USAF F-22 Raptors participate in Trident Warrior 2013

The US Air Force and Navy units recently participated in an exercise called Trident Warrior 2013 from July 8 to July 19 at Langley AFB, Virginia.

According to a USAF release, the goal of the exercise was to integrate fourth and fifth-generation fighters using an experimental version of the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS)—which uses the Link 16 waveform. Aircraft participating in the exercise included the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, Boeing F-15C, F-15E and Navy F/A-18s. There also some Langley-based Northrop Grumman T-38s and USN E-2 Hawkeyes involved.JBLEf-22T38-1200

“This data link will give us a holistic view of what we are fighting against so we can focus on tactics without the need for constant updates,” says Lt Col Brian Beales, 1st Fighter Wing plans, programs and evaluations office chief. “Without that whole picture, the chances of loss of life or resources can increase greatly.”

Currently, the while the Raptors can link-up with each other with their intra-flight datalink (IFDL), the F-22 does not have Link-16 transmit capability. The Raptor can, however, receive data from other platforms using the Link-16 waveform. According to the USAF, this new technology will allow F-22 and fourth-generation jets to share data freely.

While the USAF release did not explicitly state this, the service did release pictures of a business jet equipped as a communications node to relay data between the jets. It is very likely that the “new technology” mentioned here is in fact a variation of the Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) or something similar.


The USAF release cites Capt Pete Tymitz, a 94th Fighter Squadron flight commander, who says if the new technology is implemented; it will afford pilots the opportunity to share tactical information between all aircraft.

I’m going to see if I can get some more details on this. I’m off to Oshkosh on Sunday for some civilian nonsense, so DEW Line might be a little quiet in the meantime.JBLEf-22x2-1200

11 Responses to USAF F-22 Raptors participate in Trident Warrior 2013

  1. Mehmet 29 July, 2013 at 3:15 am #

    In the meantime you can have a look at some great F-22 photos :

    F-22 Raptor Pictures

  2. Brian 5 August, 2013 at 5:42 pm #

    How is it, in this day and age of advanced communications that our modern-day fighters within the USAF and USN cannot inherently “speak” to one another? this should have been a capability required from concept development for all new A/C to have. We hear a lot about the force multiplier that Link 16 provides. It baffles me that our planners are not more thoughtful in their requirements preparation…still. The story above shouldn’t even exist. I hope the F-35 has Link 16 built in.

  3. Mike 6 August, 2013 at 12:21 am #

    I read somewhere that they intentionally left out Link-16 transmit capabilities in the F-22 because transmitting would give away its position.

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