Northrop Grumman [NOC] successfully completed a proof-of-concept to demonstrate the value of a distributed network environment between two Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) simulators and a company test lab in the U.S. in November, the company said Dec. 13.
For the first time this demonstration provided a distributed simulation capability by connecting an RAAF KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport simulator with a C-17A Globemaster III simulator at RAAF Base Amberley and a Northrop Grumman test laboratory in Orlando, Fla. The connected simulation provides “advanced, realistic, virtual training at multiple sites on opposite sides of the globe,” the company said.
This test was conducted in conjunction with industry support providers CAE and L-3 Communications [LLL]. It followed the first of a four-phase program where the KC-30A, C-17A and C-130J Hercules transport simulators at the RAAF’s Air Mobility Group (AMG) were surveyed. The team is trying to determine how the Australian simulator operating standards compared to those of the U.S. Air Force’s Distributed Mission Operations Network (DMON). The survey determined the configuration changes required to achieve the U.S. Mobility Air Force standards.
Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for DMON, which enables dissimilar aircraft platforms located internationally to interoperate and train together in a realistic virtual environment.
“In these times of increased operational tempo and stretched resources, the ability to connect and execute distributed missions virtually across multiple sites across the globe is a real force-multiplying capability,” Ian Irving, chief executive of Northrop Grumman Australia, said in a statement.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to have worked closely with CAE and L3 on this important demonstration and, as a world leader in the provision of distributed networks through its DMON system to the U.S. Air Force, Northrop Grumman looks forward to the potential development of a persistent capability for the Australian Defence Force,” he added.
The company highlighted that its communications integration and test environment provided the necessary “high fidelity” for close formation maneuvers and communications between the aircraft simulator and boom operators across the world.