A B-52 Stratofortress from the 49th Test and Evaluation Squadron, Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, conducted a successful simulated hypersonic kill chain employment from sensor to shooter and back during Northern Edge 21, May 5.
During the more than 13-hour sortie from Barksdale AFB to Alaska and back, the B-52 was able to receive target data from sensors via the All-Domain Operations Capability experiment, or ADOC-E, more than 1,000 nautical miles away miles away at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. Once it received the data from the ADOC-E, the bomber then was able to successfully take a simulated shot of the target from 600 nautical miles away using an AGM-183 Air Launched Rapid Response Weapon.
“We were really exercising the data links that we needed in order to complete that kill chain loop, and then get the feedback to the players in the airspace that the simulated hypersonic missile was fired and effective,” said Lt. Col. Joe Little, 53rd Test Management Group deputy commander.
This was a successful showcase of Beyond Line of Sight Kill Chain employment, and notably, was a success in the highly contested and realistic threat environment that Northern Edge provides.
“The team did an outstanding job effecting this event both in planning and execution,” said Lt. Col. Matt Guasco, 49th Test and Evaluation Squadron commander. “This is a win for the U.S. Air Force and greater DOD as a whole but make no mistake, we are just getting started.”
The ADOC-E is a joint team representing the operational-level “blue” training audience designed to experiment with synchronizing joint functions in forward locations. The ADOC-E design allows the synchronization of joint functions in a forward, contested environment when traditional command and control structure effectiveness is degraded or denied. ADOC-E personnel have coordination authority capable of facilitating long-range joint fires and further hosting future capability provided through an advanced battle management system approach. The ADOC-E use of current and emergent technology provides assessment opportunities for experimental capabilities and concepts and accelerates employment of relevant tactics, techniques and procedures and technologies supporting major combat operations.
Northern Edge is a U.S. Indo-Pacific Command exercise designed to provide high-end, realistic war fighter training, develop and improve joint interoperability, and enhance the combat readiness of participating forces. This is done by providing a venue for large force employment training and multi-domain operations; tactical training for the full spectrum of conflict; execute and advance adaptive basing joint tactics, techniques, and procedures; advance live-virtual, constructive capabilities; and support U.S. Indo-Pacific Command’s experimental initiatives.