B‑2 Spirit Stealth Bomber Completes First Ever 18.5‑Hour Polar Test Mission

B‑2 Spir­it Stealth Bomber Com­pletes First Ever 18.5‑Hour Polar Test Mis­sion to Val­i­date High Speed Data Upgrade to Flight Man­age­ment Soft­ware

PALMDALE, Calif. — Under con­tract to the U.S. Air Force, Northrop Grum­man Corporation’s (NYSE:NOC) B‑2 Spir­it stealth bomber has com­plet­ed its first 18.5‑hour sor­tie over the North Pole to val­i­date new flight man­age­ment soft­ware. The com­put­er upgrade sys­tem, which is the cor­ner­stone for all future B‑2 upgrades, is now ready to enter low-rate ini­tial production. 

The Extreme­ly High Fre­quen­cy (EHF) Incre­ment 1 sys­tem ver­i­fi­ca­tion review demon­strat­ed the com­put­er upgrade pro­gram suc­cess­ful­ly sat­is­fied the government’s require­ments. The sor­tie also includ­ed air-refu­el­ing to and from the North Pole from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. 

The ver­i­fi­ca­tion reviews and flight test were the cul­mi­na­tion of over two years of detailed plan­ning and coor­di­na­tion between Northrop Grum­man, the Air Force and mul­ti­ple sup­pli­ers to ver­i­fy hard­ware, soft­ware and process require­ments. The flight mis­sion was led by the Com­bined Test Force team at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. 

“A suc­cess­ful event of this mag­ni­tude on a pro­gram this size is a tes­ta­ment to the com­mon vision and team-cen­tric approach that the Incre­ment 1 team uti­lized,” said Josh Fos­ter, Northrop Grumman’s EHF Incre­ment 1 inte­grat­ed project team lead. “By bring­ing for­ward lessons learned, best prac­tices and core lead­er­ship, and merg­ing this with inno­v­a­tive and detailed plan­ning, the team was able to effec­tive­ly man­age cost and sched­ule to meet our con­tract commitments.” 

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. 

The B‑2 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. 

Northrop Grum­man is a lead­ing glob­al secu­ri­ty com­pa­ny pro­vid­ing inno­v­a­tive sys­tems, prod­ucts and solu­tions in aero­space, elec­tron­ics, infor­ma­tion sys­tems, and tech­ni­cal ser­vices to gov­ern­ment and com­mer­cial cus­tomers world­wide. Please vis­it www.northropgrumman.com for more infor­ma­tion.
CONTACT: Amy Akmal
(424) 254‑6945

Northrop Grumman 

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