Northrop Grumman Corporation, in partnership with the U.S. Air Force, successfully completed an integrated airborne mission transfer (IAMT) demonstration with the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber at Whiteman Air Force Base as part of the ongoing modernization efforts incorporating digital engineering. IAMT delivers an advanced capability that enables the B-2 to complete a digital, machine-to-machine transfer of new missions received in flight directly into the aircraft. IAMT is part of Northrop Grumman’s B-2 Collaborative Combat Communication (B2C3) Spiral 1 program that digitally enhances the B-2’s communications capabilities in today’s battlespace.
The demonstration included approximately 50 mission transfers during a two-day period in partnership with the Air Force. Aircraft vehicle 1086, the Spirit of Kitty Hawk, was configured with Northrop Grumman’s Multi Mission Domain (MMD) architecture. MMD is an open mission system architecture for the B-2 that allows rapid and affordable fielding of modern mission capabilities. The mission transfers utilized MMD to integrate with the B-2 Adaptable Communications Suite (ACS).In the demonstration, the aircrew received an incoming transmission from the ACS ground station, which loaded the mission directly through MMD interfaces to the B-2 Disk Drive Unit. B-2 flight crews can now focus more on mission execution in today’s dynamic battlespace thanks to progressive digital technology.
“We are providing the B-2 with the capabilities to communicate and operate in advanced battle management systems and the joint all-domain command and control environment, keeping B-2 ahead of evolving threats. The integration of this digital software with our weapon system will further enhance the connectivity and survivability in highly contested environments as part of our ongoing modernization effort,” said Nikki Kodama, vice president and B-2 program manager, Northrop Grumman.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is an American multinational aerospace and defense technology company. With 95,000 employees and an annual revenue in excess of $30 billion, it is one of the world’s largest weapons manufacturers and military technology providers. The firm ranks No.?101 on the 2022 Fortune 500 list of America’s largest corporations. Northrop Grumman currently leads the development of the B-21 Raider, a long-range, stealth strategic bomber that can drop conventional and nuclear weapons; it will replace Northrop’s own B-2 Spirit, the world’s only known stealth bomber. Northrop Grumman is made up of four main business sectors: Aeronautics Systems, Defense Systems, Mission Systems and Space Systems. Prior to Northrop Grumman’s reorganization of its divisions on January 1, 2020, the divisions were: Aerospace Systems, Mission Systems, Technology Services, and Innovation Systems.