Boeing recently announced the successful test flight of the B-52 CONECT upgrade.
CONECT Combat Network Communications Technology interphone system is a new communications network that will eventually be installed on the entire fleet, including the B-52s at Minot Air Force Base, said Jennifer Hogan, a spokeswoman for Boeing.
CONECT will allow the bomber to receive coordinates electronically, meaning it can re-task missions while in flight and will allow the crew to communicate with one another, other aircraft or on the ground.
The six-hour evaluation flight was from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
"CONECT gives the B-52 the ability to participate in net-centric operations," said Scot Oathout, B-52 program director for Boeing in Wichita, Kan. "This means the aircraft can exchange real-time digital information with other ground-based and airborne assets while on a mission, increasing its effectiveness, survivability and lethality. CONECT keeps the B-52 in the fight."
Ground and flight tests for the system are to be completed by late October.
In 2013, the system will be installed first in 18 planes and then another contract will be awarded for installation in the rest of the fleet, Hogan said.