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Branches of the U.S. military are testing their sensor-to-sensor capabilities in tandem during the military-led Project Convergence Campaign at Yuma Proving Ground (YPG).
Project Convergence is the joint force that experiments with speed, reach and dominance of decision to achieve overrun and inform the concept of joint combat and joint command and control of all areas.
In addition to representation from all branches of the military, this year’s iteration features the eight Cross-Functional Teams (CFTs) of Army Futures Command.
According to defense-blog.com, YPG’s vast size includes nearly 2,000 square miles of restricted airspace. The clear, stable air of the test field and the extremely dry climate, combined with the ability to monitor a wide band of the radio frequency spectrum, make it a prime location for this type of testing.
Unmanned planes, air-to-surface missiles, rotary cannons and all kinds of auxiliary technology to extend the communication capabilities and survivability of soldiers are all tested simultaneously here.
One of the most exciting technologies used was Air Launch Effects (ALE), drones attached to a helicopter or other vehicle that can be an aviator’s eyes in an area of interest. These remarkable and inexpensive surveillance drones can also be launched from light ground vehicles, but their integration into aeronautical platforms is much more complex.
A new 20mm Gatling-style machine gun that could serve as a rotating platform cannon was integrated into a substitute UH-60 Blackhawk and fired in flight for the first time here.
The developers of the systems used a modular systems approach that would allow these elements to be used on a variety of aircraft as needed.
All these technologies are refined to prepare for the potential of war with an adversary close to his peers