The U.S. Air Force Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation (SDPE) office successfully demonstrated the ability to command and control an experimental Palletized Munitions weapon system, while participating in the Air Force’s Advanced Battle Management Family of Systems (ABMS) Onramp #2 activities. The Palletized Munitions demonstration leveraged Multi Domain Operations initiatives and Command and Control capabilities to transfer targeting information to an Air Force Special Operations Command aircraft via existing Beyond Line of Sight communications systems and cue the simulated release of a mock “palletized” Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM).
“A Palletized Munitions capability could enable various airlift aircraft to employ a range of weapons en masse via a self-contained, roll-on/roll-off palletized system, and may offer an alternative way for the Air Force to bring more mass to the fight,” said Dr. Dean Evans, Palletized Munitions Experimentation Program Manager with SDPE. “The successful demo represents a key step in SDPE’s Palletized Munitions Experimentation Campaign, which will determine if the Palletized Munitions concept is feasible and provides a competitive advantage for the warfighter.”
In a related event, the 412th Test Wing, in coordination with Air Mobility Command, conducted a C-17 palletized munitions airdrop demonstration using simulated munitions. SDPE resides under the Air Force Research Laboratory and is charged with the design, build out, and execution of experimentation efforts in support of the Air Force’s capability development process. Lockheed Martin, R4 Integration, and Naval Surface Warfare Center – Dahlgren were involved in the development effort for the first-of-its-kind demonstration.
The Air Force’s ABMS initiative is building the “internet of military things” to connect sensors to decision nodes to shooters. Joint onramp exercises are the primary mechanisms to experiment, demonstrate, test, and evaluate new ABMS capabilities in a fully integrated way for a complex operational scenario. Based on real test data and warfighter feedback, these capabilities can be advanced, modified, discarded, or if requested by Combatant Commanders, put immediately into operational use. ABMS Onramp #2 was co-sponsored by United States Space Command and United States Northern Command. The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force.