US Air Force, Army Test New Cross-Service Command and Control System

The US Air Force and Army have demonstrated a DARPA-developed joint airspace management and joint fires capability at Nellis AFB in Nevada.

The experiment is part of Air Space Total Awareness for Rapid Tactical Execution (ASTARTE), a program to develop an advanced multi-domain command and control system.

DARPA’s ASTARTE system was designed for effective, efficient airspace operations and provides an automated, real-time common operational airspace overview to consolidate schedules on time-sensitive firing missions.

Demonstrating With Simulated, Live Data

During the demonstration, joint warfighters from the 805th Combat Training Squadron Shadow Operations Center-Nellis (ShOC-N) and the army’s Mission Command Battle Lab ran the ASTARTE system through different combat scenarios to evaluate the software’s air-ground support.

The software was trialed with simulated data produced by ShOC-N and live data from a recent military exercise.

A group was tasked with a control and reporting role to assess information sharing that enhances real-time battle management decision-making.

ASTARTE concept.
ASTARTE concept. Photo: DARPA

Better Performance Than Legacy C2 Systems

The demonstration showcased ASTARTE’s functionality as a decision aid and how it could replace the joint forces’ legacy C2 systems, the US Air Force wrote.

The latest improvements to the system’s user interface and transparency in generating potential courses of action were also highlighted during the event.

Meanwhile, operational considerations and future improvements were identified to strategize the ASTARTE program’s transition to the air force and army.

“In comparison to previous test events, we observed significantly reduced reliance on legacy C2 systems while using the ASTARTE software, and the role players reported a greater understanding of how the ASTARTE system executes tasks,” DARPA ASTARTE Program Manager Dr. Mary Schurgot stated.

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