- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Air Force is going to make sure everyone’s favorite bat-winged bomber stays stealth through 2058. The B-2 Spirit will be included in upcoming modernization planning being conducted by the Pentagon.

Northrop Grumman has a contract with the Pentagon to complete a massive upgrade on the nuclear bomber. Its $9.9 billion contract will include new computer processors, avionics, radar warning receivers and communications gear, the defense website military.com reported Wednesday.

“We’re re-hosting the flight management control processors, the brains of the airplane, onto a much more capable integrated processing unit. We’re laying in some new fiber optic cable as opposed to the mix bus cable we are using right now. The B-2’s computers from the 80s are getting maxed out and overloaded with data,” said Eric Single, chief of the Global Strike division for Air Force acquisition, military.com reported.

America’s fleet of 21 B-2 bombers was first produced in 1989 at a cost of $2.2 billion per plane. Each plane can also carry a payload of 40,000 pounds.

“This is a Cold War machine with 1980s computers. The Cold War was great for aerospace, but the computers are still stuck in the 80s. It is amazing the level of performance you can get by modernizing those systems,” said Richard Aboulafia, vice president of analysis, Teal Group, a Virginia-based consultancy, military.com reported.

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