F-22, F-35 Communications 2017

Cockpit, radar, helmet-mounted display, and other avionics
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neptune

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Unread post09 Nov 2017, 01:09

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... sh-443005/

USAF puts comms gateway for F-22 and F-35 back on shopping list

08 November, 2017
BY: Stephen Trimble

Washington DC
A communications system that can translate messages between the US Air Force’s most advanced and oldest fighters is back on the service’s expedited shopping list, according to a recent acquisition notice. The Air Force Lifecycle Management Center (AFLCMC) is asking suppliers to provide information about how they could deliver and integrate a “5th to 4th Generation Gateway” system on the USAF’s fighters within 12 months. Details of the USAF’s technical requirements for the gateway system are stamped “for official use only” in a 23 October request for information issued by AFLCMC, so are not publicly disclosed. The RFI represents the “government's market research to assess the current state of existing technical capabilities and interest from industry to provide a 5th Generation to 4th Generation Gateway operational capability in 12 months on airborne platforms,” the AFLCMC says to FlightGlobal. But the need for a system that can translate coded messages in stealth mode between fifth generation fighters, such as Lockheed Martin F-22s and F-35s, and fourth generation fighters, including Boeing F-15s and Lockheed F-16s, has been known for a long time.

The F-22 uses the intra-flight data link (IFDL) to communicate with other F-22s in stealth mode with a low probability of detection or interception. The F-35 uses the multifunction advanced data link (MADL) for the same purpose, but only with other F-35s. Neither the IFDL or MADL is compatible with data links by so-called “fourth-generation” fighters, such as Link-16 and Link-11, which send encrypted messages using waveforms that can be detected by adversaries. Developing a system that can bridge that gap has been pursued for more than a decade. In 2008, the USAF demonstrated that an F-22’s IFDL waveform could be translated into a waveform that could be received by Link-16. The demonstration used the Northrop Grumman Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN). That system is now fielded on USAF E-11s and RQ-4s, but still lacks the ability to bridge the IFDL and Link-16 waveforms operationally. In responses to questions by FlightGlobal, the AFLCMC emphasizes that the new RFI is not limited to potential new applications of the BACN gateway system.
:)

....again, and again!, maybe this time they can get the software loaded in both, before it gets cancelled!
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steve2267

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Unread post09 Nov 2017, 05:09

Since the F-35 MADL uses SDR (software defined radios)... is it possible to program MADL to grok IFDL so that the F-35's can communicate stealthily with the Raptors? Is it just programming the IFDL waveforms into the F-35? Or is the MADL SDR's incapable from a hardware standpoint?
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post09 Nov 2017, 05:28

Depends on the antennas and if the frequencies of IFDL and MADL are hardware compatible.
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
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Unread post09 Nov 2017, 10:51

That's going to upset some RU and canard lovers, I use to enjoy how terrible it was that the f-35 could talk on link 16 to the f-22, but the f-22 was mute threads. DOOMED I TELL YOU DOOMED

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Unread post25 Apr 2019, 22:09

There are a few threads about 'GATEWAYS' this one will have to do rather than start anotherie (no details in post below).
USAF Standing Up Urgent ‘5th To 4th Gateway’ Site
22 Apr 2019 Steve Trimble

"The U.S. Air Force is standing up a gateway communication system at an operational base to enable certain front-line fighters, including the Lockheed Martin F-35A, to transmit data to other aircraft types without compromising its stealth signature, according to a newly-released acquisition notice.

The site activation at a classified site reveals a behind-the-scenes effort by the Air Force to overcome a well-known limitation in the communications systems of so-called fifth-generation fighters. A “5th to 4th Gateway” allows the F-35 and Lockheed F-22 to transmit the volumes of data collected by their onboard sensors to other aircraft despite lacking a compatible data link....

...For nearly a decade, the Air Force had expressed interest in addressing the communications gap between fifth- and fourth-generation fighters, which include the Boeing F-15 and F-16. But a 2013 plan to launch a 5th to 4th Gateway program of record never materialized. Such a gateway can receive an IFDL or MADL transmission, then translate the message into a format and waveform that is compatible with Link 16 or other radios on fourth-generation fighters....

...the requirement for a 5th to 4th Gateway gained traction in late 2017. An undisclosed combatant command issued an urgent operational need for such a system. On Dec. 17, 2017, the Air Force awarded a $15 million contract to Northrop Grumman’s Mission Systems division for a 5th to 4th Gateway system, according to acquisition records. The award for the “risk reduction” effort had a maximum value of $72 million, according to Air Force acquisition data. Nearly 16 months later, the Air Force awarded Northrop a $4.29 million contract to stand up the first 5th to 4th Gateway field site “in theater,” an Air Force notice says.

Northrop declined to elaborate on the Air Force acquisition disclosures, but the company offers the Freedom 550 gateway system between IFDL, MADL and Link 16, among other data links. The site activation effort gets underway as the F-35A begins its first deployment to a combat zone. Four Air Force F-35As landed at Al Dhafra Air Base in the UAE on April 15 to support U.S. Central Command operations, which includes active combat zones in Syria and Afghanistan."

Source: https://aviationweek.com/defense/usaf-s ... teway-site
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post26 Apr 2019, 12:33

spazsinbad wrote:
USAF Standing Up Urgent ‘5th To 4th Gateway’ Site
22 Apr 2019 Steve Trimble

"The U.S. Air Force is standing up a gateway communication system at an operational base to enable certain front-line fighters, including the Lockheed Martin F-35A, to transmit data to other aircraft types without compromising its stealth signature, according to a newly-released acquisition notice.

The site activation at a classified site reveals a behind-the-scenes effort by the Air Force to overcome a well-known limitation in the communications systems of so-called fifth-generation fighters. A “5th to 4th Gateway” allows the F-35 and Lockheed F-22 to transmit the volumes of data collected by their onboard sensors to other aircraft despite lacking a compatible data link....

Source: https://aviationweek.com/defense/usaf-s ... teway-site


Likely for deployable ground systems to support BACN judging by these FY20 budget documents:

https://apps.dtic.mil/procurement/Y2020 ... B_2020.pdf
This BACN payload is controlled by ground stations that are comprised of two support elements: a Payload Control Element - Launch (PCE-L) and Payload Control Element - Mission (PCE-M). The RapidlyDeployable Payload Control Element (RD-PCE) will provide the same PCE-L and PCE-M functionality in rapidly deployable configuration.


https://apps.dtic.mil/procurement/Y2020 ... B_2020.pdf
Battlefield Airborne Communication Node (BACN) provides a Combatant Commander (CCDR) flexible, long-endurance, responsive airborne communications capability. BACN provides a dedicated airborne capability to conduct voice bridging/translation, Tactical Data Link (TDL) gateway, and TDL relay functions for beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) data communications. Funding will support procurement of aircraft engines to increase current BACN fleet service life expectancy. Funding also supports procurement of platform provisioning supplies. Funding will also be used to procure and integrate the Fifth-To-Fourth Generation Gateway (524 GW) Capability onto EQ-4B BACN fleet. Funding will support procurement and installation of retrofit kits to integrate Link 16 External Time Reference (ETR) with Global Positioning System (GPS) capability. Milestone/Development Status BACN includes the payload, its host platforms, and associated ground systems.

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