Raytheon Company (NYSE:RTN) will design and develop a Radar Common Data Link for the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory. The program will establish datalink connectivity with for active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar systems to enable rapid exchange of non-traditional ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance). The new protocols will match AESA radars installed in F-22, B-2, and the latest models of F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and F-15 aircraft. Raytheon is teamed with L-3 Communications and Boeing on the program. L-3 will provide experience with common data link waveforms. Boeing is the platform partner for integration of the AESA technology on the F-15 and F/A-18 aircraft.
The Department of Defense considers the program especially significant to non-traditional ISR tactical fighter missions. Air crews could use wide-band communication links to transfer imagery and other high-bandwidth information to and from AESA-equipped tactical, surveillance and bomber aircraft. The new capability will establish cost-effective, high-speed communication capability with existing tactical platforms, without the addition of dedicated datalink radios, providing the ability to publish time-critical information products to users on the global information grid.