The Boeing Co. and the U.S. Air Force say they’ve shown that a new type of communication pod for F-15 fighter jets, known as Talon HATE, can link together different types of aircraft and ground stations for secure communications.
The Boeing-developed system is designed to knit together the communication systems aboard F-15 jets and other traditional weapons systems, plus the F-22 stealth fighters built for the Air Force by Lockheed Martin. The F-22 uses a special type of networking system that’s optimized for stealthiness but poses a challenge for communication with non-stealth airplanes, as explained in this report from Foxtrot Alpha.
During a flight demonstration conducted out of Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, Talon HATE pods on two F-15C aircraft enabled test pilots to share information through a variety of channels, including the Wideband Global Satcom system, Boeing said in today’s news release.
“We’ve completed developmental flight test,” Lt. Col. Christopher Bradley, Air Force Talon HATE manager, said in the release. “We look forward to fielding this system, not only to immediately provide aircrews with actionable information faster and at a higher quality, but also to help the Air Force learn important lessons for the employment of tactical gateway systems in the future.”
Paul Geery, vice president of Phantom Works Mission Solutions and Boeing’s Talon HATE manager, said the networking platform represents “a giant leap forward in tactical fighter capability with real-time connectivity and expanded information sharing.”
Boeing said further tests will be conducted later this year with advanced sensors.
Even after today’s update, there’s much about the networking system that’s still a mystery – including an obvious puzzle: What does “HATE” stand for?