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Air Force to Launch Experiment for ABMS Platform in April; Will Roper Comments

The U.S. Air Force plans to conduct an experiment to test the capabilities that will comprise the future Advanced Battle Management System on April 8, Air Force Magazine reported Friday.

Will Roper, assistant Air Force secretary for acquisition, technology, and logistics and 2020 Wash100 winner, said at a Department of Defense press conference that testing activities for the joint command-and-control system will involve defeating unmanned aircraft and cruise missiles with the use of submarines, ships, ground troops, aircraft and SpaceX’s Starlink satellites.

Roper noted that the Air Force also plans to deploy Virgin’s LauncehrOne rocket to assess ABMS’ capacity for launching satellites on command. Artificial intelligence will also play a role in the development of the C2 system, according to Roper.

“The point of this acquisition is to inject learning continually into the program,” he said. “If you get ABMS right, you’ve just built the military’s internet of things. That’s super exciting.” 

Roper said the Air Force intends to rapidly conduct development and testing activities and have vendors implement modifications for ABMS within four-month periods.

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