During mid-May 2021, the USAF released that an initial step of communications “pods” will be designed and purchased and installed on a select number of Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tankers.
The Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) communications pod installed in a Pegasus will allow the USAF's Fifth Generation F-35A Lightning II and F-22 Raptor fighters to connect and instantly receive and transmit the most up-to-date information.
This latest concept is known as Capability Release #1 under the Advanced Battle Management System framework. The ABMS is the Department of the Air Force’s contribution to Joint All Domain Command and Control, or CJADC2, a DoD effort to digitally connect all elements of the US military – from sensors to shooters – across all five warfighting domains: Air, Land, Sea, Space and Cyberspace.
With senior Air and Space Force officials satisfied that the ambitious ABMS has met its key benchmarks, they are pushing the novel programme into a new and more operational phase, bringing the system’s tools and technology one step closer to being available for use in the “real world.”
Artist Impression: USAF