01:46 GMT08 August 2020
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    The US Air Force has approved a $102 million software upgrade for its B-2 strategic bombers, Northrop Grumman announced in a press release from its plant in Oklahoma City.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The CDR is a key review point in a three-year, $102 million contract awarded to Northrop Grumman in August 2014 for the engineering and manufacturing development portion of the program.

    Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit AV-2, Spirit of Arizona - 82-1067.
    © Flickr / Christopher Ebdon
    Northrop Grumman, recently awarded the contract for the US’ next-generation long-range strike bomber, was up more than 4.4% at the close of the NYSE Monday.

    “The company successfully completed the critical design review (CDR) of the service's Flexible Strike Phase 1 program on February 3,” Northrop Grumman said on Wednesday.

    Now Northrop Grumman has Air Force approval to begin development and integration of new software and hardware for the upgrade, the defense company said.

    “The Flexible Strike software upgrade lays the foundation for future system enhancements, including the ability to carry multiple weapon types,” US Air Force Fighters and Bombers Directorate B-2 Division Chief Robert Strasser was quoted as saying in the statement.

    “This 'mixed loads' capability will ensure maximum strategic nuclear and conventional strike capability,” Strasser said.

    The new software “will also reduce B-2 maintenance costs, increase mission flexibility and increase aircraft reliability,” Northrop Grumman Vice President and B-2 Program Manager Dave Mazur said in the statement.

    Northrop Grumman is replacing several operational flight programs (OFP) with a single OFP that can manage all of the B-2's weapons carrying devices.

    Northrop Grumman is the US Air Force's prime contractor for the B-2 long range strategic bomber.

    B-2 bomber, Northrop Grumman
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