Air Force may soon be able to update flight software in real time

The Air Force will soon announce an aircraft capable of pushing updates to warfighters midflight. File Photo by Tech. Sgt. Matthew Plew/U.S. Air Force

Sept. 18 (UPI) — The Air Force is preparing to announce that an aircraft can push out software updates to warfighters while in flight, a top Pentagon official said this week.

“We’re working on pretty cool announcements coming in the next few weeks with the ability to update the software of a jet while flying,” Nicolas Chaillan, chief software officer for the U.S. Air Force, said. “So that’s the kind of stuff that will be game changing.”

Chaillan is head of the Department of Defense’s DevSecOps initiative, which aims to simplify and speed up software development across the department using a centralized location with baked-in security protocols so developers can deploy software updates quickly throughout the day.

Chaillan, speaking during a webinar this week, did not give many specifics, but the development is part of a larger effort by the Air Force to bring its software practices up to date.

The Air Force successfully demonstrated its network earlier this month highlighting Cloud One, the Pentagon’s cloud computing team.

“The star of the show was the data that enabled its kill chain to take effect…enabled by data going into a cloud, being transported over 4G and 5G communications at machine speeds to culminate in a kill chain that took seconds, not minutes or hours to complete,” said Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and sustainment.

Chaillain said the agency is “probably at 20% of where we need to be mostly because of scale,” but has “pockets of talent on every major program.”


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