Northrop Grumman recently demonstrated a data link for connecting aircraft in highly contested airspace for long-range command and control through an open architecture network.
This experiment is a critical milestone in the evolution of a distributed multi-domain battle management command and control architecture that maintains decision superiority for the U.S. military and allies, the company said in a statement.
The flight demonstration is the first integration of a new mission-specific military transceiver, multi-level security data switches, and open architecture wide-area networking, utilizing commercial technology into the observe, orient, decide and act loop – the decision-making chain for threat engagements.
This is a key step toward harnessing the power of a network into critical domains for national security missions. The flight demonstration linked the Scaled Composites Proteus, a High-Altitude, Long-Endurance research aircraft, with a Firebird, an unmanned air vehicle with the capability to be flown manned, through an advanced line-of-sight data link with low probability of intercept/low probability of detection characteristics that includes anti-jam properties.
The aircraft established a link, performed a simulated ISR mission, and connected back to a cloud-based 5G network testbed through a novel prototype multi-level security switch.