The Department of the Air Force Golden Horde Vanguard program completed the final flight test of the modified Boeing Small Diameter Bomb I (CSDB) on May 25, 2021 at White Sands Missile Range, N.M.
The Golden Horde program is an initiative focused on advancing Networked, Collaborative and Autonomous (NCA) weapon capabilities through live and virtual testing. The test had three main objectives , The first objective expands the radio network from the previous two and four weapons in flight to six weapons in flight, as well as a ground station.
The second objective sends an In-Flight Target Update from a ground station to the flight weapons to engage a new high priority target. “The JADC2 linkage is a key capability for future NCA weapons, and one the team was particularly focused on implementing,” stated Norma Taylor, the CSDB Program Manager.
The final new objective was to have two weapons perform a synchronized time on target (STOT) attack on a single target location. The software algorithm to coordinate this was provided by Georgia Tech Research Institute.
AFRL Munitions Directorate and AFLCMC’s Weapons program executive office are intending to partner during the next phase called the “Colosseum”. Together they will implement digital engineering, hardware-in-the-loop, and surrogate UAV testing to rapidly integrate, develop, and test transformational NCA weapon technologies for future warfighting opportunities.