New B-2 Radar Passes Second Test, Big Bomb Fits

The Air Force and Northrop Grumman successfully demonstrated the B-2 bomber’s new radar can meet both conventional and strategic performance requirements, according to a July 22 company statement. It was the second of two Air Force verification compliance reviews (VCR) of the B-2 Radar Modernization Program. USAF already has taken delivery of an upgraded B-2 under the RMP system development and demonstration phase. The entire B-2 fleet is slated to have the Raytheon-developed radar by 2011. “The completion of VCR-2 means that we’ve successfully translated the Air Force requirements for this new radar in to a system that meets the B-2’s mission requirements,” said Mike Galaway, Northrop’s RMP director. He added that additional independent government testing still must be done, “but passing this milestone gives us the confidence that the new system will be suitable for the fleet.” In another B-2 development, Northrop said in a July 21 release that an April 28 test had shown that the equipment needed to hold the new massive ordnance penetrator within a B-2, the MOP itself, and the command and release hardware fit “together properly inside the aircraft” based on a test employing a B-2 Weapons Load Trainer at Whiteman AFB, Mo. Northrop is working with MOP-developer Boeing to integrate the 30,000-pound conventional munition on the B-2; the weapon entered flight test aboard the B-52 earlier this year.