U.S. Air Force B-2 stealth bombers will soon be equipped with Rockwell Collins secure and jam resistant very low frequency radio communications systems. These new systems will allow the bomber crew to communicate to national command authorities while on long-range missions. Production will soon begin at the Rockwell Collins Government Systems segment in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Rockwell Collins was awarded 12.9 million contract by officials of the Air Force Cycle Management Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. The first full-rate production will begin shortly with increment one of the common very low frequency receiver program or CVR set to begin first. With UHF satellite communications or SATCOM systems nearing the end of their life cycles it’s now time for the new state of the art CVR system to begin replacement by the Advanced Extremely High Frequency or AEHF SATCOM system. This AEHF system however will not be ready for several years.
In late 2013 the Rockwell Collins began engineering the full scale development of the CVR. With the B-2 bombers engineering, requirements definition, prototype fabrication, qualification testing, airworthiness certification, and flight testing. During nuclear explosions the VLF has been designed to survive and operate but still will send data slowly. Very low frequency communication systems are among the most durable and reliable communication options for the military. “The CVR that Rockwell Collins is building for the B-2 bomber will bridge between the UHF SATCOM and MILSTAR systems and the future AEHF SATCOM system.” Air Force officials said. Over the past few years Rockwell Collins has been perfecting the B-2 VLF communications system with the goal of making the system ready for flight as early as this year.
The B-2 VLF system is believed to be nuclear ready and meet all cryptographic requirements. The system is developed for airborne nuclear combat environment, be secure and survivable said one Air Force official Rockwell Collins will begin production on this contact and has an estimated finish of March 2019.
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