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Boeing Wichita to celebrate first flight of B-52H CONECT

WICHITA– Boeing Integrated Defense Systems in Wichita is celebrating the start of the flight test phase of the B-52 CONECT aircraft on Friday.

The plane has been modified with Combat Network Communications Technology, that includes new computer architecture, color displays and tactical datalinks. That will allow the “dynamic retasking of missions and weapons during flight and provide increased situational awareness,” according to the U.S. Air Force.

Boeing Wichita employees and representatives of the U.S. Air Force will be on hand for a celebration at the company in southeast Wichita.

The B-52 was designed to carry nuclear weapons during the Cold War. It now has precision-guided weapons that can drop missiles on caves in Afghanistan.

The Air Force awarded Boeing the contract for the system design and development in April 2005.