Sunday, July 12, 2020

Raytheon, military researchers want to ‘revolutionize’ close air support

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The U.S. arms maker Raytheon working with military researchers to ‘revolutionize’ the close air support to soldiers on the ground.

A new research coalition helping to field a system that will allow troops to bring in air support more quickly than ever before.

According to a news release put out by Raytheon, the new system to provide real-time information sharing, quick response, and precise targeting.

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Called Persistent Close Air Support, the system connects ground-based Joint Terminal Attack Controllers, often embedded with special operations units, with overhead aircraft to coordinate friendly-force identification, target correlation and to spot hostile forces with pinpoint precision.

“By getting information to our aircrews faster, PCAS reduces battlefield risks and fratricide,” said Ryan McLean, Raytheon PCAS program manager.

A PCAS-enabled soldier can call in air support for multiple targets, from manned or unmanned platforms, in less than six minutes. Current close-air-support missions often need upward of 30 minutes for coordination, and multiple-target attacks can be even more complex to plan.

“When ground forces have identified the target location or are pinned down and in need of support from the air, they should not be dependent on paper maps and voice communications to convey critical information to aircrews,” said McLean.

The PCAS network shares all-digital situational awareness between the pilot, the attack controller and other soldiers through tablets running the military’s Tactical Assault Kit software. PCAS algorithms on the aircraft help to pinpoint targets, map attack routes, and employ the right weapon at the right time for a specific target.

PCAS was developed through Agile and DevOps software methodologies and tools. These Silicon Valley-style approaches speed the development and evolution of advanced technologies.

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Executive Editor

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