Working with the US Air Force, Northrop Grumman Corporation has successfully completed an integrated airborne mission transfer (IAMT) demonstration with the B-2 Spirit bomber at Whiteman Air Force Base as part of ongoing modernisation efforts incorporating digital engineering, the company announced on 9 August 2923.
IAMT delivers an advanced capability that enables the B-2 to complete a digital, machine-to-machine transfer of new missions received in flight directly into the aircraft. The capability is part of Northrop Grumman’s B-2 Collaborative Combat Communication (B2C3) Spiral 1 programme that digitally enhances the B-2’s communications capabilities in today’s battlespace.
“We are providing the B-2 with the capabilities to communicate and operate in advanced battle management systems and the joint all-domain command and control environment, keeping B-2 ahead of evolving threats,” Nikki Kodama, Northrop Grumman vice president and B-2 programme manager, was quoted as saying in a company press release. “The integration of this digital software with our weapon system will further enhance the connectivity and survivability in highly contested environments as part of our ongoing modernisation effort.”
The IAMT demonstration included approximately 50 mission transfers during a two-day period in partnership with the air force. Aircraft number 1086, the Spirit of Kitty Hawk, was configured with Northrop Grumman’s Multi Mission Domain (MMD) open mission system architecture, which allows rapid and affordable fielding of modern mission capabilities. The mission transfers utilised MMD to integrate with the B-2’s Adaptable Communications Suite (ACS).
In the demonstration the aircrew received an incoming transmission from the ACS ground station, which loaded the mission directly through MMD interfaces to the B-2’s disk drive unit.
The capability allows B-2 flight crews to focus more on executing their mission rather than having to worry about how to update their mission profile.
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