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Boeing, US Navy Conduct Successful F/A-18E/F Satellite Communications Test.
June 13, 2012
Boeing ..and the U.S. Navy have successfully completed an in-flight demonstration of a satellite communications (SATCOM) system that, if implemented, will enable F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircrews to conduct two-way, secure voice and data communications with other SATCOM-enabled aircraft, ships, ground forces and command centers.
The test took place May 23-30 at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division's Advanced Weapons Lab at China Lake, Calif., and was conducted by Air Test and Evaluation Squadron VX-31.
The SATCOM system was installed on a Navy EA-18G Growler -- a variant of the F/A-18F that includes a SATCOM antenna.
During the flight testing, the VX-31 aircrew conducted satellite-enabled secure voice and data transmissions with a "ground-based team" at China Lake and at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.
"Using the existing EA-18G architecture allowed Boeing and the Navy to demonstrate this capability less than 90 days after the initial request," [...]
First and foremost!....the F-35C is "Not replacing " the Super Hornet F-18E/F/G ...... Now that said,... is the Sat Comm. function included in the JSF, at this time? No doubt it could be added to the electronics but, I'm not aware of an existing JSF onboard antenna system other than maybe the AESA that might link a/c to satellite. Typical military systems are KU band spread spectrum in C-17, 130s, etc.
The JSF AN/APG-81 is provided by Northrup/ Grumman who is also developing B-??2 upgrades. Improvements being developed for B-??2 include ... a new Ku-??band active, electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, with the potential for extremely high ground resolution; and stealth-??compatible high-??rate satcoms systems.