Raytheon to Upgrade B-52 with AESA Radars
The Boeing Company has chosen the Raytheon Company to supply modernized radar equipment for the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress radar modernization program. Under the contract, Raytheon will design, develop, produce, and sustain active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar systems for the U.S. Air Force’s entire B-52 long-range strategic bomber fleet.
The advanced radar upgrade is intended to keep the nearly 65-year-old aircraft mission ready through 2050 and beyond. With an AESA radar on board, the B-52 will gain improved navigation reliability to support nuclear and conventional missions. Raytheon's B-52 radar is based on AESA technologies developed from the APG-79/APG-82 radar family.
AESA technology uses a computer-controlled, phased array antenna that allows the focus of the radio wave to be changed without changing the direction of the antenna itself. Low rate initial production is scheduled to begin in 2024.
William Kucinski is content editor at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group in Warrendale, Pa. Previously, he worked as a writer at the NASA Safety Center in Cleveland, Ohio and was responsible for writing the agency’s System Failure Case Studies. His interests include literally anything that has to do with space, past and present military aircraft, and propulsion technology.