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Global Security Newswire

Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues

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U.S. Air Force Improving B-2 Bomber Communications

The U.S. Air Force is moving forward with an initiative to enhance the communication systems of its fleet of B-2 bombers so that they can continue to fulfill their nuclear missions while a successor to the present satellite-based communications system is readied, the service announced in a Thursday press release.

In July, approval was given for the Common Very Low Frequency Receiver project to move into the engineering, manufacturing and development phase. The project had been on hold since 1992 due to a lack of funding.

Presently, any communications from the commander-in-chief to a B-2 bomber would be transmitted via an ultra-high-frequency system that relies on satellite relays. The upgrade will give the strategic aircraft the ability to receive those presidential force directives through much lower frequency signals, allowing for the circumvention of the Military Strategic Tactical and Relay satellites that are close to being retired, according to an official associated with the project.

Down the line, the B-52 heavy bomber also could be outfitted with the CVR technology under a proposed second increment of the project.

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