Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS)

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Corsair1963

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Unread post24 Dec 2019, 07:02

Services Get First Look At Air Force Multi-Domain Chops

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Senior Pentagon and service officials observed the last day of the ground-breaking ABMS exercise and the Air Force engaged Northern Command to create and manage the scenario.

WASHINGTON: With an eye on a skeptical Congress and the 2021 budget battle, the Air Force has wrapped the first of many planned joint exercises to demonstrate the Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS), which the service sees as the heart of DoD’s emerging concept of Multi-Domain Operations.

“Cloud, mesh networking, and software-defined systems were the stars of the show, all developed at commercial internet speeds,” Air Force acquisition head Will Roper said after the exercise.

The stakes are high. The 2021 budget request will be the first big shot at getting ABMS underway. Roper noted in a Nov. 26 speech at the Center for a New American Security and the post-exercise Air Force press release reaffirmed that the service “intends to bolster these resources over the next five years.”




The “ABMS Onramp” test — staged Dec. 16-18 in Florida — involved aircraft from the Air Force and Navy, a Navy destroyer, an Army air defense sensor and fire unit, and a special operations unit, as well as commercial space and ground sensors in a scenario that simulated a cruise missile threat to the US homeland, according to the Air Force.

The exercise “tested technology being developed to enable the military’s developing concept called Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2),” the Air Force release said.


Demonstrating the real-world value of the complex, software-centric ABMS ‘system of systems’ that will enable JADC2 (formerly known as Multi-Domain Command and Control) is key to garnering support from lawmakers, but also from other service leaders, as Roper has admitted.

Specifically, the exercise involved QF-16 aircraft simulating a cruise missile attack. Once the missile signature was detected, the Air Force used “new software, communications equipment and a ‘mesh network’,” to relay the information to the USS Thomas Hudner, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer deployed in the Gulf of Mexico. “The same information was passed to a pair of Air Force F-35s and another pair of F-22s. Also receiving the information were commanders at Eglin, a pair of Navy F-35s, an Army unit equipped with a mobile missile launcher known as HIMARS, and special forces on the ground,” the Air Force says.



(HIMARS, the Army’s M-142 Highly Mobile Artillery Rocket System is mounted on a 5-ton Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles XM1140A1 truck chassis, and can launch six MLRS rockets or one ATACMS missile.)

As I reported earlier this month, the exercise included testing the so-called “dataONE” cloud-based data repository that is intended to eventually house data from all sensors — regardless of service and including commercial sensors — used by the military. The dataONE repository is the successor to the Air Force’s ground-breaking Unified Data Library experiment to compile data from military and commercial space situational awareness radar, telescopes and satellites.

Up to now, ABMS testing has been a piecemeal effort, focused on individual technology demonstrations such as the Global Lightening effort at Air Force Research Laboratory to connect various aircraft to commercial satellites providing Internet capability.

The 2020 National Defense Authorization Act, signed by President Trump late Friday, provides $33.6 million for ABMS, a cut of $2 million from DoD’s $35.6 million request. However, given the fact that pieces of ABMS currently are dispersed into a number of experimental projects, the Air Force “expects to receive around $185 million this fiscal year,” the service said.

Reflecting skepticism on both sides of Capitol Hill, the 2020 NDAA demands that DoD and the Air Force provide a raft of documentation explaining the system and presenting a final analysis of alternatives (AoA) by June 2020.

https://breakingdefense.com/2019/12/osd ... ain-chops/
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Unread post24 Dec 2019, 09:45

Air Force, Navy, Army conduct first ‘real world’ test of Advanced Battle Management System
23 Dec 2019 Capt. Cara Bousie and Charles Pope, Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

"EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) -- In the first field test of a novel approach to warfighting, communicating and decision-making, the Air Force, Navy and Army used new methods and technology Dec. 16-18 for collecting, analyzing and sharing information in real time to identify and defeat a simulated cruise missile threat to the United States.

A three-day long exercise of the Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) tested technology being developed to enable the military’s developing concept called Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2). When fully realized, senior leaders say JADC2 will be the backbone of operations and deterrence, allowing U.S. forces from all services as well as allies to orchestrate military operations across all domains, such as sea, land, air, space and cyber operations. The technology under development via ABMS enables this concept by simultaneously receiving, fusing and acting upon a vast array of data and information from each of these domains – all in an instant. The Air Force expects to receive around $185 million this fiscal year for this effort, and intends to bolster these resources over the next five years, underscoring both its importance and potential.

“In order to develop the right capability that the operator needs at speed, we partner with Combatant Commanders every four months to ensure that what we are building addresses the array of challenges presented by the National Defense Strategy across the globe,” said Preston Dunlap, the Chief Architect of the Air Force who is kick-starting ABMS.

