The U.S. Air Force Should Buy the E-7 Wedgetail as a Step on the Path to ABMS

The Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) is supposed to be the U.S. Air Force’s version of the One Ring from the Lord of the Rings saga, which had the power to find, bring, bind, and rule all other rings. As initially envisioned, ABMS was designed to connect the entire Air Force, find all its sensors and weapons, and bind them together with a continuous stream of actionable intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) data.

The original impetus for ABMS arose from the need to replace the suite of existing U.S. Air Force airborne battle management/command and control (BM/C2) and ISR assets, particularly the large, manned platforms. This fleet consisted primarily of the Boeing E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) and the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS) platforms but also included the RC/WC/OC-135 family of intelligence collection aircraft and the E-6 command, control and communications aircraft.


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