Northrop Grumman, in partnership with the US Air Force, successfully completed a B-2 Spirit Integrated Airborne Mission Transfer demonstration.
Press Release, Palmdale CA, 09 August 2023: Northrop Grumman Corporation, in partnership with the US Air Force, successfully completed an integrated airborne mission transfer (IAMT) demonstration with the B-2 Spirit at Whiteman Air Force Base as part of the ongoing modernisation 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 programme that digitally enhances the B-2’s communications capabilities in today’s battlespace.
“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,” said Nikki Kodama, vice president and B-2 programme manager, Northrop Grumman. “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 modernisation effort.”
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 utilised 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.