The US Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFCLMC) has launched a software factory to support its B-2 Spirit Bomber fleet.
Known as “Spirit Realm,” the capability pools related software that reduces B-2 flight test risks and timelines.
The facility has already delivered ground-based analysis, enhanced test point collection, and automation for the ongoing B-2 production in the air force.
“Through the software factory’s tools and infrastructure, automated steps take the code from the beginning in development all the way through testing and eventually to release,” AFCLMC B-2 Software Maintenance and Innovation Team Leader Capt. Joel Graley explained.
War-Winning Capability Upgrades
Developed with Northrop Grumman, the software factory provides the B-2 operational fleet with “war-winning capability upgrades” required to counter evolving threats.
It has shortened software modernization to three months compared to previous development and testing methods that needed 18 to 24 months before launch.
Furthermore, other testing phases which detect software defects now identify almost zero issues, enabling the air force to save more hours in B-2 upgrades and $18 million in annual flight test costs.
“The software factory has applicability today because it adds baked in security, repeatability, and quality for our software development, capability integration, and deployment. That has impacts on the war fighter now,” Graley said.
“In the near future, the software factory, combined with other aircraft modernization efforts, will enable the capability to deploy software updates to B-2s flying operational missions anywhere in the world. That is a game-changer in the next fight.”