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First Boeing B-52 with new communcations technology completes evaluation flight

The first B-52 bomber outfitted with a new Boeing Combat  Network Communications Technology interphone system, or CONECT, has completed its evaluation flight.

CONECT, an upgraded communications network, was designed and developed at Boeing Wichita, where the first installation on a B-52 also took place.

The evaluation on its readiness for formal flight testing took place on a six-hour flight from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., Aug. 3. While it flew Boeing Wichita personnel supported the effort.

The system will allow crew members to communicate with one another, with other aircraft and with the ground. It will allow the bomber to receive coordinates electronically, giving it the ability to re-task missions while in flight, said Boeing spokeswoman Jennifer Hogan.

The program is on track to complete ground and flight testing by the end of October, the company said.

Boeing will install the technology on 18 B-52, once it receives approval. Eventually, it will be installed on the entire fleet of 76 B-52s.