Boeing Defense, Space & Security2007-02-06 16:31:06

Boeing Demonstrates Increased Capabilities on B-1 Bomber

The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has successfully demonstrated the use of an electro-optical/infrared targeting pod on a B-1 bomber, increasing the aircraft's ability to minimize ground threats and halt an enemy's advancement.

Configured with a Sniper XR electro-optical/infrared targeting pod manufactured by Lockheed Martin, the B-1 crew completed more than 40 test conditions in approximately eight hours on Jan. 19 over the Mojave Desert in California. The demonstration validated the B-1 crew's ability to positively identify moving and stationary targets in a variety of real-world conditions.

Mounted on an external pylon below the cockpit, the targeting pod allowed the flight crews to track moving vehicles day and night, in both crowded and clear conditions. The sensor detected large and small vehicles at different ranges and angles and maintained its track even when the target vehicle passed other vehicles.

"Included in the flight tests were tanker rendezvous and refueling, which further emphasized the aircraft's ability to loiter for extended periods," said Greg Burton, Boeing B-1/B-2 program director. "The test team, comprised of U.S. Air Force, Boeing and Lockheed Martin personnel, put the pod through a rigorous series of tests, which featured an 'engine running' crew change to enable broader aircrew participation in the demonstration flight."

Images and data from the sensor were displayed in the weapons systems operator stations in the back seat of the aircraft and at the pilot/co-pilot station. During the demonstration flight, the pod also transmitted video images to the control room, enabling the monitoring team to actively participate in the test events.

"Successful demonstration of this targeting pod paves the way for a fielded capability that the operators have been requesting. It shows that with sustained modernization, the B-1 will remain a major component of U.S. air strike capability for the next 25 years," concluded Burton.

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