Multifunction Advanced Data Link

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Multifunction Advanced Data Link (MADL) is a fast switching narrow directional communications data link between stealth aircraft.[1] It began as a method to coordinate between F-35 aircraft (the Joint Strike Fighter), but HQ Air Combat Command wants to expand the capability to coordinate future USAF strike forces of all AF stealth aircraft, including the B-2, F-22, and unmanned systems. MADL is expected to provide needed throughput, latency, frequency-hopping and anti-jamming capability with phased Array Antenna Assemblies (AAAs) that send and receive tightly directed radio signals.[2] MADL uses the Ku band.[3]

The Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics directed the Air Force and Navy to integrate MADL among the F-22, F-35 and B-2, to one another and to the rest of network.

As of 2010, the Air Force has canceled upgrade plans for the F-22 to receive MADL citing technology maturity risks.

Critics contend that since Link 16 is the standard by which U.S. and Allied aircraft communicate, upgrades to Link-16 radios should be supported that can provide the same capabilities as MADL while maintaining interoperability.[citation needed]

Although having more range and speed than Link-16, MADL's line of sight nature restrict the scenarios where it can be used to connect beyond a four aircraft flight.[4]

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