Defining the Future of Flight: 1997 -- present

Tried and True Revitalized

NASA's S-3B Viking aircraft
NASA's S-3B Viking aircraft

On May 8, 2006, NASA awarded Boeing a contract to modify the communication, navigation and electrical systems of an S-3B Viking anti-submarine warfare, all-weather aircraft. The contract marked the first time an S-3B has been made available for non-military applications since the U.S. Navy announced its decision to retire the Viking fleet.

The U.S. Air Force on May 10, 2006, awarded Boeing Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) Systems a $25.2 million contract to support the Minuteman Force Development Evaluation flight-test program at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The Minuteman ICBM is a three-stage, solid-fueled strategic missile first deployed in the 1960s. There are now 500 Minuteman ICBMs deployed in the nation's arsenal.

A 14-year Air Force contract, worth up to $150 million, supported new weapons integration efforts on the B-52H bomber until 2020, making the B-52 one of the most modern weapons systems in the world. The Air Force also awarded Boeing a contract to upgrade the fire control radar on the U.S. Air Force's fleet of 67 B-1B long-range bomber aircraft.

In addition, on June 27, 2006, Boeing signed a Foreign Military Sales agreement with the U.S. Army to deliver Avenger short-range air defense fire units to Egypt. The $50 million contract includes associated spares and logistics support. The Avenger is the U.S. Army's mobile, shoot-on-the-move, short-range air defense system. Armed with Stinger missiles and a .50-caliber machine gun, Avenger provides effective tactical defense and convoy protection against helicopters, cruise missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). The Egyptian order allowed Boeing to restart the Avenger production line, which had been dormant since 2004. On Jan. 26, 2009, Boeing proved that a laser system mounted on an Avenger can shoot down a small UAV like those that increasingly threaten U.S. troops in war zones.

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