How does an egg make a hatch? We’re learning a lot about eyes today.
[Via The Boston Globe]
The US Army is planning to provide the F-35C Block 3, which it calls “full-rate production,” with software that gives it the ability to perform air-attack missions against ground targets, and to make the F-35C more capable for other operations, say military sources.
A military source with knowledge of the project says that, “The software development and integration for the new full rate production model will start now, over the next few months.”
That software is likely to be in the form of a “bundle of add-ons” that is used to add a variety of capabilities, including weapons and electronics. The bundle of add-ons could include different weapons and electronics for different types of mission requirements, which is part of the program’s strategy to integrate weapons systems into the stealth F-35’s operational architecture.
A “bundle”, in this case, can also mean a kit of software components. The Army originally had planned to include an add-on package designed to allow the F-35 to perform “countersurveillance” (C2) missions. However, there are two important differences between countersurveillance and aerial combat missions.
For countersurveillance, the drone aircraft fires its weapon and gathers data that is then relayed back over the battlefield from its operators, which has the effect that the F-35 can observe a target area that would otherwise be beyond the aircraft’s range. The data collected must then be processed by the F-35 computer with its onboard computer and then sent over to ground forces in support of the fighter’s mission. While counter-surveillance data can be used for both air and ground combat missions, the F-35’s onboard computer typically sends data to ground controllers that will help them determine where to fire and what the enemy does.
By contrast, the C2 mission requires the C2 system to continuously monitor a large area without being aware of every unit in the combat area. The C2 system’s operators must then communicate that information back to the F-35 computer and, ultimately, its operators back to the C2 systems in the air and on the ground.
The source says that, “The intent is to get the full-rate production system out the door and give it the capability to start seeing more combat operations.”
Although the details of the F-35
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