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Photo via Boeing.

In the past, B-52 bombers would simply receive mission information before a flight and then head up into the air.

But now, thanks to an upgrade from Boeing, these high-powered bombers will be able to receive information in-flight from aircrews via satellite links and change mission plans or redirect weapons.

Boeing Defense, Space & Security, a unit of Boeing, will beef up its communications system for the U.S. Air Force B-52 fleet to help “significantly improve” B-52 overall effectiveness.

“We are bringing this amazing workhorse of a bomber into the digital age and giving our customer the infrastructure necessary for continued future improvements,” Scot Oathout, Boeing B-52 program director, said in a press release.

Upgrades will be completed in late 2014, with the new $76 million Combat Network Communications Technology (CONECT) contract funding the production.

Previously on GeekWire: Bad-ass Boeing missile flies over buildings, fries computers with microwaves

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