UK's Nexus combat cloud ready for operational use

by Gareth Jennings

The combat cloud developed by the United Kingdom to network all of its future aircraft and other platforms is now ready to be used operationally, the chief of the Royal Air Force (RAF) announced on 14 July.

Conceptual artwork showing the future Tempest fighter operating in a networked environment. The Nexus combat cloud that the UK has developed to link this and all other assets across the future battlespace is now ready for operational use, the chief of the RAF said. (BAE Systems)

Conceptual artwork showing the future Tempest fighter operating in a networked environment. The Nexus combat cloud that the UK has developed to link this and all other assets across the future battlespace is now ready for operational use, the chief of the RAF said. (BAE Systems)

Speaking at the Air and Space Power Association's Global Air Chiefs conference in London, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston noted the milestone for the Nexus combat cloud that has been devised under the Project ‘Astra' effort develop a ‘next-generation air force'.

“Data from any sensor on any platform can now be flagged to any user ... at the speed of light”, ACM Wigston said.

News that combat cloud is now operationally ready comes some 12 months after the RAF disclosed that it was experimenting with Nexus aboard an Airbus Voyager tanker-transport aircraft as an airborne information node for multidomain operations.

The Babel Fish VII experiment put the Nexus data platform aboard a Voyager, alongside a cloud'-based app called Deckard and a micro digitalised server called Raven. While the Babel Fish events to date have dealt with sharing information between the ‘fourth-generation' Eurofighter Typhoon and the ‘fifth-generation' Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II combat aircraft, this latest series of tests was geared at examining how different airborne systems are inter-connected and able to communicate.

The Babel Fish tests that included Nexus have been conducted by the RAF Rapid Capabilities Office [RCO] RCO Air Information Experimentation [AIX] programme that was set up in 2019.

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The combat cloud developed by the United Kingdom to network all of its future aircraft and other pla...

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