Under a series of U.S. Air Force contracts with a total value of $161 M, Northrop Grumman has supplied the first B-1 bomber radar prime mission equipment kit for the B-1's Radar Reliability and Maintainability Program (RMIP).
Following the delivery, one radar kit has been deployed on a B-1 aircraft located in Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. Dyess Air Force Base at Texas received two more kits that were in June 2012.
According to Maj. Daniel P. Walters, Air Force program manager of B-1 radar, the Air Force has successfully fielded B-1 Radar RMIP. The upgrade is anticipated to improve B-1 mission capability at home as well as in combat missions, through which operators can use bombs on a target for future potential.
During September 2010, Northrop Grumman was presented with a $65 M RMIP base contract from the U,S. Air Force to deliver 22 modification kits, in addition to providing spares, test benches, technical data and services and repairs. Another 38 kits will be delivered under an additional contract worth $95 M. Two line-replaceable units have been replaced within the B-1's AN/APQ-164 radar by RMIP to attain enhanced reliability and better maintenance.
According to Tim Winter, VP of Global Sensor Solutions at Northrop Grumman, following this investment, the critical potential features of B-1 will be maintained by enhancing the radar system’s reliability. The B-1 fleet will become combat-ready for hostilities after being upgraded.
Before achieving the 2010 production contract, Northrop Grumman has developed the RMIP upgrade. The modification kit encompasses radar processing computer, a new radar receiver and transmitter, and a reconfigured software package. With this new hardware, the bomber's mission capabilities can be upgraded with respect to the emergence of new technologies. The B-1 fleet was primarily created during the 1980s.