Boeing announced Thursday that it has received an $84 million contract from the Air Force to perform additional software upgrades of the B-1B bomber’s avionics. The new deal authorizes the company to commence work on sustainment block 16. “This major block will enhance the aircraft’s color cockpit displays, data link, radar, and navigation,” said Mahesh Reddy, Boeing’s B-1 program director. Boeing introduces new avionic software once a year on the B-1. SB 14 is in flight test at Edwards AFB, Calif., with delivery scheduled in 2011. SB 15 will be delivered in 2012.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.