The UK's first BAE Systems Harrier GR9 to fly with datalink equipment has made its 1h 40min debut sortie, linking up with a Royal Air Force Boeing E-3D Sentry airborne early warning and control aircraft.

Under a Tactical Information Exchange Capability (TIEC) upgrade placed in 2007, the Harrier has received a Link 16 datalink and integrated data modem, which will enable it to share digital information with other aircraft and ground forces in near real-time.

Operational capability is expected in late 2011, while a Panavia Tornado GR4 will also fly with the TIEC modifications within the next few months.

Source: Flight Daily News