USAF Tests B-2 Bomber System for GPS-Denied Environments

The US Air Force has conducted its final test of a B-2A bomber radar-aided targeting system that enables weapon guidance accuracy in a GPS-degraded environment.

The Radar Aided Targeting System (RATS)-equipped bomber dropped a B61-12 nuclear bomb during the capstone test at the Tonopah Test Range, Nevada, last month.

The software-only solution provides navigation updates to guided nuclear weapons such as the B61-12 in a non-GPS environment.

Nine-Month Test

The test was the first production unit release of the B61-12 Joint Test Assembly (JTA), the full-scale production of which began in May.

“We flew multiple sorties testing the new RATS capability over the last nine months and collected test points on its performance,”72d Test and Evaluation Squadron (TES) B-2 weapons flight commander Capt. David Durham said.

RATS Software Tool 

The 72d TES also tested an in-house designed software tool that provides early indication of “RATS’ functionality, verifying that the system is operating correctly prior to weapon release.”

“This tool has opened the door for rapid and innovative software development in support of the B-2,” 72d TES lead analysis software developer, Master Sergeant Matthew Gibson said.

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