SPARKS, Nev. --- Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has delivered to Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) the first MC-130J equipped with the advanced Airborne Mission Networking (AbMN) secure communications suite. The AbMN suite improves interoperability between special operations platforms as well as other U.S. Air Force (USAF), Army, Navy, Marine and coalition platforms.
The AbMN suite improves interoperability by unifying data from various components that collectively make up a mission system. This permits USAF operators to focus on one set of critical mission data rather than monitoring multiple systems.
The suite enables battlefield management and threat avoidance; generates customized surveillance information; and provides situational awareness for air, ground, and command and control nodes. The suite has applications for mapping and situational awareness, data routing, video recording and playback, and user interface control.
It also features data link radios and supporting equipment including 10 subsystems that are interfaced to work together. In an effort to reduce crew workload, the AbMN suite integrates with existing equipment so pilots, crew and combat systems operators can use devices that are already known.
“Multi-domain command and control is a Defense Department top priority,” said IAS Senior Vice President of Business Development and Technology Robert Horky. “With the AbMN-equipped MC-130J, we’re bringing that capability to the AFSOC community by providing enhanced communications and data links, and an integrated software suite.”
SNC leveraged their extensive experience with other AFSOC platforms to develop the AbMN system.
The MC-130J is a version of Lockheed Martin’s C-130J modified specifically for the special operations community. It replaces the MC-130H Talon IIs, which AFSOC is retiring. These modifications bring the critical capabilities required to successfully replace the MC-130H while providing additional communications and situational awareness capabilities.
SNC is currently modifying AFSOC’s second MC-130J aircraft with AbMN.