EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif., 29 Jan. 2010. Boeing [NYSE: BA] announced that a B-52H upgraded with new communication technology completed its first test flight
at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB). The Combat Network Communications Technology (CONECT) upgrade allows B-52H crews to receive and send real-time digital information during their missions.
The more than three-hour flight around the Edwards area included an initial system build-up test, interphone test, and communication test. The test process included power-on of each system in flight to determine that there were no adverse effects on flight-essential systems.
"Completion of the first test flight brings us one step closer to giving command centers and troops on the ground the ability to communicate with the B-52 through the military's digital information network, says Jim Kroening, Boeing B-52 development programs manager. "Augmenting current voice-based communication gives B-52 crews greater situational awareness and significantly enhanced mission capabilities."
Boeing and the U.S. Air Force have accomplished more than 220 ground test points out of about 500. Ground and flight test will continue through February. The aircraft will then rotate through its planned depot maintenance at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., and resume ground and flight test in January 2011 at Edwards AFB.