PALMDALE, Calif., 22 July 2009.Northrop Grumman Corp. and the U.S. Air Force have successfully demonstrated that the new radar developed for the B-2 stealth bomber can fulfill the performance requirements for its required missions, both conventional and strategic.
Northrop Grumman is the Air Force's prime contractor for the B-2, the flagship of the nation's long range strike arsenal. The bomber is the nation's largest payload, longest range stealth bomber.
The company recently passed the second of two Air Force audits of the B-2 Radar Modernization Program (RMP) known as verification compliance reviews. In February 2009, Northrop Grumman passed Verification Compliance Review (VCR)-1, which audited the company's testing of the B-2 radar hardware and basic operational modes. VCR-2, which confirmed the company's results for the testing of the radar's strategic mission modes, was successfully completed in mid June.
"The completion of VCR-2 means that we've successfully translated the Air Force requirements for this new radar into a system that meets the B-2's mission requirements," says Mike Galaway, director of Northrop Grumman's B-2 Radar Modernization Program. "Additional independent government testing remains to be done, but passing this milestone gives us the confidence that the new system will be suitable for the fleet."
Northrop Grumman shared responsibilities for conducting the radar testing with the Air Force. Both organizations supported the planning and execution of B-2 test flights, and analyzed radar test data.
The B-2 Spirit stealth bomber remains the only long-range, large-payload aircraft that can penetrate deeply into protected airspace. In concert with the Air Force's air superiority fleet, which provides airspace control, and the Air Force's tanker fleet, which enables global mobility, the B-2 helps ensure an effective U.S. response to threats anywhere in the world. It can fly more than 6,000 nautical miles unrefueled and more than 10,000 nautical miles with just one aerial refueling, giving it the ability to reach any point on the globe within hours.