HomeNewsArticle Display

AFRL demonstrates first collaborative weapon technologies

Four Collaborative Small Diameter Bombs (CSDBs) hang from the wing of an F-16 fighter from the Air Force Test Center’s 96th Test Wing at Eglin AFB. Two of the bombs were dropped during the first flight demonstration of the Air Force Golden Horde Vanguard. (Courtesy photo)

Four Collaborative Small Diameter Bombs, or CSDBs, hang from the wing of an F-16 Fighting Falcon from the Air Force Test Center’s 96th Test Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., Nov. 14, 2020. Two of the bombs were dropped during the first flight demonstration of the Air Force Golden Horde Vanguard program. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) --

The Air Force Golden Horde Vanguard program completed the first Air Force flight demonstration of collaborative weapons Dec. 15 using technology developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory and Scientific Applications & Research Associates.

A team from the Air Force Test Center flew an F-16 Fighting Falcon and released two Collaborative Small Diameter Bombs, which are Small Diameter Bombs that have been modified with a collaborative autonomy payload. The CSDBs quickly established communication with each other and their seekers detected a GPS jammer.

During the mission, the weapons referred to predefined rules of engagement, a set of constraints preloaded by a mission planner, and determined that the jammer was not the highest priority target. The weapons then collaborated to identify the two highest priority targets. However, due to an improper weapon software load, the collaboration guidance commands were not sent to the weapon navigation system. Without the updated target locations, the weapons impacted a failsafe target location.

“The Golden Horde demonstration with the Small Diameter Bomb flights is an important step on the path to Networked Collaborative Weapon systems. Completion of this first mission sets the stage for further development and transition to the warfighter,” said Chris Ristich, AFRL Transformational Capabilities Office director.

This initial demonstration represents a critical first step for the Golden Horde program, an initiative focused on advancing networked, collaborative and autonomous, or NCA, weapon capabilities through live and virtual testing. These new technology areas provide the Air Force with a revolutionary way to engage adversary targets.

NCA weapons observe and react to a dynamic battlespace in real time, thereby increasing mission effectiveness within the enemy’s decision loop. When deployed in mass, NCA weapons effectively share information and collaborate to overwhelm adversary defenses.

The technologies enabling this new capability include a home-on-GPS-jam seeker that gathers information about the battlespace, a software defined radio for communication between weapons and a processor preloaded with collaborative algorithms.

The collaborative algorithms use a dynamic approach called play calling, similar to a quarterback calling a play in football.  A “play” is an established behavior that groups of collaborative weapons, or swarms, can enable or disable  when they meet certain predefined conditions. Weapons that use this technology are semi-autonomous since they abide by predefined rules of engagement and only execute based on an approved list of plays.

While this demonstration has given the Air Force insight and confidence in networked, collaborative and autonomous weapons technologies, no intention currently exists to transition this technology to the CSDB. Col. Garry Haase, director of the AFRL Munitions Directorate explained, “This successful Golden Horde demonstration builds the foundation for integrating this technology into a variety of other weapon systems, which will help the U.S. maintain a technological advantage over our adversaries.”

“I’m very pleased with the results of this first test,” stated Steven Stockbridge, Golden Horde principal investigator. “The team saw good performance from the networked collaborative sub-systems and understood the root cause of the weapons not impacting the desired targets. We anticipate readiness for the next flight test.” Two more CSDB flight tests are planned for early 2021, increasing the number of collaborative weapons in each demonstration to four.

Engage

Twitter
RT @usabmc: Yesterday @SecAFOfficial Barbara M. Barrett, @HQUSAFEAFAF Commander Gen. Jeffrey L. Harrigian, and U.S. Ambassador to Tunisia,…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: The #Airmen of the 100th ARW know what it means to #accelerate in all opportunities. #Bestof2020AF @HQUSAFEAFAF Click h…
Twitter
Safety first The Human Factors Division at the #AirForce Safety Center is providing a safety culture survey, allow… https://t.co/P0i6kHxfph
Twitter
RT @USAFHealth: Lt. Gen. Dorothy Hogg received her first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccination this morning. Prioritized DoD personnel a…
Twitter
Building the force of the future. @TeamTyndall received the #AirForce’s 1st Mobile Vehicle Access Control Inspecti… https://t.co/WdhB552Zji
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: Self-care is not selfish. It’s a necessity. Have a fantastic Wednesday! Take care of you, so you can take care of th…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: The #Airmen of the 621st CRW never hesitate to respond at a moment’s notice. 2020 was no exception. #Bestof2020AF @AirMob
Twitter
RT @RamsteinAirBase: 👏💪The vaccinations have officially started! 💪👏 First responders and select medical personnel from the 86 AW received…
Twitter
The Special Victims' Counsel is there to help The SVC is there to help survivors of sexual assault, sexual harassm… https://t.co/wfLcxUTYDW
Twitter
RT @SecAFOfficial: Celebrated #Niger’s C-130 delivered for service while meeting with military leaders in #Africa yesterday! Interoperabili…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Wyvern Nation #Airmen continue to excel through the biggest challenges 2020 handed them. #Bestof2020AF @HQUSAFEAFAF @AirA
Twitter
The Department of the #AirForce has directed commanders to conduct a comprehensive review of unit emblems, patches,… https://t.co/vVLqYiR3B9
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: Airmen of the 165th ASOS, @165thAW, participated in casualty evacuation training with Marines assigned to VMM-261, @2nd_M
Twitter
Give @GenCQBrownJr a follow for the latest on how he's leading the charge to accelerate change throughout the… https://t.co/oA4pxZz0C7
Twitter
Airmen from the Sri Lanka Air Force engaged w/@PACAF Airmen during the 1st virtual & 4th annual Airmen-to-Airmen Ta… https://t.co/fZfRlocNcG
Twitter
Fill up and back to business. Aircraft are refueled by a KC-135 Stratotanker in the @CENTCOM area of responsibilit… https://t.co/AsgUPsYMzH
Twitter
Crash & recovery training #Airmen assigned to the 48th Equipment Maintenance Squadron use a wire cable sling durin… https://t.co/9HYtn7ZcAl
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: As an introvert, I have to build in time to recharge during the day. I encourage our @USAirForce leaders to learn their o…
Twitter
RT @GenCQBrownJr: Thanks to the motivated #StrikerAirmen of @AFGlobalStrike, the nuclear mission never stops. #Bestof2020AF https://t.co…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,341,758
Follow Us