Air Force, Northcom Conduct Aircraft Data Transmission Test; Will Roper Quoted

Will Roper
Will Roper

The U.S. Air Force and U.S. Northern Command have tested the data transmission capacity of F-22 and F-35 fighter aircraft that deploy different radio systems, Defense One reported Tuesday.

Preston Dunlap, the Air Force’s chief architect, said the team used radio systems built by Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin as well as Honeywell antennas to process data from both aircraft, which deploy different datalink languages.

As part of the test, the team also used the Air Force's hybrid Microsoft and Amazon Web Services cloud platform called CloudOne to process data from SpaceX’s Starlink low-Earth orbit satellite.

Will Roper, assistant Air Force secretary for acquisition, technology, and logistics and 2019 Wash100 Award winner, said the recent test marks an achievement in the multiyear Advanced Battle Management System initiative.

“The idea with the [ABMS] is that the people are no-longer the glue,” he said. “The information flows everywhere all at once and the people are the assessors, the analyzers, the feedback providers that help the analytics doing the pushing get better and better.”

The Air Force plans to conduct similar tests every four months. The next assessment, slated to take place in April, will be facilitated with U.S. Strategic Command and involve the Skyborg drone.

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