Northrop Grumman’s In-Flight Data Transfer

By Tish Drake | May 14, 2008
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Northrop Grumman said it accomplished the first-ever real-time download and distribution of sensor information from an F-22 Raptor fighter to F-15 and F-16 via an airborne network and an F-22 datalink. This in-flight data transfer capability with its Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) leverages the Raptor’s sensor capabilities as a force multiplier and as a future enabler for enhanced effects-based planning, the company said. BACN is an airborne communications relay and network-centric information server that allows real-time information exchanges among many different communications systems. The system is currently installed on a Global Express business jet and NASA’s WB-57 high-altitude aircraft. The company accomplished the data download and distribution over an airborne network using a combination of BACN, an F-22-unique datalink and Link-16, the U.S. military’s primary datalink system.

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