The Air Force awarded Boeing a $65.8 million contract for Lot 2 production of integrated battle stations for the B-1B bomber fleet, announced the company. Under this production lot, Boeing will supply IBS kits for nine B-1s, according to the company’s July 20 release. This upgrade is designed to improve the aircrew’s situational awareness and communications capabilities via updated front and aft cockpits, a new diagnostics system, and new Link 16 data links. This contract builds upon the Lot 1 contract for four IBS kits from June 2011. Boeing said it will begin installing the Lot 1 kits this fall at its facility in Oklahoma City, Okla. The IBS upgrade is slated for completion on the entire B-1 fleet in 2019, according to the company.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.