Northrop Grumman said its B-2 Spirit stealth bomber has completed its first 18.5-hour sortie over the North Pole to validate new flight management software for the Air Force. The computer upgrade system is now ready to enter low-rate initial production. The Extremely High Frequency (EHF) Increment 1 system verification review demonstrated the computer upgrade program successfully satisfied the government's requirements, Northrop Grumman said. The sortie also included air-refueling to and from the North Pole from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
"A successful event of this magnitude on a program this size is a testament to the common vision and team-centric approach that the Increment 1 team utilized," said Josh Foster, Northrop Grumman's EHF Increment 1 integrated project team lead. "By bringing forward lessons learned, best practices and core leadership, and merging this with innovative and detailed planning, the team was able to effectively manage cost and schedule to meet our contract commitments."
The B-2 can fly more than 6,000 nautical miles unrefueled and more than 10,000 nautical miles with one aerial refueling.