This initial exercise focused on defending the homeland…. Events culminated on Dec. 18 when senior leaders from across the Department of Defense arrived at the test’s command and control hub for an ABMS overview and abbreviated exercise. All at once in a well-secured room, they watched real-time data pour in, and out of, the command cell. They observed information from platforms and people flowing instantly and simultaneously across air, land, sea and space that provided shared situational updates as events occurred whether the information originated from jets, or passing satellites, or from sea and ground forces on the move. Then, the group transitioned to outdoor tents to continue the exercise in a rugged environment, where senior leaders could also inspect first-hand and learn about high-speed Air Force and industry equipment and software that enabled the week’s test.

“Today’s demo is our first time demonstrating internet-of-things connectivity across the joint force,” Air Force acquisitions lead Dr. Will Roper said. “Cloud, mesh networking and software-defined systems were the stars of the show, all developed at commercial internet speeds.”

He also spoke to the necessity of industry partnership and leveraging their expertise. “Our four-month ‘connect-a-thon’ cycle unlocks industry’s ability to iterate with testers, acquirer, and warfighters. For example, the insights from connecting the F-22 and F-35 for the first time will help our industry partners take the next leap,” Roper said.

The demonstration was the first of its kind in a series of exercises scheduled to occur roughly every four months. Each new exercise will build on the one before and include responses to problems and lessons learned. Dunlap said the intent is to move much faster than before to conceive, build and test new technologies and strategies despite complexity or technical challenges....

...An equally important goal is to demonstrate the real-world value of the hard-to-describe effort in tangible, understandable ways. JADC2, previously named multi-domain operations command and control, relies on ABMS to develop software and algorithms so that artificial intelligence and machine learning can compute and connect vast amounts of data from sensors and other sources at a speed and accuracy far beyond what is currently attainable. ABMS also includes hardware updates including radios, antenna, and more robust networks that enable unimpeded data flow to operators. Aside from tools and tech, JADC2 also demands a cultural change among service men and women that embraces and responds to multi-faceted battlespaces driven by information shared across the joint force.

The critical difference going forward is to create a failsafe system that gets – and shares - real time information across multiple spaces and platforms simultaneously. Achieving this will remove barriers that can keep information from personnel and units that need it. For example, once in place, the new command and control ability will allow F-16 and F-35 pilots to see the same information at the same time in the same way along with a submarine commander, a space officer controlling satellites and an Army Special Forces unit on the ground."

Source: https://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display ... anagement/
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Unread post24 Dec 2019, 20:42

It is already about a billion times better at giving commanders situational awareness than we had during Desert Storm.
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Unread post25 Dec 2019, 01:36

This is going to be revolution on the way we fight future conflicts. Nations that don't "heed" that change will quickly be pushed aside...
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Unread post08 Jan 2020, 04:38

What if Air Force tankers became a communications node?
06 Jan 2019 Valerie Insinna

"SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. — For decades, the Air Force’s tanker fleet have logged hours transferring fuel, transporting troops and serving as flying ambulances. Soon, the tankers could add another mission to the list: relaying communications data as part of the Air Force’s new mesh network. Air Mobility Command leaders are exploring whether aerial refueling aircraft could become a communications node in the Advanced Battle Management System, Lt. Gen. Jon Thomas, the organization’s deputy commander, told Defense News in a December interview....

...Tankers are well-suited to be used as communications nodes for two reasons, Thomas said. One, aerial refueling planes are typically large, wide-body aircraft that have enough excess space and power to host additional communication systems. The second is their location during combat. One way to operate tanker aircraft is to position them near a contested airspace, close enough for fighters and other airborne assets to refuel as needed before returning to battle, he said.

“If you’re in that spot, you also have a great opportunity by virtue of that position. You can communicate to a lot of different assets if you have the right equipment on the tanker. You can communicate line of sight to other air assets. You can communicate line of sight possibly to some assets on the surface,” Thomas said. “If you have the ability to get to the space layer and communicate, then you can also be a pathway from line-of-sight to beyond line-of-sight, to the space layer. If you have a resilient space architecture, then you can lateral across and then come back down to a ground entry point.”

The Air Force’s newest tanker, the KC-46, has communications and defensive systems that would allow it to become a communications relay without needing significant upgrades, Thomas said....

...“Experimentation is … the next step,” he said. “What are the additional waveforms that [we] need to have for line of sight? What are the additional ways that we can connect to the space layer?” One endeavor already underway is the Global Lightning experiment, in which a KC-135 will be outfitted with equipment for communication with SpaceX’s Starlink — a planned “megaconstellation” of hundreds of satellites in low-Earth orbit set to provide high-bandwidth commercial internet — as well as other equipment from vendors such as Iridium and L3Harris.

“It's one thing to have to engineer it and cut a hole in the skin of the airplane, and put an antenna and do some internal racks and all that,” Thomas said. The bigger question will be whether the Air Force can put new technologies on the tanker quickly and grow them over time, he said. “Far too often in the past, we have had great ideas and great capabilities that we put on airplanes,” he said. “[But] we’ve had no ability to go further because either the information is proprietary to a certain vendor, or we didn’t build in the size, weight, power cooling, thermal management that would allow us to add more equipment or have more capability.”"

Source: https://www.c4isrnet.com/air/2020/01/06 ... ions-node/
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