The Boeing Company [NYSE:BA] has successfully completed flight testing of components of the U.S. Air Force's new Weapon Data Link Network (WDLN), which has applications for a number of weapons systems.
Tests of new WDLN message formats demonstrated weapon system functionality in operational scenarios that require the use of network data links. The Air Force is developing this capability under the WDLN Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) program.
"These tests are a critical component of our on-going research to develop network-enabled weapons technology for multiple weapons platforms, especially Small Diameter Bomb Increment II, Joint Direct Attack Munition, Harpoon Block III and future advanced weapons programs," said Jim Belt, WDLN ACTD program manager for Boeing.
The WDLN's two-way communication will allow warfighters to designate moving targets; relay in-flight weapon commands, such as target-location updates and re-targeting; generate seeker commands to track a moving target; and transmit damage assessment information.
For the flight tests, Boeing provided surrogate F-15E launch platform avionics, a Small Diameter Bomb guidance unit, Link-16 and UHF Weapon Data Links and a surrogate weapon seeker. The tests were performed on a Boeing King Air test-bed aircraft.
The new WDLN messages were developed by a consortium of weapon and data link contractors and manufacturers, under the direction of the USAF Air Armament Center .