AFRL’s Golden Horde To Test Swarming Munitions In Digital ‘Colosseum’


The new simulation environment will use ‘digital twins’ to rapidly test and iterate “collaborative autonomous networked technologies,” AFRL explains.

By THERESA HITCHENS on March 05, 2021

WASHINGTON: Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is shifting the focus of its Golden Horde program from testing its own swarming weapons to developing a digital environment, nicknamed Colosseum, to test vendors bringing their own concepts.

“What we are looking to do is beginning a phase of an open, collaborative autonomy architecture, and this government-owned reference architecture is really going to be an environment where more players can come and compete their own versions of what autonomous collaborative weapons should be,” AFRL Director Brig. Gen. Heather Pringle said last week during the Air Force Association’s annual winter meeting.

The move follows the second flight test Feb. 19 of AFRL’s in-house developed Collaborative Small Diameter Bomb (CSDB). The test, AFRL announced today, involved four of the CSDBs, which feature data links to communicate, chose targets (based on pre-programmed algorithms) and coordinate strikes against an array of targets, independently from the human pilot.


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