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AFRL Demonstrates Networked Weapon Operations With Small Diameter Bomb

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The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has met all three goals of a flight test that aimed to demonstrate networked, collaborative and autonomous weapons. 

Two F-16 aircraft deployed Collaborative Small Diameter Bombs (CSDB) on Tuesday at White Sands Missile Range, under the service branch's Golden Horde program, AFRL said Wednesday. 

CSDB is a modified version of the Boeing-made Small Diameter Bomb I. The test demonstrated that L3Harris Technologies' Banshee 2 radio network can expand its nodes to meet mission requirements.

The demonstration also exhibited how a ground station would transmit an in-flight target update to flying weapons upon the appearance of a new, higher-priority threat. Lastly, two SDB units synchronized to strike a single target together.

Golden Horde supports the military's larger Joint All-Domain Command and Control approach, which seeks to establish a network of situational awareness sensors on the battlefield.

Moving forward, AFRL will work with the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center and Eglin Air Force Base’s 96th Test Wing to further develop NCA weapon systems via digital engineering, unmanned aircraft testing and other approaches.