Danger Room: Top U.S. Stealth Jet Has to Talk to Allied Planes Over Unsecured Radio

20.02.13

Categorie: Air, David Axe, Stealth, U.K., Wired |
Tags: , , , ,

U.S. and British jets refuel during training off the North Carolina coast. <em>Photo: Air Force</em>

U.S. and British jets refuel during training off the North Carolina coast. Photo: Air Force

by DAVID AXE

For the first time, America’s top-of-the-line F-22 fighters and Britain’s own cutting-edge Typhoon jets have come together for intensive, long-term training in high-tech warfare. If only the planes could talk to each other on equal terms.

The F-22 and the twin-engine, delta-wing Typhoon — Europe’s latest warplane — are stuck with partially incompatible secure communications systems. For all their sophisticated engines, radars and weapons, the American and British pilots are reduced to one-way communication, from the Brits to the Yanks. That is, unless they want to talk via old-fashioned radio, which can be intercepted and triangulated and could betray the planes’ locations. That would undermine the whole purpose of the F-22′s radar-evading stealth design, and could pose a major problem if the Raptor and the Typhoon ever have to go to war together.

The F-22-Typhoon training is a big deal for both air forces. Previous encounters between U.S. Raptors and Typhoons from the U.K. and Germany were brief and, some say, rigged to handicap the arguably more capable F-22, widely considered the best aerial fighter ever. Operation Western Zephyr, as the combined American-British aerial training is known, essentially merges separate flying squadrons from both air arms for unprecedented levels of cooperation.

Read the rest at Danger Room.

|

One Response to “Danger Room: Top U.S. Stealth Jet Has to Talk to Allied Planes Over Unsecured Radio”

  1. jimmy says:

    How does a Raptor jockey communicate with tower control. I guess via hand signals. This could be why an unarmed Raptor was rumoured to have been shot down by a Chinese J-10 some time in Sept 2007 (or thereabouts) over the Chinese coast. This loss is being kept as a classified loss meaning no entry whatsoever on the records books.

Leave a Reply