Government Computer News (GCN) covered ATAK’s use in the DARPA Persistent Close Air Support Program’s (PCAS) flight test at Nellis AFB for Close Air Support.
Close air support is an artful yet extremely dangerous endeavor in which personnel on the ground call for and direct air strikes in support of combat operations.
Given that today’s enemies can easily attack or move out of range before air strikes are coordinated, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency developed the Persistent Close Air Support prototype in 2010 to enable air and ground troops to share real-time situational awareness and weapons data. That collaboration between soldiers on the ground and pilots in the sky allows quick and positive identification of multiple targets at once, and targets can then be prioritized to fit mission goals and avoid unnecessary casualties….
The tests at Nellis used a variant of the PCAS-Ground software developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Special Operations Command, called the Android Tactical Assault Kit. According to DARPA, “ATAK is a situational awareness and targeting tool that has transitioned to thousands of individuals across the joint services.”