Aircraft, satellites and other weapons that are designed using digital engineering will be designated as part of the Air Force’s new “eSeries” and receive the prefix “e”, Air Force Secretary Barbara Barrett announced Monday.
The move is mean to “inspire companies to embrace the possibilities embraced by digital engineering,” Barrett said during a Sept. 14 speech at the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber conference.
Service leaders — including Barrett and Air Force acquisition exec Will Roper — see digital engineering as a key enabler to reduce the cost and time needed to develop new weapon systems, using virtual modeling and simulation tools to design and test the product before a physical prototype is produced.
Boeing’s T-7A Red Hawk trainer jet will be the first aircraft to receive the new eSeries designator, Barrett said.
“The eT-7 is just the first in our vision of a long line of e-planes and e-sats,” she said. “For 73 years, the entire history of the Air Force, X-planes have represented technological innovation. Today, the e-plane and e-sat will join them in making history and ensuring airmen and space professionals have modern tools to protect our nation”.
The announcement initially prompted confusion over social media as users pointed out that the U.S. military already uses the prefix “E” to designate aircraft that carry equipment for electronic warfare, airborne early warning and airborne command and control missions, as well as those that provide communications relay and tactical data links.
Read more: Defence News