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Boeing to upgrade B-52 bombers for U.S. Air Force
by James Laporta
Washington (UPI) Nov 17, 2017

Rockwell Collins awarded $12.7M for E-6B Mercury aircraft upgrades
Washington (UPI) Nov 17, 2017 - Rockwell Collins Inc. was awarded more than $12.7 million to upgrade communication systems on the U.S. Navy's E-6B Mercury aircraft., which has the ability for command and control authority to launch land and sea based nuclear ballistic missiles.

The deal, announced Thursday by the Department of Defense, is under a firm-fixed-price contract, meaning the $12.7 million dollar price tag for technology upgrades will not be adjusted for the benefit of Rockwell Collins if potential additional costs are accumulated while executing the contract.

The Pentagon says the contract will "exercise an option for the installation of Block I/Internet Protocol Bandwidth Expansion Phase 3/Block IA Very Low Transmit Terminal/Nuclear Planning and Execution System kit on one E-6B aircraft."

Moreover, the contract will provide additional support services to the U.S. Navy such as field support engineering and training.

The installation of the new technology will be performed in Oklahoma City, Okla., and in Richardson, Texas, and is expected to be completed in June 2019.

Officials say U.S. Navy aircraft procurement funds from fiscal year 2018 in the amount of more than $12.7 million will be obligated at the time of award, which will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

The Boeing Co. has been awarded a modified contract for 10-full-rate production combat network communication technology upgrade kits for B-52 bombers.

The deal, announced Wednesday by the Department of Defense, is worth more than $23.8 million under a fixed-price incentive-firm, cost-plus-fixed-fee modified contract, meaning that the contract between the Air Force and Boeing is the maximum amount the U.S. government will pay for the upgraded technology.

Once work is completed, the U.S. Air Force and Boeing will determine the final cost of the contract awarded.

Installation of upgraded communication technology for the Pentagon's B-52 bombers has long been in the works. In 2014, the first U.S. Air Force B-52 bomber was upgraded with advanced communication systems from Boeing.

Two years ago, Boeing and the U.S Air Force finalized plans to integrate all B-52 bombers with up-to-date digital communications to enhance their combat capabilities. At the time, Boeing said they had completed successful negotiations to upgrade the aircraft with Boeing's Combat Network Communications Technology, or CONECT.

"The multifunction, critical capability that CONECT provides for the B-52 was at risk for missing kit installation schedule," Renee Sauerland, B-52 CONECT project manager for the Air Force in 2015, said at the time. "Boeing and the Air Force's collaborative effort to reduce the kit contracting process by 50 percent paved the way to deliver on-time, quality war-fighting capabilities."

B-52 bombers go in for program depot maintenance every four years, and the Air Force has had the CONECT upgrades installed as they go in for the scheduled maintenance. So, if the Air Force runs out of kits, aircraft that have not been upgraded during scheduled maintenance would have to wait an additional four years to receive the new capabilities.

Work on the contract announced Thursday will be performed in Oklahoma City, Okla., with an expected completion date of October 2019.

Fiscal 2018 procurement funds in the amount of $23.8 million have been obligated at the time of the award.

British-built Hawk training jets to be maintained by BAE
Washington (UPI) Nov 15, 2017
London-based BAE Systems Ltd. announced an agreement on Wednesday to maintain and support Hawk training planes in the United Arab Emirates. BAE will contract with the UAE-based Advanced Military Maintenance Repair and Overhaul Center, or AMMROC, to provide repairs and upgrades to Hawk Mk61, Mk102 and Mk63 aircraft at a facility in Abu Dhabi until 2020. The facility is on the grou ... read more

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