| +27 11 465 7706

Connecting Skies Bridging Continents


For more than 50 years, L3Harris has provided the U.S. Air Force (USAF) B-52 Stratofortress with advanced electronic warfare (ADVEW) technology, and recently reached another major milestone in our work to keep this iconic aircraft relevant, lethal and survivable for decades to come.

During a recent 5.3-hour test flight over Texas, our team successfully tested five of the nine Line Replaceable Units (LRUs) we’re upgrading in the B-52’s AN/ALQ-172 electronic warfare (EW) self-protection system. The maintainability and reliability system (MARS) upgrade, as part of a 10-year, $947 million contract the USAF awarded to L3Harris in 2021, improving performance, maintainability and reliability.

Five LRUs were tested together for the first time during the flight. All performed as expected, demonstrating stability, reliability, and particular strength in three key areas:

  • Acquisition: finding and tracking targets or signals
  • Electronic countermeasure (ECM) response time: speed at which the system can respond with countermeasures like jamming
  • Geolocation: ability to determine precise location of threats or signals

“The electronic threat landscape grows more complex and contested every day, underscoring the importance of our continued EW enhancements to the B-52,” says Jimmy Mercado, L3Harris Program Director. “The flight test showed that we’re providing the advanced capabilities needed to ensure the aircraft and its crews remain mission-ready and effective well into the 2050s.”

As part of the MARS contract, L3Harris has redesigned seven of the nine LRUs in the EW system and is nearing completion of redesigns for the final two. Ultimately, the upgrades will further assist the USAF with their Global Strike Mission and strengthen the B-52’s effectiveness in modern warfare while making future upgrades cheaper and easier.


Share the Post: