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Northrop Grumman Set to Sustain B-2 Spirit Bombers

Northrop Grumman Set to Sustain B-2 Spirit Bombers

A deal worth $7 billion was inked by Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Air Force for B-2 Spirit bombers’ maintenance, upgrades, and logistic services. The Defense Post reports that the work defined in the contract is planned to be completed by May 2029. About two years ago, the U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center launched a ‘software factory’ for its B-2 Spirit bombers. The software factory is tasked with finding and fixing software defects and providing new software to the fleet of stealth bombers. B-2 Spirit is one of the three strategic bombers in service with the U.S. Air Force alongside B-52 Stratofortress and B-1 Lancer. The aircraft has low observability thanks to the flying wing design and optimisations to reduce the returning signals from multiple aspects. In tandem with its features, the aircraft’s high costs, difficulty of maintenance, and the emergence of new technologies have pushed the U.S. to find a more flexible solution to succeed B-2, which came as the B-21 Raider. Compared to B-2, B-21 will be able to conduct new missions in addition to bombing like ISR and electronic warfare. The aircraft’s common components with recent platforms like the F-35 are expected to ease maintenance and logistics.

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