USAF Eyes SpaceX Starlink Satellites, Drones for Joint C2 System Exercise in April

The U.S. Air Force plans to include SpaceX's Starlink broadband satellites as part of testing activities for a joint military command-and-control system in April, Military Times reported Saturday.

The Air Force intends to deploy Starlink satellites during the continued testing of the Advanced Battle Management System, which will include live-fire demonstrations to defeat cruise missiles and drones.

The U.S. Strategic Command And Space Command will participate in the exercise to assess Starlink's capacity to provide broadband communications to warfighters. The Air Force also plans to include Kratos Defense and Security Solutions' XQ-58A Valkyrie drone for manned-unmanned teaming activities.

Will Roper, assistant Air Force secretary for acquisition, technology, and logistics and a 2020 Wash100 winner, first announced the April exercise last month and said that ABMS will serve as the U.S. military's internet-of-things system.

The upcoming demonstration builds on a prior ABMS exercise in December and will take place at military bases in Arizona, New Mexico and Florida.

In January, the Air Force and U.S. Northern Command tested ABMS technologies along with Starlink satellites to assess the capacity of F-22 and F-35 fighter jets for data transmission.

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