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Air Force-MIT Team Tests New Aircraft Data Link; Michael McAuliffe Quoted

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Hanscom Air Force Base
Hanscom Air Force Base

A communications technology team at Hanscom Air Force Base has demonstrated a new technology designed to bolster data sharing in the airborne battlefield.

The U.S. Air Force said Thursday that its Aerial Networks Division partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Lincoln Laboratory to form the Tactical Data Link Enhancements Team, which tested the new Heimdall tactical data link.

Heimdall uses new data link methods to help pilots perform and communicate better in highly contested environments.

“What our system does is provide the Air Force with an advanced capability not only for the aircraft of the future but the aircraft of today," said Michael McAuliffe, program manager for the Tactical Datalinks and Gateways Branch.

A modified F-15C Eagle equipped with the technology flew to Holloman AFB in New Mexico then met with aircraft from Eielson AFB and Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

Flight tests took place at White Sands Missile Range in N.M.  and over the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex. Aircraft deployed from Alaska were participating in the Northern Edge 21 exercise.