USAF, Northrop Check New Tech That Lets the B-2 Replace Mission Parameters ‘In Seconds’

Northrop Grumman and the Air Drive efficiently demonstrated a brand new mission replace system for the B-2 bomber in a two-day occasion at Whiteman Air Drive Base, Mo., final month. The system receives new mission parameters and feeds them immediately into the B-2’s computer systems with out the necessity for the pilots to manually enter the information.

The Built-in Airborne Mission Switch (IAMT) demonstration began July 18 after B-2 No. 1086, the Spirit of Kitty Hawk, was fitted with Northrop’s Multi-Mission Area (MMD) open-mission structure, meant to make including new mission capabilities simpler.

Basically, MMD “separates the mission techniques of the B-2 from the flight/security vital techniques,” permitting the insertion of recent capabilities “with out in depth testing,” a Northrop spokesperson advised Air & Area Forces Journal. “This may velocity up the supply of recent capabilities to the warfighter holding the B-2 related for years to come back,” she added.

For the demonstration, MMD built-in with the B-2’s Adaptable Communications Suite (ACS). The aircrew would obtain incoming transmissions from a floor station, “which loaded the mission immediately by means of MMD interfaces to the B-2 Disk Drive Unit,” in accordance with a Northrop Grumman press launch.

With the best way the remainder of the B-2 fleet is configured, aircrews has to manually switch mission updates from the ACS. In distinction, the brand new expertise “will permit direct switch to the disk drive unit in seconds,” the Northrop spokesperson mentioned.

“IAMT is the primary of many potential fight purposes that may be hosted on the B-2 by way of MMD which is able to quickly combine new software program capabilities onto the B-2 within the coming years,” she added.

The system not solely permit aircrews to deal with executing the mission at hand, it additionally eliminates the possibility of potential errors that could be launched by manually updating mission parameters, Northrop officers famous.

All advised, the demonstration included 50 machine-to-machine mission updates. Senior officers from the B-2 System Program Workplace, World Strike Command, and the 509th Bomb Wing noticed.

Nikki Kodama, Northrop’s B-2 program supervisor, mentioned the corporate is displaying that the bomber can “talk and function in Superior Battle Administration Techniques (ABMS) and the Joint All-Area Command and Management (JADC2) surroundings, holding B-2 forward of evolving threats.”

The mixing of the software program will “additional improve the connectivity and survivability in extremely contested environments as a part of our ongoing modernization effort,” she added.

The demo is a part of the B-2 Collaborative Fight Communication (B2C3) Spiral 1 program, which is meant to reinforce the B-2’s digital communications capabilities. The spokesperson mentioned the plan is to outfit all the 20-aircraft B-2 power with the MMD, with the modifications to be completed at Whiteman. The corporate didn’t specify a timetable for the mods.

Air Drive officers have mentioned not too long ago they don’t have a agency retirement date for the B-2, as an alternative emphasizing that it’s going to fly till the brand new B-21 Raider is prepared. The bomber solely not too long ago returned to the skies in Could, after a roughly six-month security pause following a mishap in December. In July, the bomber made its first look in a significant train because the pause, flying in Alaska. This most up-to-date expertise demonstration was not a part of any bigger train.