Air Force inks new ABMS concept document

Air Force Thunderbirds flying in Paris. (Joe deSousa / Flickr)

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The Air Force signed a new document solidifying the foundational concepts that underpin one of its highest priority technology modernization programs, the Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS).

The “JADC2 Supporting Concept” document will guide changes the Air Force will make in how it is connecting data from sensors across a battlefield through the Advanced Battle Management System.  ABMS is essentially the Air Force’s internet of things for war, made within the broader framework of Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) that aims to get the entire military to link its sensors and platforms across all domains of battle.

“[W]e just got the JADC2 Supporting Concept signed. The document guides the USAF concept-driven, threat-informed JADC2 capability development to include doctrine, training materiel and personnel,” an Air Force spokesperson told FedScoop in response to inquiries about the document.

The document was created by the cross-functional team working on ABMS led by Brig. Gen. Jeffery Valenzia. 

The ABMS family of technologies aims to improve the data linkage and overall connectivity of weapons systems and platforms the Air Force uses. Currently, the Air Force uses a construct and technology that rely on both legacy systems and processes. For example, in surveilling targets, an airman often has to watch a drone feed and manually count how many people appear on screen, instead of the drone feeding its data directly to a computer-vision algorithm and that data then sent to fighter jets with payloads, as is the intent with ABMS and JADC2.

The Supporting Concept document is more foundational work that is specific to the Air Force, though it has JADC2 in its name, the spokesperson said.

Other services have their own programs that follow the JADC2 framework recently spelled out in a new strategy document approved by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.  The Army has Project Convergence and the Navy runs Project Overmatch as their contributions to JADC2. Each of the three follows the general framework of JADC2 and works with a JADC2 cross-functional team on the Joint Staff to coordinate their efforts.

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Advanced Battlefield Management System (ABMS), Air Force, artificial intelligence (AI), Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2)
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