Boeing, in co-operation with the US Navy, is hoping to demonstrate seamlessly fusing data from multiple, different aircraft using multiple, different sensors in real time in the air in 2014, a senior company official says.

The "multi-ship/multi-spectral fusion demonstration" would see Northrop Grumman's E-2D Hawkeye airborne early warning aircraft link to Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets equipped with Raytheon APG-79 active electronically scanned array radars and a Lockheed Martin-built infrared search and track system to form a common operating picture, says Paul Summers, Boeing's director of Super Hornet and EA-18G programmes.

The aircraft are expected to share data via an advanced tactical datalink to effectively eliminate von Clausewitz's "fog of war", Summers says. Exponentially increased situational awareness should greatly expand air-to-air engagement ranges.

Boeing is planning to use Rockwell Collin's Tactical Targeting Network Technology (TTNT) waveform for the demonstration. The TTNT waveform has found favour within the USN because it has much greater throughput over greater ranges than the existing Link-16 datalink.

Summers says that the demonstration will likely be held on the east coast Patuxent River, Maryland.

Source: Flight International