WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo., Sept. 24, 2012 Northrop Grumman has successfully completed – ahead of schedule – all field installations of a new radar system for the U.S. Air Force's fleet of B-2 stealth bombers.
Every operational B-2 is now equipped with the new radar, which was developed for the Air Force's B-2 Radar Modernization Program (RMP). It takes advantage of technology advancements that have occurred since the bomber was originally designed in the early 1980s.
Northrop Grumman is the Air Force's prime contractor for the B-2, the flagship of the nation's long-range strike arsenal. The fleet of 20 B-2s is operated by the 509th Bomb Wing from its headquarters at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo.
The Whiteman RMP installs occurred in two blocks: five were completed during 2009 as part of the program's system development and demonstration phase. Ten more were completed between the third quarter of 2010 and the first quarter of 2012 as part of the RMP production contract.
Northrop Grumman also used a second advanced procurement process with RMP called a Life of Type buy. Under this approach, the company worked out agreements with the government and RMP suppliers to purchase all the spare parts needed for the anticipated operational life of the system, thereby avoiding future parts obsolescence issues.
Raytheon Space&Airborne Systems, El Segundo, Calif., developed the new radar hardware under contract to Northrop Grumman. It includes an advanced electronically scanned array antenna, a power supply and a modified receiver/exciter.