New BLOS Capability on the Horizon for B-52s – First IRIS Air Demo Complete

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U.S. Air Force

July 6, 2022 | Originally published by Air Force on June 26, 2022

The U.S. Air Force has moved one step closer to equipping B-52s with a new beyond-line-of-sight communication capability called IRIS.

The 49th Test and Evaluation Squadron executed the first air demonstration utilizing the BLOS communication system paired with an Iridium Certus terminal on a B-52 Stratofortress at Barksdale Air Force Base on June 22.

“In a wartime scenario, the single point of failure often lies in our ability to communicate,” said Capt. Richard Brown, 49th TES Conventional Test Flight Commander. “If we can’t send and receive mission-critical data from our aircraft reliably and efficiently, then we will lose. The IRIS system is one of the many datalink solutions that we need in order to equip the Warfighter for today’s fight.”

While the bomber crew took to the skies, a combat operations team from the 608th Air Operations Center provided command and control and assessed the voice and data transfer capabilities that were observed from the IRIS-equipped B-52 to include the transmission of real-time images and videos.


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