The Bomber for all Seasons?

Northrop Grumman is transforming the B-2 bomber as part of the long range strike plan still under development by the Air Force. (See our report here.) Besides the new radar, the B-2 gets a smart bomb rack assembly—giving it the ability to carry and deliver 80 GPS-guided JDAMs on a single pass—and it will have the Link-16 communications system, a high-rate digital data system that allows cross-platform real-time exchange of critical targeting data. There’s more: Northrop says it is talking with USAF about modifying the B-2 for a medium-range role. “It’s probably the quickest way to get to a medium range platform,” said Northrop’s Gene Fraser.