Golden Horde completes second flight demo

Air Force Test Center F-16DM 91-0465 ‘ET’ from the 40th Flight Test Squadron prepares to drop four CSDBs during the second Golden Horde test near Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, on February 19
USAF/ Tech Sgt John Raven

US AIR FORCE trials of its collaborative weapon technologies under the Golden Horde Vanguard programme are continuing to make progress following a second flight demonstration. The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) revealed details of the test on March 5, although it had taken place on February 19.

The aircraft used for the trial was Air Force Test Center F-16DM 91-0465 ‘ET’ from the 96th Test Wing/40th Flight Test Squadron at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Four Collaborative Small Diameter Bombs (CSDBs) were dropped from the aircraft during this second test. The first test had taken place on December 15 last year, when two CSDBs had been launched.

However, due to an improper weapon software load, the collaboration guidance commands were not sent to the weapon navigation system. Without the updated target locations, the weapons impacted a fail-safe target location.