USAF to Unveil Fighter Comms Translator, Command and Control App (excerpt)
(Source: Air Force Magazine; issued Nov. 07, 2019)
By Rachel S. Cohen
The Air Force next month will roll out two initial batches of technology intended to help the F-22 and F-35 “talk,” and to provide a fuller picture of US combat assets in a particular area.

Starting in December, the service plans to demonstrate a new way of getting its two most advanced fighter jets to communicate using the first iteration of a secure, encrypted data link. Officials hope to introduce upgrades every four months, according to Preston Dunlap, the Air Force’s chief architect for the Advanced Battle Management System.

The data link will translate the information one platform sends—like location, targeting, and more—into a format the other can process, Dunlap said at a Nov. 7 conference hosted by Defense One. Over time, the Air Force hopes to introduce a new system that lets the planes talk more directly.

Getting the F-35 and F-22 to share data, and broadening the effort’s scope to help the other military services transmit information more easily, play into the Defense Department’s vision of more interconnected combat operations, which the Air Force is pursuing under ABMS. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the Air Force Magazine website.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The F-22 and F-35 are fitted with “different data links that operate on different frequencies with incompatible software,” Breaking Defense concisely reported Thursday. “F-22s use a unique Intra-Flight Data Link (IFDL) that works only with other F-22s, while the newer F-35s use the Multifunction Advanced Data Link (MADL), which can only talk to other F-35s.)


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