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​An A-10 with a Persistent Close Air Support prototype installed conducts tests on the system. DARPA photo.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency recently wrapped up testing a new way to speed up air-to-ground coordination between an A-10 pilot and a joint terminal attack controller, with the JTAC calling in airstrikes by tapping a tablet. DARPA installed its Persistent Close Air Support prototype system on an A-10 at Nellis AFB, Nev., which flew 50 successful sorties this year. During the tests, the JTAC used a tablet computer to direct airstrikes, including a mix of laser- and GPS-guided munitions. Software connected to an onboard targeting system with a datalink connecting the pilot to the JTAC, DARPA said in a release. The system is aimed at improving the ability to share real-time situational awareness and weapons systems data, helping the team use smaller munitions to hit multiple or moving targets, according to DARPA.