Cross-Generation Talk

The Air Force is flight testing a device that will allow the F-15C Eagle and F-22 Raptor to exchange data. The podded system—dubbed the Talon HATE—is mounted on the fourth generation aircraft and will allow it to receive and translate data from the fifth-generation aircraft’s intra-flight datalink communicator and then redistribute it using the Multifunctional Information Distribution System-JTRS and Link 16 systems, IHS Jane’s 360 reported. In a September 2014 release announcing completion of the final design review of the Talon HATE, Boeing said the information passing through the pod can then be used by other aircraft, ships, and ground stations. Speaking to Air Force Magazine in April, Gen. Hawk Carlisle said layered aerial networking was one of the first capabilities called for in the Air Superiority 2030 study he expected to be fielded. Planners, he said, will consider how to keep the “family of systems,” rather than just aircraft, networked across the mission space, while developing new systems.