Northrop Grumman has demonstrated the use of digital communications technology to facilitate mission data transmission between the U.S. Air Force’s B-2 Spirit bomber aircrew and a ground station.
A B-2 plane, nicknamed Spirit of Kitty Hawk, was fitted with a Northrop-built multimission domain open architecture to support the communications process during the two-day integrated airborne mission transfer demo, the company said Wednesday.
The ground B-2 Adaptable Communications Suite terminal processed the mission to the aircraft’s disk unit and transmitted the data to flight crews.
USAF and the company executed 50 mission transfers with the stealth bomber at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri.
Nikki Kodama, vice president and B-2 program manager at Northrop, said that weapon system-digital software integration efforts could support connectivity in a highly contested environment.
“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 company incorporated digital engineering approaches into its B-2 Collaborative Combat Communication Spiral 1 program.