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Northrop Grumman Demonstrates Long-Range C2 Connectivity

Potentially Revolutionises JADC2 in Contested Airspace

Northrop Grumman has successfully demonstrated datalink connectivity for aircraft in highly contested airspace for long-range C2 through an open architecture network, the company announced on 8 September.

The experiment represents a critical milestone in evolving a distributed multi-domain battle management C2 architecture that maintains decision superiority for the US military and allies.

Northrop Grumman technologies, built on advanced low size, weight and power electronics, enable integrated and secure communications across domains supporting the Department of Defense’s JADC2 [Joint All-Domain Command & Control] strategy,” explained Tom Pieronek, CTO and VP Research & Technology. “Northrop Grumman remains committed to delivering capabilities that maintain strategic advantage for the U.S. and its allies across all domains and against all adversaries.”

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, using commercial technology, into the ‘observe, orient, decide and act’ [OODA] loop – the decision-making chain for threat engagements. This is a key step toward harnessing the power of a network into critical domains for national security missions. The flight demonstration linked a PROTEUS research aircraft, with a FIREBIRD UAS with the capability to be flown manned, through an advanced line-of-sight datalink with low probability of intercept/low probability of detection characteristics that includes anti-jam properties.

The aircraft established a link, performed a simulated ISR mission, and connected back to a cloud-based 5G network testbed through a novel prototype multi-level security switch.

Northrop Grumman ontinues to push the art of the possible in complex datahandling in heavily contested airspace. (Photo via Northrop Grumman)

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