7 avr. 2015 by DARPA
Close air support (CAS)—delivery of airborne munitions to support ground forces—is difficult and dangerous because it requires intricate coordination between combat aircrews and dismounted ground agents. DARPA’s Persistent Close Air Support (PCAS) program focuses on technologies to enable sharing of real-time situational awareness and weapons systems data through approaches designed to work with almost any aircraft. PCAS envisions more precise, prompt and easy air-ground coordination for CAS and other missions under stressful operational conditions, and seeks to minimize the risk of friendly fire and collateral damage by enabling the use of smaller munitions to hit smaller, multiple or moving targets.
On March 27, DARPA successfully tested the full PCAS prototype system for the first time as part of a U.S. Marine Corps infantry/aviation training exercise conducted in partnership with the Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One, stationed in Yuma, Arizona. The demonstration marked the first successful integration of automated, digital, real-time coordination capability into a military aircraft system, including rail-launched munitions, digital data links and advanced software.