Skip to comments.New satellite communications aid F-16 mission
Posted on 03/07/2010 8:22:20 PM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld
This capability allows F-16 pilots to communicate using four geosynchronous satellites 22,300 miles above the equator.
F-16 pilots can now converse beyond the line of sight to command and control agencies in Iraq. Previously, pilots were relied on line of sight radio capability to communicate. With that, a straight line between the transmitting and receiving end was needed for successful communication, and it was limited by range, mountains and other obstructions.
Now with the satellite communication system high above the earth, the line of sight is no longer an issue.
"The new capability allows us to communicate with joint-terminal air controllers in the field from long distances over a very secure and reliable means," said Maj. Donald Freud, 77th EFS assistant director of operations. "It also allows us to communicate with command and control agencies hundreds of miles away when other communication means are unreliable. It is a force multiplier allowing for more centralized control, decentralized execution lending better battlespace awareness by the Combined Air Operations Center."
In its short use, the new frequency has proved beneficial to the aircrew. Members of the 77th were able to pass along word that an incoming sand storm was about to hit the area a pilot was flying in. The pilot was able to land early and safely due to the timely transmission of information
(Excerpt) Read more at f-16.net ...
Between the F-22 and the extended abilities of the F-16 (being manufactured — these are NOT old airframes), the F-35 looks more and more redundant (IMHO).
I would have thunk this capability was available 10-20 years ago.
They couldn’t just carry a Sat phone in the cockpit?
RF won’t go through the canopy, plus all stuff like that has to be run through the RF engineers for interference testing.
Think about putting a satellite dish in a little bitty F-16, and keeping it pointed at the satellite. Now they have "flat" array antennas which can track the satellites. Receiving was probably possible quite a while ago, but talking, that's harder.
If not, I thought AWACS provided this type of communication.