Innovations and improvements in sensors and connectivity will help leverage Air Force Global Strike Command’s bomber force for decades to come, said AFGSC boss Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson on Thursday during a Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies event in Arlington, Va. Wilson said the command must leverage its existing capabilities in new ways, by making investments, that have outsized combat effects. For example, by studying Air Force Special Operations Command acquisition practices, AFGSC was able to conceive, build, and field a new AESA radar-equipped pod for the B-52 in under five months, Wilson noted. For the B-2, Wilson said a key priority is the Defensive Management System modernization effort, which will swap out older electronics components, such as passive antennas and older line replaceable unit components that are running into spare part availability issues. By completing the DMS, the B-2 fleet will be better connected and have better situational awareness for crews and commanders.
In a nighttime ceremony contrived to continue concealment of many of its features, the new B-21 bomber rolled out of Northrop Grumman's Palmdale, Calif. plant Dec. 2. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the aircraft's advanced technology represents "deterrence, the American way."