Following the purchase of Boeing-Wichita Commercial Aircraft Division by Spirit Aerosystems, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems remained an extremely important resource for military programs in Wichita, Kansas.
Currently there are five military defense programs being carried out at Boeing-Wichita.
- Air Force One: This program has ongoing maintenance and upgrades to the aircraft. Air Force One is a Boeing 747-200B that has been modified to meet presidential requirements. The aircraft is known by the radio call sign used when the president is aboard: Air Force One. For an Overview, click here.
- Airborne Laser Program: Modifications on a 747 that will be used as the platform for laser equipment. The plane will use chemical lasers to shoot down missiles in their boost stage. The Airborne Laser (ABL) will then accurately point and fire the high-energy laser, destroying enemy missiles near their launch areas. For an Overview, click here.
- B-52 Bomber Fleet Support: Replacing 1970-era avionics with modern equipment. The B-52 Stratofortress is a long-range, strategic heavy bomber capable of dropping or launching the widest array of weapons in the U.S. inventory. The latest version, the B-52H, can carry up to 20 air-launched cruise missiles. For an Overview, click here.
- E-4B Advanced Airborne Command Post: Ongoing maintenance and upgrades for the “advanced airborne command post,” designed for use during disasters such as nuclear war, hurricanes and earthquakes. The E-4B Advanced Airborne Command Post is designed to be used by the National Command Authority as a survivable command post for control of U.S. forces in all levels of conflict including nuclear war. In addition to its primary mission, secondary missions assigned to the E-4B include VIP travel support and Federal Emergency Management Agency Support, which provides communications to relief efforts following natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes. For an Overview, click here.
- KC-135 Stratotanker Re-Engining Program: Replacing engines on the KC-135 fleet. The work is now coming to a completion. In operation since 1957, the KC-135 Stratotanker is used primarily to refuel aircraft during flight. Modified KC-135s, however, serve as flying command posts, pure transport, electronic reconnaissance, and photo mapping craft. For an Overview, click here.
For additional information on Boeing-Wichita Integrated Defense Systems, log on to www.boeing.com/ids/index.html.