Northrop Grumman is working on rapid development and fielding of a gatewayONE prototype – an open system enabling translation and communication across platforms, in support of the Advanced Battle Management family of Systems (ABMS), the company announced on 1 May.
The US Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s C3I & Networks Directorate awarded Northrop Grumman a contract to provide engineering, management and technical assistance for the Air Force’s integration of net-centric 5th-to-5th generation aircraft communications capabilities and other platforms into a modular, open-architecture gateway. Testing of a flight-representative configuration will be conducted in a systems integration laboratory, on the ground, and in the air based on the four-month operational demonstration pace the service envisions.
“We’re constantly advancing capabilities in networking and communications focused on large-scale modular, open architecture systems-of-systems solutions,” commented Roshan Roeder, Vice President, Communications, Airborne Sensors and Networks. “We are working closely with the Air Force to design and deliver to the field advanced communications systems quickly and affordably.”
The development will directly support live demonstrations of the Air Force’s ABMS programme. This capability could be used to network the aircraft pertinent to the Air Force’s Low-Cost Attritable Aircraft Technology initiative.
Northrop Grumman will integrate this capability — using its proven FREEDOM radio product line that can connect 5th-to-5th and 5th-to-4th generation platforms — and via ABMS extend this to enable multiple 5th generation platform types to share and integrate data, helping make interoperability a reality. FREEDOM multifunction, software-defined radios are the heart of the F-22 integrated avionics suite and F-35 communications, navigation and identification system. Building on investments, the company is developing affordable variants, customised to fit multiple platforms.