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Aero India 2023

Northrop Grumman to integrate CLIP on B1-B, B-52 bombers

B-52 Bomber. A file photo.

SAN DIEGO (BNS): US Air Force (USAF) has awarded a $14 million worth contract to the Northrop Grumman Corporation for the integration of Common Link Integration Processing (CLIP) system on B-1B and B-52 strategic bombers.

The integration of CLIP on these aircraft will provide aircrews with enhanced battlefield awareness, communications capabilities and weapons management.

The company will be involved in software integration, ground and flight tests, and Air Force and joint interoperability certifications. All 66 aircraft in the B-1 bomber fleet and 94 aircraft in the B-52 fleet will be CLIP enabled, according to the company news release.

CLIP is a software solution that performs data transformation and processes protocols for dissimilar communications formats. It meets the requirements for common Tactical Data Link (TDL) software that integrates into multiple platforms. CLIP improves tactical communications, alleviates interoperability issues and lowers integration and life-cycle maintenance costs.

Designed to assure interoperability between different Variable Message Format (VMF) implementations, CLIP provides data forwarding and interoperability between VMF and Link 16. Depending on platform requirements, additional data links can be incorporated into the existing CLIP framework.

The CLIP programme is a capability based joint acquisition, funded by the Navy and the Air Force, to address the requirements outlined in the Tactical Data Link-Transformation Capabilities Description Document (TDL-T CDD). The B-1B and the B-52 bombers integrate Link 16 using a common CLIP baseline.

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