The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is currently participating in a series of realistic simulated battlespace environments that test its mission system tactical data interoperability with other UK military platforms in the air/maritime environments.
In the latest simulated maritime scenario, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and US Navy pilots operated the F-35 mission system using Lockheed Martin desk top simulators at BAE System's UK Samlesbury site. The scenario saw the F-35 successfully linked with a Sea King Airborne Surveillance and Control (SKASaC) helicopter, the Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier, and a Type 45 Daring-class destroyer. SyntheSys was responsible for establishing and maintaining the data exchange mechanism used in support of the Type 45 participation.
This latest UK Lightning II Interoperability event and a previous event saw the real systems of the Queen Elizabeth-class Carrier, Type 45 and the Sentry E-3D operated with the UK Lightning II and other platform desk top simulators. Both the Type 45 and Sentry E-3D arrangements are noteworthy because they utilise UK Multi-Link Test Facility (MLTF) equipment that enables tactical data exchange using real Command and Mission System equipment.
SyntheSys provides the MLTF capability to the UK MOD, operating and supporting it for all Tactical Data Interoperability testing needs. Use of the MLTF equipment in these initial Interoperability tests provides confidence that the UK Lightning II can be readily incorporated into the UK operational tactical data exchange architecture.Further UK Lightning II Interoperability events are planned. A second phase of testing covering both maritime and air/land integration scenarios will run from 2014 to 2017. This phase will include other key UK military platforms and full integration of the Sea King Airborne Surveillance and Control (SKASaC) helicopter mission systems facility which also utilises the SyntheSys MLTF capability.