August 29, 2003: First 4-Ship of FA-22 Raptors

  • Published
  • Air Force Flight Test Center

Four F/A-22 Raptors flew a four-ship formation, a first for the new fighter. The formation was part of a flight test of the Intra-Flight Data Link, a data transmitter designed to let Raptor pilots share flight information with other aircrews automatically, without using radio communications. Three other Raptors were also in the air at the same time, undergoing their initial Operational Test and Evaluation the first time seven Raptors were airborne simultaneously.  

The intra-flight data link was a dedicated tactical data link used in the aircraft formation to transmit tactical information. A multiple access protocol for intra-flight data link called Carrier Sense Multiple Access based on Busy Tone was proposed by analyzing time delay performance of Carrier Sense Multiple Access based on Busy Tone protocol, the results show that Carrier Sense Multiple Access based on Busy Tone can meet combat requirement of intra-flight data transmission.

Operational Test and Evaluation was a fielded test, under realistic combat conditions, for a Major Defense Program of any item or component of a weapons system, equipment, or munitions for the purposes of determining its operational effectiveness and operational suitability for combat. To ensure test adequacy, OT&E testing should only incorporate validated, accredited threat representations unless coordinated with Director, Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E).

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