In-flight connectivity demoed by NGC to support JADC2 programNews
September 09, 2021
FALLS CHURCH, Va. Northrop Grumman Corporation 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 milestone in the evolution of a distributed multi-domain battle management command and control architecture such as Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2).
According to the company, 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.
Officials claim 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 aerial 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 intelligence, surveillance, and reconaissance mission, and connected back to a cloud-based 5G network testbed through a novel prototype multi-level security switch.