Project Kaiju – Air Force Research Program for Advanced Anti-Aircraft Countermeasures. Or Godzilla on Steroids.

project kaiju
No Project Kaiju is not about resurrecting Godzilla.

The US Air Force Research Laboratory is using the names of Japanese Fictional Monsters as names for various parts of anti-aircraft countermeasure systems. Named Project Kaiju, the program has nine components. The contract for the program is expected to drop in January, 2022. No, Godzilla hasn’t taken over the USAF Research lab.

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The Japanese term Kaiju means ‘monster’ or ‘strange beast’, of which Godzilla is considered the King. It was created in 1954. The Air Force Laboratory won’t be creating these beasts, but will be researching technologies that use AI and machine earning to counter the threats posed by our adversaries.

Although the United States has held ”air dominance” for years, peer-to-peer adversaries have closed the gap with new technologies. So the US is stepping into new territory in research to attempt to protect that dominance. Project Kaiju is a $150 Million Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) designed to let potential contractors know of the proposal.

However, “adversaries have closed the gap,” the documents state. “U.S. aircraft are increasingly required to operate in hostile environments heavily defended by integrated air-defense systems,” or IADS.

Those capabilities are only growing more advanced, with Air Force officials expecting adversaries to begin deploying “multi-spectrum technology” designed to take down U.S. planes and drones.

“That is, U.S. aircraft will be expected to counter IADS equipped with missiles guided by sensors that operate with various levels of coordination between the [electro-optic/infrared] and [radio frequency] regimes for detection, navigation and/or tracking processes,” the notice states.

The Air Force’s countermeasures for many of these defense methods have been “developed for a single spectrum threat” and aren’t calibrated to deal with all of them at the same time.

This is also becoming more of an issue for high-value airborne assets, or HVAA, which tend to fly high enough to stay out of the battlefield while giving support to troops on the ground.

“With adversaries understanding the importance of HVAA to mission success, as well as their vulnerabilities, HVAA may become a likely target for emerging longer-range advanced threats,” the notice states.

Nextgov

The AWACs (Airborne Warning and Control System) aircraft uses tactical air control capability over contested airspace with limited ground radar. Upgrading this situation with the new research is a very small part of Project Kaiju.

The E-3 Sentry is an airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft that provides all-weather surveillance, command, control and communications needed by commanders of U.S. and NATO air defense forces. As proven in Desert Storm, it is the premier air battle command and control aircraft in the world today. The E-3 Sentry is a modified Boeing 707/320 commercial airframe with a rotating radar dome. (U.S. Air Force photo)

The Project Kaiju components are:

Godzilla – performs the overarching program management of Project Kaiju. [Under the Godzilla task, contractors will manage the full scope of the project, including schedule, cost and “risk for the overall contract and for each individual research project and development activity.”]

Gamera – gathers “Big Data” intelligence. [Big Data for Cognitive Electronic Warfare Research]

King Ghidora – conducts software-designed radio research and emulates systems through software rather than hardware. [Software-Defined Radio Research]

Mecha Rodan – uses computer modeling and simulation to design new capabilities. [Multi-Spectrum Threat Defeat]

Kumonga – redesigns existing systems to meet weight and size requirements for constrained systems [RAPTURE Laboratory: Design, fabricate, test and document special purpose hardware to meet research and development test requirements for size, weight and power (SWAP) constrained program requirements]

Mothra – demonstrates electronic attack processing to assess enemy EA capabilities. [Electronic Attack Demo]

King Kong – uses existing government hardware to determine viability of integration into real-time technologies.[Real-Time Algorithm Development]

Baragon – develops systems to track and manage multiple electronic threats in real-time. [Radio Frequency Electronic Warfare Demonstrator (REWD) for Next Sortie Mission Data Reprogramming]

Colossus – develops techniques to layer electronic attack capabilities, creating a web of EA under control of a single Joint All Domain Command structure.[Advanced Threat Defeat]

SOFREP and Nextgov.

All in all, the new project Kaiju sounds like an interesting trip into the unknown world of cyber technology. Just remember: the fictional monsters of the Japanese Kaiju weren’t particularly easy to control. Lets hope this project won’t take after their namesakes.

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Featured photo: screenshot of Godzilla artwork via Amazon

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