JED - March 2013 - 29

be that type of situation, so we need
to recapitalize our EW systems now to
ensure that our bomber fleet can get to
the locations they need to in order to
accomplish their mission.”

THE CURRENT FLEET
Today the Air Force’s long-range
bomber assets consist of the B-52, B-1,
and B-2 bomber aircraft. The B-52 and
B-2 fleets fall under the command of the
Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) headquartered at Barksdale AFB,

B-52 STRATOFORTRESS
The B-52 “Stratofortress” long-range,
heavy bomber has served for decades as
the mainstay of the US Air Force’s strategic bomber force. In total, 744 B-52s
have been built over the years with the
first flown in 1954 and the last B-52H
variant rolling off the production line
in 1962. Remarkably, the Air Force’s current engineering analyses projects the
B-52’s life span to extend beyond the
year 2040. There are currently 85 B-52H
aircraft in the active force inventory.

The Journal of Electronic Defense | March 2013

onics Division at Robins AFB, GA. The
Division is organizationally under the
PEO for Agile Combat Support in the
Air Force Life Cycle Management Center
(AFLCMC), Wright-Patterson, AFB, OH.
The Division is also responsible for support of the B-1 bomber’s EW systems.
Division Chief, Col Michael Kelly, is
quick to point out, however, that the
Division is not operating alone. “We’re
partnered with the 638 Supply Chain
Management Group and also receive
software support from the Air Logistics
Complex here at Robins from the 402nd
Software Maintenance Group; and also
on selected items which are repaired organically, we receive depot maintenance
support from the 402nd Electronic Maintenance Group. We also have a number of
relationships with a variety of contractors covering sustaining engineering,
software updates, and in some cases
hardware updates as well.”
The three major defensive ECM systems on the B-52 remain the AN/ALR-20,
the AN/ALQ-155 and the AN/ALQ-172.

AN/ALR-20A

LA. Considered a direct descendent of
LA C
id d di
d
d
f
the Strategic Air Command (SAC), AFGSC
was officially activated in August of
2009 and is responsible for both the Air
Force’s strategic nuclear deterrence and
global strike missions. Interestingly, although the Air Force describes the B-1
bomber as “the backbone of America’s
long-range bomber force... able to rapidly deliver massive quantities of weapons
against any adversary, anywhere in the
world, at any time,” the 66 aircraft in
the B-1 fleet are not currently under the
purview of AFGSC, but rather fall under
Air Combat Command (Langley AFB, VA).

The B-52
full
Th B 2 carries a f ll complement
i
l
of electronic countermeasures equipment capable of detection, deception
and active jamming of radar and IR
threats. Like the aircraft themselves,
however, much of the EW equipment
aboard the B-52 is “vintage,” at least at
its core, though the systems have undergone a steady series of sustainment
upgrades and incremental improvements
over the years to maintain operational
readiness and viability in modern threat
environments.
Support responsibility for the B-52’s
EW systems falls under the EW and Avi-

Dating back to the 1960s, the AN/
ALR-20A wideband countermeasures receiver provides a panoramic display of
multiple RF threat bands for evaluation
and prioritization by the aircraft’s electronic warfare officer (EWO). This system
has received a number of upgrades over
the years including a shift to solid-state
technology and replacement of unsupportable components with new formfit-function designs. With the ALR-20’s
original manufacturer no longer in existence, Robins, as the Life Cycle Management Center product support entity, has
been working together with Northrop
Grumman to accomplish many of these
upgrades. Other projects are handled
organically. For example, according to
Colonel Kelly, they are currently working with the Air Force’s 638th Supply
Chain Management Group and the 402nd
Electronic Maintenance Group at Robins
to replace the ALR-20’s current display,
which is no longer available, with a formfit-function flat-panel version. Colonel
Kelly says they are currently in post critical design review (CDR) and in the pretest phase, with the upgrade expected to
be ready for fielding sometime in FY2014.

29


http://www.crows.org

JED - March 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - March 2013

The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
Enabling Global Strike: EW Updates to the USAF’s Bomber Fleet
Technology Survey
EW 101
AOC News
2013 AOC Industry Member Guide
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look
JED - March 2013 - cover1
JED - March 2013 - cover2
JED - March 2013 - 3
JED - March 2013 - 4
JED - March 2013 - 5
JED - March 2013 - The View From Here
JED - March 2013 - 7
JED - March 2013 - Conferences Calendar
JED - March 2013 - 9
JED - March 2013 - Courses Calendar
JED - March 2013 - 11
JED - March 2013 - From the President
JED - March 2013 - 13
JED - March 2013 - 14
JED - March 2013 - The Monitor
JED - March 2013 - 16
JED - March 2013 - 17
JED - March 2013 - 18
JED - March 2013 - 19
JED - March 2013 - 20
JED - March 2013 - 21
JED - March 2013 - 22
JED - March 2013 - 23
JED - March 2013 - Washington Report
JED - March 2013 - 25
JED - March 2013 - World Report
JED - March 2013 - 27
JED - March 2013 - Enabling Global Strike: EW Updates to the USAF’s Bomber Fleet
JED - March 2013 - 29
JED - March 2013 - 30
JED - March 2013 - 31
JED - March 2013 - 32
JED - March 2013 - 33
JED - March 2013 - 34
JED - March 2013 - 35
JED - March 2013 - 36
JED - March 2013 - 37
JED - March 2013 - 38
JED - March 2013 - Technology Survey
JED - March 2013 - 40
JED - March 2013 - 41
JED - March 2013 - 42
JED - March 2013 - 43
JED - March 2013 - 44
JED - March 2013 - 45
JED - March 2013 - 46
JED - March 2013 - 47
JED - March 2013 - EW 101
JED - March 2013 - 49
JED - March 2013 - AOC News
JED - March 2013 - 51
JED - March 2013 - 52
JED - March 2013 - 2013 AOC Industry Member Guide
JED - March 2013 - 54
JED - March 2013 - 55
JED - March 2013 - 56
JED - March 2013 - 57
JED - March 2013 - 58
JED - March 2013 - 59
JED - March 2013 - 60
JED - March 2013 - 61
JED - March 2013 - 62
JED - March 2013 - 63
JED - March 2013 - 64
JED - March 2013 - 65
JED - March 2013 - 66
JED - March 2013 - 67
JED - March 2013 - 68
JED - March 2013 - 69
JED - March 2013 - 70
JED - March 2013 - 71
JED - March 2013 - 72
JED - March 2013 - 73
JED - March 2013 - 74
JED - March 2013 - 75
JED - March 2013 - 76
JED - March 2013 - 77
JED - March 2013 - 78
JED - March 2013 - 79
JED - March 2013 - Index of Advertisers
JED - March 2013 - 81
JED - March 2013 - JED Quick Look
JED - March 2013 - cover3
JED - March 2013 - cover4
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