The Forward Air Control Utility Suite (FAC-US) allows the Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) to decisively deliver fires to the battlefield from virtually any asset available. FAC-US is made up of two components, FAC-Utility and FAC-Message Emulator.
FAC-Utility allows the Joint Terminal Attack Controller (JTAC) to decisively deliver fires to the battlefield from virtually any asset available. Whether it’s an A-10 lining up for a gun run, an AC-130 in orbit ready to engage enemies in Danger Close range of friendlies, a Howitzer miles away ready to lay rounds down on a surface to air threat, or even a Ticonderoga Class Cruiser off the coast ready to engage hardened targets during an amphibious assault. FAC-Utility facilitates the JTAC in any situation they might find themselves in, from Counter Insurgency Operations in a small village in Afghanistan or future Major Combat Operations (MCO) against near peers in a chaotic battlefield packed with air threats in a denied environment.
FAC-Utility is designed from the ground up by JTACs for JTACs to assist both conventional and special operations Operators conduct Close Air Support (CAS) and other mission sets with little or no training on the software. Using the same Graphical User Interface (GUI) principles that make smart phone applications and video games user friendly and intuitive, we were able to study and analyze JTAC behavior to increase the system’s effectiveness. This approach ensured thatFAC-Utility would make Digitally Aided CAS (DACAS) simple enough to be used in combat while allowing JTACs to take advantage of Variable Message Format (VMF) and Situation Awareness Datalink (SADL). FAC-Utility integrates a variety of Video Downlink (VDL) devices, LASER Range Finders (LRFs), Designators (LTDs), and Radios to ensure that everything a JTAC needs to be successful is at their fingertips.
Bottom line, Black Diamond understands what the JTAC needs and what they encounter. This system is designed so that an exhausted, injured, and task saturated JTAC can operate it with ease, making it an essential tool that gives the JTAC and their team the edge they need to achieve mission success and come home alive.
Through the development process of the FAC-US, BDAT needed to develop a way to test the software incrementally without having ready access to aircraft for communications. This was accomplished with FAC-Message Emulator®. This software allows for the set up of two FAC-US™ systems allowing them to communicate using VMF and the tactical radios that dismounted Operators typically use. One Black Diamond kit runs FAC-Utility (i.e. JTAC) and the second kit runs FAC-Message Emulator (i.e. the Aircraft).
Maximize the use of live aircraft by presenting more accurate CAS scenarios, providing a significant return on investment.
BDAT’s TIC Button feature allows the Warfighter to quickly action targets. The end state of FAC-Utility is to put bombs on target; the TIC Button feature gets you there within three actions: