Posted by Skyler Frink
PALMDALE, Calif., Nov. 9, 2011. Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) recently won a $109 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to produce a redesigned aft deck for the B-2 stealth bomber.
The B-2 Spirit's aft deck, a metallic panel on the bomber's upper surface that shields its composite airframe from the heat of engine exhaust, will be redesigned for long-term reliability. The retrofit will enable the aircraft to span normal long-term maintenance cycles without additional services or repairs.
The aft deck enhancement is the latest spares replacement the Air Force, Northrop Grumman and its suppliers have undertaken on the B-2.
The B-2 Spirit stealth bomber is a long-range, large-payload aircraft that can penetrate into protected airspace. In concert with the Air Force's air superiority fleet, which provides airspace control, and the Air Force's tanker refueling fleet, which enables global mobility, the B-2 helps ensure an effective U.S. response to threats anywhere in the world. It can fly more than 6,000 nautical miles unrefueled and more than 10,000 nautical miles with just one aerial refueling, giving it the ability to reach any point on the globe within hours.
Work will be conducted at Northrop Grumman facilities in Palmdale, Calif., and St. Augustine, Fla. Northrop Grumman is the Air Force's prime contractor for the B-2.