Sikorsky considers developing new communications links to connect future combat helicopters and jet fighters

Nov. 3, 2021
Datalinks are modems that transfer information in unique ways, such that weapons made by the same company sometimes cannot connect to one another.

BETHESDA, Md. – Avionics designers at Lockheed Martin Corp. are exploring ways to connect Sikorsky’s next-generation helicopters with combat aircraft such as F-35 jet fighters. American Military News reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

3 Nov. 2021 -- The move is part of the company’s increased emphasis on networking all of the weapons it builds, which is running in parallel to several Pentagon initiatives to link all of its weapons on the battlefield.

Sikorsky is developing two next-generation helicopters: the Raider X and the Defiant X, which it is building with Boeing. The company is pitching the aircraft in the separate Future Vertical Lift competitions to replace the OH-58 Kiowa Warrior and the UH-60 Black Hawk. Bell is competing against Sikorsky in each contest.

Sikorsky is planning to equip a Black Hawk helicopter with special communications links that could be used on next-generation aircraft it is developing for the Army. The Black Hawk is expected to fly during upcoming Project Convergence exercises.

Related: L-3 to provide airborne digital data link to connect helicopters and Navy surface warships

Related: Navy works with Northrop Grumman to add Link 16 tactical networking capability to MQ-8C unmanned helicopter

Related: Air Force eyes interoperable data links for new and legacy jet fighters

John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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