Boeing has received a $55.3 million production contract from the U.S. Air Force to upgrade the B-1 Lancer navigation system, replacing the original navigation hardware with a new ring laser gyro system.
"We are no longer using a spinning mass gyro," said Rick Greenwell, B-1 program director for Boeing. "The new inertial navigation system uses a ring laser gyro with no moving parts to wear out and repair. This upgrade will dramatically increase system reliability."
Under the three-and-a-half year contract, Boeing will deliver hardware modification kits and perform retrofits at Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, Texas, and Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City, S.D. Initial aircraft modification is scheduled to begin in January 2013 and be completed by mid-2015.
Development program flight tests were completed on July 13, 2011. Boeing will begin purchasing upgrade kits immediately.