Communications Gateway Between F-35 and F-22 Still TBD (excerpt)
(Source:; posted April, 03, 2017)
By Leigh Giangreco
WASHINGTON, DC --- Two of the US Air Force’s premier fifth-generation fighters, the Lockheed Martin F-35A Joint Strike Fighter Lightning II and F-22A Raptor, still can’t transmit data back and forth but the service’s plan to fix the communication gap is undetermined.

Today, the F-22’s Link 16 network can only receive data from the F-35. The JSF can both transmit and receive data with other Link 16 legacy aircraft including F-16, F-15 and other NATO aircraft, Brig Gen Scott Pleus, director of the F-35 Integration office tells FlightGlobal.

The F-35 would not receive F-22 data until a fourth to fifth generation gateway is deployed, but the timeline on that gateway is undecided, the service tells FlightGlobal. The USAF has plans for fourth to fifth-generation communications, which would cover the F-22’s Link 16 radio, but they’re not yet programmes of record.

The real crux of the matter is that F-22 — in addition to Link 16 — operates with uses an intra-flight data link (IFDL) to communication within the Raptor fleet, while the F-35 uses both legacy Link 16 and the Multi-Function Advanced Datalink (MADL), Pleus said in a 24 March interview with FlightGlobal.

Both IFDL and MADL have a low-probability of intercept and low-probability of detection capability that fends off jamming and eavesdropping. But the two systems can’t talk to each other in the same way the F-15C and F-22 can communicate using the Talon HATE pod, Pleus says.

“We don’t have anything like that and there’s currently nothing on the books for any testing,” he says. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, no the FlightGlobal website.


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