The Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom AFB, Mass., has just delivered the first Boeing-built FAB-T terminal to the B-2 program office for integration testing on the stealth bomber. FAB-T, which stands for family of advanced beyond-line-of-sight terminals, will enhance the ability of the B-2 to pass and receive large amounts of voice messages, data, imagery, and video securely via extremely high frequency satellite links. The first terminal is an engineering development model. Additional terminals will be delivered over the course of the next few months, including one to support flight testing on the B-2 this spring. This delivery comes on the heels of a successful demonstration in December during which a FAB-T successfully sent and received text over an operational Milstar satellite. FAB-T is destined for Air Force airlift, bomber, ISR, and special-mission aircraft as well as ground command sites. Initially the system will be installed on B-2, B-52, E-4, E-6, and RC-135 aircraft to support nuclear command and control. (Hanscom report by Chuck Paone)
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.