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L3Harris Gets $34 Million to Modernize Stratofortress for Air Force

The deal is part of an effort to cut the number of crew members.

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L3Harris Technologies yesterday announced a $34 million U.S. Air Force contract to help modernize the B-52 Stratofortress bomber.

The award is part of the Global Strike Command B-52 Quad Crew Program. Through the program, the Air Force hopes to consolidate the jobs of the electronic warfare officer and navigator into a single position. 

A five-person crew currently operates the B-52H, including two pilots, a pair of navigators and an electronic warfare officer. 

According to Ed Zoiss, president of space and airborne systems at L3Harris, the deal is part of an effort to transform the B-52 bomber into a more capable platform that can operate through 2050. 

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    To consolidate the two crew positions, L3Harris will have to move the control and display unit panels to the navigator station. 

    The joint effort with the customer-led Crew Station Working Group will include a series of analyses, like aircraft weight and balance, structural and electrical load analysis and thermal cooling. The team will identify any impact on the B-52 airframe and inform the modification kit design.

    L3Harris has provided B-52 technology for decades as a manufacturer of the fleet's AN/ALQ-172 systems. The integrated RF subsystems help defend B-52 bombers against RF threats in combat missions.

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