As part of the Sustainment-Block 16 program, Rockwell’s supersonic strategic bomber, B-1B Lancers are currently getting their most advanced hardware and software upgrades. The upgrades include a fully integrated data link in the station and vertical situation display in the front. Updates on the navigation, radar and diagnostic systems are also being done. The 337th Test and Evaluation Squadron Assistant Director, Major Thomas Bryant said that the following upgrades will give them an entirely new aircraft.
The crew station will now receive five new color displays all capable of providing moving maps and data link integration. While the weapon system officers will now have a full “QWERTY” keyboards and controllers to interface with the integrated battle station software.
The pilots will receive a new digital flight instrument display providing more precise flight parameters. The pilot and co-pilot stations each will start receiving a new 8-inch by 10-inch multi-function display installed in the crew station.
“Command and control assets will have the ability to send us targets electronically, automatically linking into our system rather than manually entering the coordinates” Bryant said. “The new data link capability is huge for the B-1B Lancer.”
These new situation displays provide independent interactive, moving maps and link information to the front station supplying them identical information available to the station. Developmental testing for the entire Sustainment-Block 16 package is scheduled to begin around March of 2013. The B-1B Lancers will then be tested and will start to operate in September of 2013.
The former Rockwell manufacturer, now part of Boeing, B-1 Lancer aircraft is a four-engine variable-sweep wing strategic bomber used by the United States Air Force (USAF). The B-1B Lancers started service on 1986 with the USAF Strategic Air Command as a nuclear bomber.
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