The US Air Force Wants to Use Blockchain Tech for Flight Battle Systems

The U.S. Air Force’s (USAF) continuing series of blockchain investments is entering the space of battle management systems using the technology, according to news outlet Coindesk.

US Air Force Looks to Blockchain

Raytheon BBN Technologies said in a statement this week that it won a $495,039 contract titled: “Characterizing the applicability and relevance of DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology) in Air C2” (CARDIAC) from the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

As per details, the contract means Raytheon scientists and researchers will consider how blockchain and distributed ledger technology can benefit a commander’s ability to keep their eyes on the skies and their pilots safe.

However, while the application is promising and the funding, the involved parties, and the main topic are known, little information exists at press time on the full extent of the project and whether it would move to development stages anytime soon.

However, Colonel Neil Barnas told CoinDesk that using blockchain technology could be an asset for the USAF’s C2. He added that distributing otherwise centralized systems makes them less vulnerable to enemy attack.

Speaking in a personal capacity, he said:

“If you have the one command and control system to rule them all you’ve really just created a target.”

Funding New Technologies

The USAF has made clear this year that it is preparing to spend millions of dollars on modernizing C2. “Highly advanced and lethal tools” help airmen “to prevail in the high-end fight,” officers wrote in their FY2021 budget overview, noted the report.

It added that the document requested $435 million for an “Advanced Battle Management System” that links USAF and Space Force’s war-fighting capacity.

Raytheon’s past blockchain projects have included a deal with Forcepoin, a division of the company, which saw it win a blockchain-based patent that described a complex user behavior monitoring and management system. 

The system would aim to store data about electronically-observable user interactions and used that data to enhance cybersecurity.

Meanwhile, the US Department of Defence is also big on using a blockchain approach to help it beef up its cybersecurity protection. As per a report, the Pentagon wants to explore the potential of a distributed ledger as part of a wholescale digital modernization strategy it announced as part of a roadmap of change out to 2023 it released earlier this month.

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