Northrop Grumman Tests Programmable Aircraft Processor’s In-Flight Capability

Northrop Grumman has demonstrated its programmable open missions systems compliant (SPOC) processor in a flight test to validate its compatibility with a complete aircraft ecosystem.

SPOC is a multifunction computer programmable with different input-output instructions depending on mission requirements.

Held at the US Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland, the test involved over-the-air connectivity via advanced waveforms between the SPOC and a ground station.

“With the maturity of our technology, we have the solutions today that will provide unparalleled mission effectiveness,” Northrop Grumman Communications and Solutions Vice President Jenna Paukstis stated.

“We are connecting platforms that will benefit the joint force and provide them with real-time battlespace awareness across air, space, land and sea.”

New US Air Force Radio Terminal

The SPOC in-flight evaluation builds on a 2020 contract to develop a next-generation radio communication approach for the US Air Force.

The resulting system’s open architecture networking terminal will provide the service with advanced capabilities against evolving threats, Northrop Grumman explained.

An aerial view of Wilmington Delaware and south New Jersey before sunset from an airplane
Northrop Grumman’s multifunction communications solutions connect the U.S. Air Force. Photo: Northrop Grumman

These include interoperability with F-35 third-party communications, navigation, and identification systems, enhanced intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance data link connectivity, and an improved Mobile User Objective System beyond line-of-sight capability.

“Our solution for SPOC provides a mature hardware and software development kit that allows the Air Force to rapidly develop and prototype innovative communications solutions from any provider on an open architecture networking terminal that can be quickly taken into flight test and production,” the company said.

“With the Air Force taking responsibility for developing the airborne communications network infrastructure for the Advanced Battle Management System, SPOC radio will allow the Air Force to rapidly develop, test, fly and iterate.”

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