US forces counter simulated missile attack in first test of new tech
The combined American armed forces recently used a new command and control technology to identify and defeat a simulated cruise missile attack on the United States. During a three-day exercise this month, units of the US Airforce, Army, and Navy used the Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) to collect, analyze, and share large amounts of data in real-time in a coordinated land, sea, and air operation.
One of the biggest trends in defense circles these days is the acknowledgment that data is just as important as bullets. By turning everything from a supercarrier to a squady's rifle scope into an information-gathering and -sharing platform, commanders have at their fingertips a tremendous force multiplier capable of delivering surprising advantages.
Case in point was the joint ABMS exercise carried out by the US services from December 16 to 18 as part of the American effort to develop the Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) concept over the next five years. The purpose of this is to share tremendous amounts of data in real-time for military operations across the theaters of sea, land, space, and cyberspace.
For the recent exercise, US Navy and Air Force aircraft, a Navy destroyer, an Army air-defense sensor and firing platform, a special operations unit, and commercial space and ground sensors took on incoming unmanned QF-16 Full-Scale Aerial Target aircraft standing in for hostile cruise missiles.
According to the Air Force, the simulated missiles were detected and the data to counter them was relayed to the USS Thomas Hudner in the Gulf of Mexico, two Air Force F-35s, a pair of F-22s, two Navy F-35s, commanders at Elgin Air Force Base, special forces on the ground, and an Army mobile missile launcher unit. These were provided with real-time updates regardless of which platform was sending or receiving the data.
Similar exercises are expected to be conducted every four months as part of the program to develop the JADC2 concept and will include ways to improve speed and responsiveness by incorporating artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other advances. In addition, there will be an emphasis on making the hardware more robust.
Source: US Air Force