AOC of the Not so Distant Future: The next generation Air Operations Centers Northrop Grumman is building for the Air Force will replace the hodgepodge of systems operators currently use to control the fight, with a single, flexible information flow, said Rob Evans, the company’s AOC development manager. At the operator’s level, the next generation AOC 10.2 is designed to streamline interface much the same way fighter cockpits have evolved to improve control layout for the pilot, said Evans, in a brief at AFA’s Air & Space Conference. On the strategic level, AOC 10.2 is designed for the modern cyber-based environment from the outset, to exploit the enormous information gathering potential of platforms like the F-35 to improve decision taking. The Air Force is upgrading each of its AOCs which support the Combatant Commands under a roughly $504 million program. The upgrade is currently on schedule and on budget for its planned initial operating capability in 2015, said Evans.
The Air Force isn’t giving up on its long-frustrated efforts to retire older aircraft, as the department’s leader continues to talk with lawmakers about plans to free up funds for its modernization efforts, Undersecretary of the Air Force Gina Ortiz Jones said Nov. 30.