Northrop Grumman has demonstrated the technical capabilities of its Software Programmable Open Mission Systems (OMS) Compliant (SPOC) processor for the US Air Force (USAF).

The successful flight test showcased ability of the system to connect a full aircraft ecosystem.

As part of this live, over-the-air test, the company used advanced waveforms to integrate SPOC processor with a ground station and its flying test bed at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland, US. The flight test allowed Northrop Grumman to demonstrate that its SPOC processor can be integrated with different existing and future platforms with the help of advanced data links.

Northrop Grumman communications solutions vice-president Jenna Paukstis said: “With the maturity of our technology, we have the solutions today that will provide unparalleled mission effectiveness.

“We are connecting platforms that will benefit the joint force and provide them with real-time battlespace awareness across air, space, land and sea.”

The latest test was carried out as part of a contract awarded in 2020 to develop and demonstrate a SPOC networking terminal to support the USAF’s next generation radio approach. The open-architecture terminal is being developed to provide new capabilities to the USAF to counter and deter emerging threats.

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According to Northrop Grumman, the SPOC technology will provide a flexible, upgradable, as well as low size, weight and power radio capability to the USAF. It can easily be integrated with any of the air assets used by the service. 

The benefits of SPOC networking terminal include ownership of Link 16 development, transmission of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information via a common data link and mobile user objective system with beyond-line-of-sight capability. In addition, the processor can provide availability of F-35 communications, navigation and identification system for third-party developers.