Sun, Jun 17, 2012
New Capability Designed To Provide 2-Way Secure SATCOM For Super Hornet Aircrews
An in-flight demonstration of a satellite communications (SATCOM) system that, if implemented, will enable F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircrews to conduct two-way, secure voice and data communications with other SATCOM-enabled aircraft, ships, ground forces and command centers has been successfully completed by the U.S. Navy and Boeing. The test took place May 23-30 at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division's Advanced Weapons Lab at China Lake, CA, and was conducted by Air Test and Evaluation Squadron VX-31.
The SATCOM system was installed on a Navy EA-18G Growler – a variant of the F/A-18F that includes a SATCOM antenna. During the flight testing, the VX-31 aircrew conducted satellite-enabled secure voice and data transmissions with a ground-based team at China Lake and at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, MD.
"Using the existing EA-18G architecture allowed Boeing and the Navy to demonstrate this capability less than 90 days after the initial request," said Mike Gibbons, Boeing F/A-18 and EA-18 Programs vice president. "This approach significantly reduced risk, cost and testing schedule, while demonstrating this important communications capability for the Navy."
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