April 2006 
Volume 04, Issue 11 
Integrated Defense Systems

Show and tell

Boeing exhibit at event demonstrates the value of interoperability between many parties


Show and tellBoeing Integrated Defense Systems showed its ability to integrate technological advancements with multiple interactive demonstrations at the recent Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla. These demonstrations showed the value of future interoperability between airborne battle managers, communications systems and global strike assets.

The highlight of the Boeing exhibit at the event was a linked demonstration of four Boeing programs that actively shared data. Networking an Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) 40/45 operator console, a Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems (J-UCAS) Mission Control Station and an F-15E+ Strike Eagle cockpit—and linking them together with the Transformational Communications Demonstration Capability—these demos highlighted the symposium's theme, "Forging the Interdependent Force."

Working with a common scenario involving a hostile ground force, urban counterterrorism operations, enemy aircraft and missile defenses, these demonstrations shared data, provided targeting information, and executed flexible missions in real time. This "system of systems" showed visitors how it could make the future joint forces more effective.

The AWACS 40/45 console featured advanced displays and advanced battle-management functions. The AWACS controlled strike aircraft as they were guided to their targets, monitored their health and status, detected hostile aircraft and provided direction to the F-15 and J-UCAS operators. The AWACS operator was linked to the other elements using not only today's Link 16 communications (a secure, high capacity, jam-resistant data link for all U.S. military forces), but also via advanced communications techniques such as Voice over Internet Protocol—allowing him to talk with anyone in the simulated joint force.

The operator of the J-UCAS Mission Control System console was able to direct his simulated air vehicles to penetrate ahead of the joint strike force, detect hostile missile launchers, engage and destroy them, share reconnaissance information with the AWACS and F-15 operators, and provide ground attack capability against time-critical targets.

The F-15E+ Strike Eagle cockpit simulator showed the promise of future capabilities available for the aircraft. The simulator allowed visitors to fly missions in realistic urban environments and locate targets. Once the target was found, visitors used Small Diameter Bombs and Boeing's proposed laser-guided Joint Direct Attack Munition weapon to destroy terrorists.

Providing the communications interface was the Transformational Communications Demonstration Capability, a system that models how communications behave in the real world.

Boeing is continuing to push the envelope in these demonstrations—which use Boeing's LabNet distributed network capability, involve participants across the United States and use real communications services. On March 30 Boeing opened its latest addition to the Boeing Integration Center—Distributed Environment at its Boston field office. At this facility, along with similar sites in Hampton and Norfolk, Va., and Colorado Springs, Colo., networked demonstrations similar to those shown at the Air Warfare Symposium will be shown live to the local customer.

Boeing will highlight elements of these demonstrations when the company participates in the Virtual Warfighter exercise as a part of the U.S. Air Force's annual Joint Expeditionary Forces Experiment. Additionally, these and other demonstrations will be shown at upcoming Phantom Works Technical Expositions throughout 2006; the next will be held in May at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass.



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