This is believed to be the first time a fighter jet has ever received a software update and gained new capabilities, all while in flight.
The US Air Force’s F-16 Fighting Falcon recently received an in-flight software update to its Electronic Warfare System. The OTA update was part of the Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) demonstration by the USAF, held recently at the Nellis Air Force Base.
This is believed to be the first time a fighter jet has ever received a software update and gained new capabilities, all while in flight. The F16 fighter jet received an update to its Mission Data File from hundreds of miles away, using an existing Beyond Line of Sight F-16 satellite communication system.
The F-16 fighter jet received the MDF update and processed it using a custom-developed Centre Display Unit software. The USAF states that no hardware changes / modifications were necessary. The proof-of-concept test, allows the pilot to correlate a previously unknown electronic threat in almost real-time.
The USAF also stated that the real-time software updates are developing into a program, which could soon be offered across its entire F-16 fleet. The next step is said to be integrating high-speed internet in the F-16s, allowing the pilots to access data from a classified cloud.
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