What Disrupted Aircraft’s Complex Mission?

What Disrupted Aircraft’s Complex Mission?

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The Valkyrie UAV failed to translate and send data between fighter jets. The U.S. Air Force tested the use of a semi-autonomous drone, the Kratos XQ-58A Valkyrie equipped with a special payload, to stealthily translate and send data between F-35 and F-22 fighter jets.

However, technical issues encountered during the test, proof that the concept works is still months away.

Although the Valkyrie couldn’t transmit data between the F-22 and F-35, it still safety demonstrated that it could fly semi-autonomously in operations with the two stealth jets for the first time ever.

During the Dec. 9 demonstration at Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona, the Valkyrie was outfitted with gatewayONE, a system capable of translating information from the F-35′s Multifunctional Advanced Data Link and the F-22′s Intra-Flight Data Link into a format that can be understood by other aircraft, all while maintaining a low probability of enemy forces intercepting that data. But “shortly after takeoff, the communications payloads lost connectivity,” leaving nine out of 18 test objectives incomplete, the Air Force said in a news release cited by c4isrnet.com.

Early feedback from the test team indicates that, during the rocket-assisted takeoff of the Valkyrie, some of the gatewayONE hardware came loose from where it was mated to the drone.