The U.S. Air Force has completed a large amount of ammunition testing, will they ever participate in combat?


Washington — The US Air Force has completed the first phase. Golden Horde Demonstration Activities, Bringing services one step closer to development Flocking smart weapons It operates semi-autonomously and uses algorithms to find high priority targets.

However, the technology will not soon be incorporated into the recording program, said General Arnold Bunch, who heads the Air Force Materiel Command. Instead, the service will conduct virtual experiments with joint ammunition in deciding which elements of the Golden Horde to develop further.

“We can determine the benefits of the system and then look for future ways to turn it into a recording program,” he told reporters at the Defense Writers Group event on June 4. It was. “So far, it hasn’t moved to a record program.”

The final demonstration at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico on May 25 allowed the service to complete all three goals related to the Golden Horde program, the service said in a news release. I will. Golden Horde is one of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s four major Vanguard efforts aimed at driving innovative technology using prototyping and experimentation.

During the event, two F-16 jets from the 96th Test Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, fired six joint small-diameter bombs, a modified version of Boeing’s small-diameter bomb. The six CSDBs have established communication links with other bombs and ground stations. This achieved the first goal. After testing with the previous two and four weapons, we connected the six weapons using the L3Harris Technologies Banshee 2 wireless network.

To reach the second target, the Air Force sent an update of the target in flight from the ground station to the CSDB swarm, instructing the bomb to destroy its current orbit and track the new target.

For the final purpose, two CSDBs carried out a synchronous target time attack on one mark, and two other joint bombs attacked two separate targets.

The demonstration demonstrated that CSDB could connect to the Air Force’s broader command and control operations and validated the Georgia Institute of Technology’s synchronous targeted attack algorithms, AFRL said in a statement.

“These technologies have completely changed our way of thinking about weapons capabilities, as laser-guided bombs did decades ago,” said Maj. Gen. Heather Pringle, commander of AFRL. I will. “Golden Horde and such technology have allowed the Department of the Air Force to overcome many of its current and future challenges, and we are just beginning to open up all possibilities.”

However, it is not yet clear what technology will be possible with the work pioneered at Golden Horde. The Air Force has significantly narrowed its efforts since it was first announced as the Vanguard program in 2019. CSDB for complex scenarios originally planned for 2022.

Eventually, the Air Force abandoned those plans. Bunch declined to comment on whether the Air Force would pursue a joint version of Raytheon’s Decoy.

In the next phase of this effort, AFRL’s Department of Military Affairs and the Weapons Program Office of Services plan to jointly build the “Colosseum.” The Coliseum will use digital engineering and virtual modeling to develop and test future networked, collaborative, autonomous weapons.

Live testing can be “costly and labor-intensive,” Bunch said. “It would be more efficient and effective in the long run if we could try out new ideas, hone them, and create virtual environments that could do open-air things.”

The joint bomb developed for the Golden Horde will not be an operational weapon, but Vanguard claims that the demonstration efforts have allowed the Air Force’s Weapons Program Office and its laboratories to work together on new technologies. This is a practice peculiar to Vanguard programs.

“And you might be able to take a specific part of what you find in the Golden Horde and put it in another weapon, or in another system,” he added.

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