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AFRL Says Angry Kitten Combat Pod Capable of Rapid Reprogramming

Operational assessment

AFRL Says Angry Kitten Combat Pod Capable of Rapid Reprogramming

The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory said the Angry Kitten Combat Pod electronic attack system demonstrated rapid reprogramming capabilities between flights during an assessment activity.

The Angry Kitten Combat Pod is an updated version of Georgia Tech Research Institute’s Angry Kitten pod. The system simulates enemy electronic attack signals during test and training missions.

The platform underwent a two-week operational assessment in April that was funded by AFRL’s Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation Office. It demonstrated its capabilities as part of the App-Enabled Rapidly Reprogrammable Electronic warfare/electromagnetic Systems experiment campaign, AFRL said Tuesday.

Before the demonstration, programmers developed specific mission data files, which were validated in laboratories at Robins Air Force Base. Testers were also able to create data file updates at Nellis AFB during the operational assessment and were able to apply those updates instantly.

The Air Combat Command recommended that four Georgia Tech pods be converted into combat versions to protect warfighters against adversarial radio frequency threat systems.

AFRL said the assessment showed how open hardware and software systems could be useful to the military. Keith Kirk, the experiment program manager for Angry Kitten, said using open systems allows users to swap hardware modules and software applications to change offensive and defensive effects.

Lt. Col. Stephen Graham, the operational assessment test director for the Angry Kitten Combat Pod, said users were able to update the platform’s mission data file software overnight to improve performance. The data files used on the jamming pods were built on an open-source programming language, which allowed programmers to design effective techniques depending on different RF signature data.

Throughout the two-week assessment, testers completed 30 sorties and demonstrated post-flight reprogramming to improve effects.

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