BAE Systems won a contract from Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems to provide Electronic Support Measure (ESM) systems for all 20 B-2 Spirit stealth bombers. The ESM upgrades the B-2 Spirit and is a complete replacement of the existing, 30-year-old, legacy AN/APR-50 system. The system, used in conjunction with a radar warning receiver, detects electronic threats and provides air crew with situational awareness of detected threats.
“Modernizing the B-2 defensive system is critical to continued long-range strike supremacy and that will be accomplished through leveraging BAE Systems’ extensive portfolio of ESM technology,” explains Dave Mazur, Aerospace Systems vice president, Long Range Strike. “As a result of an extremely rigorous competition for a modernized ESM system for the B-2, Northrop Grumman is pleased with the selection of BAE Systems as our primary partner to deliver a rapid, affordable defensive capability to the warfighter.”
“As the provider of similar capability on 5th generation fighter aircraft, BAE Systems is well suited to modernize the ESM capabilities of the B-2 fleet,” said Brian Walters, vice president and general manager of BAE Systems’ Electronic Combat Solutions business. “The B-2 is a long-range mission capable aircraft that must have stealth, mission planning and exceptional situational awareness to reach its targets through highly developed, increasingly sophisticated enemy defenses. Our ESM System will provide aircrews with real-time threat warning and situational awareness of threat emitters and will allow crews to alter their planned flight path through contested airspace to safely complete their mission.”
The B-2, commonly referred to as the “Stealth Bomber,” is a deep-threat strike aircraft designed to penetrate dense anti-aircraft defenses and deploy conventional and nuclear weapons. Northrop Grumman is the U.S. Air Force’s B-2 platform provider and prime contractor for all B-2 modernization efforts involved with the aircraft’s service life extension into 2058.
BAE Systems, with this award, now provides electronic warfare systems on all three U.S. Air Force Low Observable platforms: the F-22, F-35, and B-2 aircraft. The ESM contract work will be fulfilled in Nashua, N.H. and Cambridge, Mass.