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Northrop Grumman, Kratos demonstration brings JADC2 connectivity to life

Northrop Grumman has demonstrated open architecture communications capabilities that will help the Department of Defense realize its vision of information advantage and decision superiority for Joint All Domain Command and Control.

In two recent U.S. Air Force demonstrations, Northrop Grumman partnered with Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. to showcase how its Software Programmable Open Mission System Compliant solution can successfully operate simultaneous waveforms with an Open Mission Systems interface, an industry first.

These demonstrations validated that Kratos and other third-party industry providers can leverage Northrop Grumman’s open software development kit to drastically reduce integration timelines and incorporate new capabilities that will help enable JADC2. The SPOC radio terminal also demonstrated on-the-fly reprogramming capability by replacing one waveform with another, and demonstrated common and stealth communications functions in a live over-the-air test.

“This technology can significantly enhance warfighter situational awareness, speed up data-to-decision timelines and enable rapid technology insertion from third-party providers,” said Jenna Paukstis, vice president, communications solutions, Northrop Grumman. “Our SPOC solution will create an affordable path to curate functions needed for JADC2 operations, and provides a new offering that will allow the DOD to easily and securely share information across military branches.”

Northrop Grumman’s SPOC solution provides the Air Force with an open architecture, advanced connectivity capability that is designed to address near-term JADC2 mission needs. The company’s SPOC solution provides simultaneous access to four radio frequency waveforms to help interconnect the joint force in JADC2 environments.

Kratos provided their industry standard BE-CDL waveforms and software-programmable tactical radios for the demonstrations. BE-CDL integration with the SPOC solution was straightforward, as was the successful demonstration of CDL interoperability between SPOC and the USG qualified Kratos’ MissionWave120 tactical radios.

“Kratos’ tactical waveforms enable the interoperability vision of JADC2 while increasing operational flexibility through software programmability. The need to rapidly develop and deploy software-defined solutions across domains in relevant timeframes will be key to mission success in the future,” said Chris Badgett, vice president of Technology, Kratos Space. “Northrop Grumman’s SPOC solution is well designed, underpinning the plug-and-play integration of open third-party waveforms such as Kratos’ library of tactical waveforms.”

Northrop Grumman was awarded a SPOC contract by the U.S. Air Force in January 2020. The company will move its SPOC solution to the next stage of development with a flight demonstration planned for next year.

Northrop Grumman’s systems, including its SPOC capabilities, will enable data as a strategic advantage across domains. The company is bringing its extensive expertise in advanced technology, software, platform integration, advanced sensors, autonomy, manned-unmanned teaming and advanced networking across all domains to support emerging JADC2 needs across the DOD and our allies.

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