WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio, May 16, 2006 – The U.S. Air Force recently awarded a $180-million contract to the Boeing Company to upgrade the fire-control radar on the service's fleet of 67 B-1B long-range bomber aircraft.
The nine-year Reliability and Maintainability Improvement Program, or RMIP, will replace two, high-failure rate line-replaceable units that make up the current AN/APQ-164 radar system in an effort to improve its R&M performance.
According to U.S. Air Force Col. Paul Clark, commander of the B-1 Systems Group at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, the RMIP System Development and Demonstration is the first significant radar upgrade for the B-1 in more than 20 years.
"The investment we are making with this upgrade will significantly improve the reliability of the B-1's radar system and reduce the time and manpower the Air Force is spending to maintain this critical capability," said Clark. "The upgrade is key to keeping the B-1 combat ready for our warfighters for years to come."
Modification kits to replace the bombers' receiver and processor will be available beginning in 2011.
The RMIP kit, built principally by subcontractor Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems in Baltimore, comprises a new radar transmitter/receiver, a radar processor computer and a reimplemented software package.