Angry Kitten EA Pod Completes Initial Integration on MQ-9A


By Richard Scott

The US Air Force has completed initial integration and testing of an “Angry Kitten” electronic attack (EA) pod with the MQ-9A Reaper unmanned air system.

Undertaken by the 556th Test and Evaluation Squadron (TES) at Creech Air Force Base, NV, from 10-28 April, the ground and flight tests were a precursor to follow-on testing in future Large Force Exercises (LFEs).

Angry Kitten was originally developed at the Georgia Tech Research Institute to serve as a testbed for adaptive electronic warfare (EW) techniques using Artifical Intelligence and Machine Learning. It was subsequently evolved into an “aggressor” training tool to emulate adversary EW effects.

According to the US Air Force, the Angry Kitten pod – using a standard AN/ALQ-167 shell – provides the MQ-9 with an enhanced EA capability against relevant ground and airborne threats in order to increase air vehicle survivability, and complicate adversary planning efforts. Test activities performed by the 556th TES focused on proving the concept of conducting EA from the MQ-9 to provide operational planners new force application options when confronting pacing threats.

Testing with the Angry Kitten pod is a first step in what the 556th TES hopes to achieve with the MQ-9 in the EA sphere. The squadron aims to further develop tactics, techniques and procedures against complex target sets through participation in future LFEs, such as Red Flag 23-3, and by integrating with the US Air Force Weapons School.

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