Boeing has selected fellow American defense manufacturer Collins Aerospace to upgrade the B-52 bomber aircraft by integrating a new electric power generation system (EPGS).
The new EPGS will replace the 70-year-old power generation system currently in the aircraft, providing more efficient technology that requires less engine power to operate.
A total of eight generators will be installed in each B-52, increasing the redundancy in onboard electrical power necessary to support future upgrades in components such as radar, avionics, and mission systems.
Collins Aerospace Vice President of Electric Power Systems Stan Kottke explained that the new EPGS will leverage proven technology to support greener aircraft operation while allowing future enhancements that will extend the aircraft’s range and operational service life.
The agreement is expected to contribute to the US Air Force goal of a 30 percent improvement in B-52 fuel efficiency and decreased carbon dioxide emissions.
In addition to the power generation system, Collins Aerospace has also been tapped to provide new wheels and carbon brakes for the aircraft.
The iconic B-52 Stratofortress can fly at high subsonic speeds at an altitude up to 50,000 feet (15,240 meters). It can carry nuclear or precision-guided conventional ordnance with precision navigation capability.
The bomber can be equipped with two electro-optical viewing sensors, a forward-looking infrared, and advanced targeting pods for enhanced targeting capability, battle assessment, and flight safety.
Last year, it was reported that the announcement of an engine replacement contract for the B-52 was “imminent” and might happen before the end of September. The air force said it is looking to prolong the life of the B-52 system with the new engines until at least 2050.