Software enables modern weapons integration into older military aircraft

TUCSON, Arizona. Raytheon engineers have developed a software solution for integrating of new weapons into older aircraft. The software can be implemented across various platforms and current bomb rack systems.

The software tool, called Envoy, enables integration of non-Universal Armament Interface (UAI) weapons -- a process that has been expensive and time consuming, requiring changes to aircraft operational flight programs -- into legacy platforms. It has already been demonstrated on F-16 and F-18 fighter aircraft and work is underway for integration on the MQ-9 unmanned aircraft system (UAS) and other international platforms.

The solution is adaptable software with an optional hardware suite that will enable a communication bridge between MIL-STD 1760 and Miniature Munition Store Interface (MMSI) weapon interfaces. This functionality enables older platforms to communicate with new, UAI type weapons. Envoy allows conversion between the physical layer (MIL-STD 1760 / MMS), and converts the legacy interfaces into the UAI message set so that advanced weapons can receive initialization and tasking messages.

Envoy, which was known as Interface Bridge, has been completely funded by Raytheon internally. It is adaptable across various platforms, carriage systems, and platform-to-weapon interfaces.