was designed originally for the first versions of the B-2 bomber, which began fielding in the early 1990s. Since then various upgrades to the strategic bomber have installed high-speed data handling, EHF satellite communications, and other avionics improvements, but at least some of the aircraft still need the AN/ARC-211 HF radio.

Radios that operate on high-frequency (HF) bands between about 2 and 30 MHz rely on relatively long radio waves that bounce off the layer of the atmosphere called the ionosphere. The ability to bounce, or "skip" along layers of the atmosphere, gives the HF radio extremely long-range capability.

In the absence of satellite communications, HF radio could be the B-2's only method of contacting home bases or national command authorities while on distant missions. The ability to communicate reliably over long distances is essential for the B-2 because it can carry nuclear weapons.

So to find an acceptable replacement for the AN/ARC-211's obsolete CU-2421 antenna coupler, the Air Force is conducting a market survey to identify companies that could do the job.

Officials of the Air Force Materiel Command want to hear from companies able to furnish all required labor, expertise, facilities, and equipment to accomplish a CU-2421 antenna coupler obsolescence study, analysis, and solution recommendations.

Companies must have a quality system that meets the requirements of ISO9001:2008; possess all required technical data to perform the task; have previous history and technical knowledge of the item; and be familiar and have experience with form, fit, and function components, line replaceable units (LRUs), and shop replaceable units (SRUs) replacements.

Companies also must have previous history, technical knowledge, and experience working with hardness-critical items (HCIs), which have the ability to tolerate doses of radiation sufficient to operate through a nuclear explosion.

Companies interested should respond no later than 5 April 2013. For questions or concerns contact the Air Force Material Command by email at More information is online at

Military & Aerospace Photos

Most Popular Articles

Wire News provided by   

Press Releases

One Component, Snap Cure Epoxy Features High Strength Properties

Suitable for a variety of applications in the electronic, aerospace and OEM industries, Master Bond EP3SP5F...

One Part Epoxy Resists up to 500°F and Meets NASA Low Outgassing Specifications

Master Bond Supreme 12AOHT-LO is a one component epoxy for a variety of bonding and sealing applications in...

Low Viscosity, One Part Cyanoacrylate Is Non-Toxic and Meets ISO 10993-5 Specifications

Master Bond MB250NT is widely used for a variety of applications ranging from repair to high speed producti...

Thermally Conductive, Two Component Epoxy Passes USP Class VI Tests and ISO 10993-5 Specifications

With biocompatibility and cytotoxicity certifications, Master Bond EP21AOLV-2Med is often selected for bond...


Curtiss-Wright Corporation’s Defense Solutions division applauds Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) o...

Curtiss-Wright’s New Rugged Mobile IP Router Subsystem Features an Integrated Cisco® 5915 ESR Router

Curtiss-Wright Corporation today announced that its Defense Solutions division, a Cisco® Systems Solution T...

VICTORY Shared Processing, Fire Control Computer, and Switch for Ground Vehicles Introduced by Curtiss-Wright

Curtiss-Wright Corporation today announced that its Defense Solutions division has introduced a new fully i...

GE Announces First Sub-Credit Card-Sized Multi-Function High Definition (HD) Video Tracker

HUNTSVILLE, AL.— OCTOBER 13, 2014—GE’s Intelligent Platforms business today announced at AUSA (October 13-...


Meeting the Gen3 backplane challenge with OpenVPX and COTS

Tight Pentagon budgets mean military systems must stay in the field for longer than ever before. This doesn't mean obsolete technology, however. Today's military electronics are being upgraded constantly, an...
Sponsored by:

Design Strategy Considerations for DO-178C Certified Multi-core Systems

Join Wind River to learn how system architecture and design choices can minimize your DO-178C certification challenges.

Sponsored by:

Flying, Sailing or Driving - The Rugged, Embedded Intel-based Server that goes where you need it!Flying Sailing or Driving

Leveraging the power of server-class processors is no longer relegated to the confines of data centers. Through several innovations, Mercury Systems has ruggedized Intel’s server-class chips for deployment. ...
Sponsored by:

All Access Sponsors

Mil & Aero Magazine

April 2015
Volume 26, Issue 4

Download Our Apps




Follow Us On...


Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information

Cyber Security

Monthly newsletter covering cyber warfare, cyber security, information warfare, and information security technologies, products, contracts, and procurement opportunities

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers

Electronic Warfare

Quarterly newsletter covering technologies and applications in electronic warfare, cyber warfare, optical warfare, and spectrum warfare.

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles