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Air Force Mission Support System (AFMSS)

The Air Force Mission Support System (AFMSS) provides automated mission-planning support for Air Force aircraft (fixed and rotary wing) and guided munitions. AFMSS will operate either as a stand-alone system, or linked with other command information systems, to aid the mission planner in selecting an optimal route through hostile territory. AFMSS is expected to significantly benefit command and control performance by enhancing information superiority for the warfighter and by providing unique capabilities in support of both precision engagement and dominant maneuver.

Aircraft Mission Planning is the creation of a flight plan which takes into account terrain, weather, aircraft performance capability and configuration. The planner must have the ability to plan weapon and/or cargo delivery, calculate fuel requirements, and assess the route based on known enemy threat location and type. In addition, a planner must be able to de-conflict flight routes with other aircraft, review, print and brief the mission plan to Command and download pertinent flight information to on-board aircraft avionics. The Air Force Mission Support Systems (AFMSS) provides all of this and more, through it's Family of mission planning products.

AFMSS consists of computer and software tools that support aircraft and weapon mission planning. AFMSS uses several different hardware versions, all comprising commercially available off-the-shelf components. For aircraft with electronic data transfer capability, aircraft-unique hardware peripherals are used to prepare data transfer devices for uploading mission information into aircraft computers. AFMSS core software is combined with tailored Aircraft/Weapon/Electronics modules to provide a Mission Planning System (MPS) for each aircraft type. Low observable aircraft also require a software module called Common Low Observable Autorouter (CLOAR) to plan routes that minimize exposure to threat systems. The outputs of AFMSS-based MPSs are combat mission folders (comprising maps, images, and flight information) and data transfer devices.

AFMSS, comprised of the Portable Flight Planning System (PFPS), the Mission Planning System (MPS) and the Portable Mission Planning System (PMPS), provides an integrated environment supporting all missions and aircraft. Mission planning tools include:

  • Flight, Route and Airdrop Planning
  • Weapons Delivery
  • Target Area Planning
  • Radar Predictions
  • Threat analysis
  • Route Fly Through
  • Perspective Views
  • Cartridge/Data Transfer Devices (DTDs) Loading

AFMSS Mission Planning System (MPS) mission planning tools use an X Window graphical user interface which are installed on commercially available workstations. The MPS tools expand Portable Flight Planning Systems (PFPS) capability to include:Interoperability with Theater Battle Management (TBM) Systems allowing for Air Tasking Orders, intelligence and imagery updates; Threat Analysis; Autorouting; Combat Mission Folder production; Terrain Based Radar Predictions; Imagery; and Terrain Based Perspective Views.

Mission Planning System (MPS) II performance enhancements (as compared to the MPS) include print times reduced up to 50% for strip charts; CD-ROM performance increases by 30% while running MDI Import; and EO performance increases over 600% for Read and Write during MDI import.

Portable Mission Planning System (PMPS) provides the software features of the MPS in a smaller, portable, lightweight configuration while maintaining full printing and data transfer services of the MPS. Planners can select from a number of portable workstations and accessories to tailor the PMPS to their warfare needs.

Portable Flight Planning System (PFPS) mission planning tools are integrated under a common consistent Micosoft Windows Graphical-User-Interface and can be installed on commercially available desktop and portable computer systems. Primary outputs include: Custom Kneeboard Cards; Combat Mission Folders and Data Transfer Services. PFPS is comprised of the following software components: Combat Flight Planning System (CFPS) Providing Route Editing functions through an Interactive Flight Log (IFL); Combat Weapons and Delivery System (CWDS) Providing weapon delivery planning capability; Combat Airdrop Planning System (CAPS) Providing Airdrop planning capability and Drop Zone data; FalconView - Produced by Georgia Tech, provides the Mapping and Overlay drawing capabilities ; Combat Target Planning System (CTPS) Providing an electronic Joint Munitions Effectiveness Manual (JMEM) Variety of aircraft cartridge cutting software providing the capability to download the aircraft avionics with flight information.

Special Operations Forces Planning And Rehearsal System (SOFPARS) was developed to reduce the size and weight of the existing mission planning products with Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) Non-Developmental Item (NDI) -based, open system architecture mission planning products.

The Common Mapping Production System (CMPS) provides capability to produce standardized mapping, charting, Geodesy and Imagery (MCG&I) products used in mission planning systems. It enables users to import data derived from standard military digital cartographic products on distribution media organized for use in measurement, display and related manipulations. CMPS will make Compressed Mapping (55:1) and imagery (8:1) data for joint MCG&I Users. CMPS will also provide capability to digitally update maps (DCHUM).

The AFMSS program began in 1990. An interim version, Block C1.5, is fielded for six USAF aircraft types. Block C2.0 software completed development in 2QFY97 and is currently undergoing operational test and evaluation (OT&E) for the following aircraft types: B-2, F-117, KC-135R, F-15E with AGM-130, B-52H, A-10, F-15 MSIP, C-27, EF-111, F-16C/D Block 40/50, C-130E/H, and C-130P/N. Block C2.1 software merges requirements of Air Force aircraft and those of the U.S. Special Operations Command into a common software version. Block C2.1 software is completing development and will undergo OT&E during FY98 on the following aircraft types: MC-130E, HH/MH-60G, C-17, B-1B, RC-135V/U, E-8, MC-130H, MH-53J, AC-130H, MC-130P, EC-130H, and AC-130U.

Special Focus areas include the Common Low Observable Auto Router (CLOAR) - and the integration of the CLOAR with AFMSS products. CLOAR provides autorouting and threat analysis capability to low observable airframes including F-111A, F-22 and the B-2.

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