by Airman 1st Class Joseph Raatz
Air Force Global Strike Command Public Affairs
9/18/2013 - BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. -- The
B-52 Stratofortress will soon receive a software upgrade that will keep
the aircraft at the forefront of the U.S. strategic bomber fleet.
As new equipment and advanced weapons are added to the B-52 fleet, the
B-52 Software Block (BSB) upgrades allow the aircraft to utilize the
full potential of those new and improved systems.
"Think in terms of your home," Air Force Global Strike Command B-52
program analyst Nathan Dawn said. "This is similar to when your cable
provider gives you a new cable modem, so you upgrade the software on
your wireless receiver to take better advantage of the modem's updated
Many systems that make the B-52 a formidable force on the battlefield
can be improved and enhanced by BSB upgrades, and new systems can be
added as they become available, he said.
"The Offensive Avionics System, GPS, GPS Interface Unit and Advanced
Targeting Pod computer are examples of hardware that are affected during
BSB updates," Dawn said. "Typically new lines of code are created to
access new weapon or equipment capabilities such as the new ability to
attack fast moving ground targets with smart weapons."
One of the primary purposes of BSB cycles is to correct software errors
and patch deficiencies not found during development and testing, Dawn
said. Similar to home computer operating systems, new and more complex
software is susceptible to errors. When one is found in any of the
B-52's systems, it is documented and becomes a high priority for repair
in the next cycle of BSB upgrades.
The newest BSB upgrade is scheduled to attain full operational
capability this fall, Dawn said. With it, the B-52 can continue to
remain viable by adapting to the rapid advancement of technology in the