The Multifunction Advanced Data Link, planned for the F-22’s increment 3.2 software update, is probably out until further notice, according to Lockheed Martin’s F-22 program manager, George Shultz. Speaking with reporters last week at the company’s F-22 plant in Marietta, Ga., Shultz said it’s not official yet, but “we’ve been hearing” that Air Combat Command “is moving toward delaying MADL.” This data link is designed to give the F-22 the means of sharing data with other platforms without compromising its stealth cover. It is also planned for the B-2 and F-35. The reason for postponing MADL on the F-22 is the usual one: money. “The budget is strained,” said Shultz. “We still have Link 16” in the F-22 software, he noted. The 3.2 update is still planned to include the AIM-120D and AIM-9X missiles, advanced electronic warfare, geolocation, and electronic protection.
Top lawmakers on Capitol Hill announced Dec. 2 that they have reached a deal to extend the continuing resolution funding the government into February. Now, the House and Senate will have to scramble to pass the legislation by 11:59 p.m. Dec. 3 to avoid a temporary shutdown.