The 711th Human Performance Wing at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, is taking a page right out of the comic books in order to improve the capabilities of joint terminal attack controllers and pararescuemen, according to a Defense Department science blog post. The program, dubbed Battlefield Air Targeting Man-Aided Knowledge, or BATMAN, is designed “to try to make our airmen on the ground faster, smarter, deadlier,” and more efficient, said 2nd Lt. Anthony Eastin, a BATMAN behavioral scientist. The team is looking into Android-based systems, cable wiring, optical wireless link systems, and Google Glasses to further its research. “We look at auditory, visual, tactile interfaces to really see how we can best portray information to the warfighter in an intuitive manner to maximize mission effectiveness,” said Greg Burnett, chief engineer for the BATMAN program. “There’s a lot of potential out there,” added Eastin. “Our goal is to try and make sure [US troops] are safe out there. We do so by testing all this gear for them.”
The F-35 Joint Program Office has officially announced plans to issue multiple sole-source contracts to Pratt & Whitney to upgrade the fighter’s F135 engine—a widely expected move after Pentagon officials indicated they would do so earlier this year instead of developing an entirely new engine.