Boeing tests networking pod for fighter jets

F-15 in flight
Maj. Ric Turner, an F-15 fighter pilot with the 40th Flight Test Squadron, flies a test mission with the Talon HATE Pod slung beneath the F-15’s fuselage. (U.S. Air Force Photo / Brandi Hansen)

The Boeing Co. and the U.S. Air Force say they’ve shown that a new type of communication pod for F-15 fighter jets, known as Talon HATE, can link together different types of aircraft and ground stations for secure communications.

The Boeing-developed system is designed to knit together the communication systems aboard F-15 jets and other traditional weapons systems, plus the F-22 stealth fighters built for the Air Force by Lockheed Martin. The F-22 uses a special¬†type of networking system that’s optimized for stealthiness but poses a challenge for communication with non-stealth airplanes, as explained in this report from Foxtrot Alpha.

During a flight demonstration conducted out of Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, Talon HATE pods on two F-15C aircraft enabled test pilots to share information through a variety of channels, including the Wideband Global Satcom system, Boeing said in today’s news release.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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