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Orange Flag and USAF TPS collaborate for the first time to test kill-web integration

  • Published
  • By 1st Lt. Christine Del Aguila
  • Air Force Test Center

Orange Flag, Air Force Test Center’s all-domain, large force test series focused on advanced technology, kill-web integration and analysis, returned with its third iteration in 2022 Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Sept 14.

This iteration was the first time in USAF Test Pilot School history where a student-led test project participated in the Large Force Test Event, which focused on streamlining kill-web integration.

“This opportunity provided new and unique education opportunities and was a major step in moving the TPS curriculum towards modern, advanced testing of cutting-edge, classified technology,” said Lt Col Corey Florendo, USAF TPS Instructor and test pilot.

The TPS Test Management Project HAVE BRUNO utilized the large amount of instrumented airborne assets to bolster their data set with no increased cost to their program on a much faster schedule. They were also exposed to the intricacies of multi-domain test and multiple test programs from around the DoD.

“The students were given a difficult task: safely and effectively integrate TPS into Orange Flag to achieve unique test objectives while concurrently balancing the rigorous demands of the TPS curriculum. The motivated team of 6 students exceeded all our expectations and truly made tremendous progress for the school, and for the DoD technology development at large,” said Florendo.

This familiarization will enable TPS to think about integration on all their future test programs and serves as a successful first step for future efforts between Orange Flag and TPS.

“Orange Flag continues to expose integration issues in test so that when the kill webs are relied on in combat, they work. We also provide an environment for participants to gather data with almost every airborne MDS in the DoD in a single day,” said Maj. Harrison Whiting, Orange Flag Director.

The LFTE included 29 airborne fighters from the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Marine Corps. The Joint Tactical Integrated Fire Control Community of Interest team explored Kill-Web integration methodologies for use with the USAF, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Marine Corps. The Air Force Test Center, U.S. Air Force Warfare Center, and the Shadow Operations Center also participated.

"We are looking to replace our fragile kill chains with resilient kill webs" said Maj. Kyle Mcleod, a U.S. Marine Corps F-35 Test Pilot, and OF 22-3 mission commander. “This is at the heart of what OF is getting after. Testing integration across all domains will identify the issues early so they are not exposed during an actual conflict.”

Orange Flag is scheduled to host the Australian E-7 "Wedgetail" in the next Orange Flag event in 2023.