Northrop Grumman's Multifunction Advanced Data Link (MADL) waveform completed a successful F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter program flight test, a demonstration that validated eight years of developing an advanced communications link, according to the company.
The flight test established the MADL link between two F-35s using the aircraft's communications, navigation and identification (CNI) avionics. According to Northrop Grumman, the integrated CNI system gives F-35 pilots the equivalent capability of more than 27 avionics subsystems.
The MADL link passed data between aircraft to create a situational awareness picture on each of the F-35 cockpit displays.
"During the flight tests, MADL functioned reliably with excellent range at multiples of required specifications while demonstrating ability to network fifth-generation fighters," said Mike Twyman, vice president and general manager of the defense systems division for Northrop Grumman. "This success is a significant achievement for the F-35 program and enabling joint aerial concept of operations."