In the United States, the next phase of flight tests of the promising XQ-58A Valkyrie drone has passed. This time, during the tests, the stealth UAV performed its main function. However, the test in this case was not recognized as successful.
The main function of the stealth drone is to act as a kind of gateway for secure communication and logistic interaction between the fifth generation F-22 and F-35 fighters in service with the US Air Force. The flight took place in a "cooperative format": an XQ-58A Valkyrie drone and two fighters - F-22 and F-35A.
As noted in the American press, the possibilities for the covert exchange of information "in a semi-autonomous mode" were being worked out. The fact is that today in the United States there is significant difficulty in performing joint operations with F-35 and F-22 fighters. They use different signal configurations and communication equipment. F-22 - IFDL system, F-35 - MADL system. This prevents such fighters from directly communicating with each other in a secure communications format. For the "communication" to take place, the UAV uses the gatewayONE system, which has already been called "a step towards the military Internet of things." It allows aircraft to exchange data without sending this data to the operational processing center.
According to The Drive, with the help of the aircraft gateway, which is the XQ-58A, it is possible to receive both data streams, converting the signals as a result so that they can be processed by two types of fifth generation fighters.
From the material:
This paints pilots a complete picture of where everyone else is, what they are doing and what they see on their sensory systems, and allows them to communicate with each other. Using a stealth drone for this is a new, much more attractive and relevant option than using bulky converted airliners or special capsules suspended from a stealth fighter.
The tests were carried out at the Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona. At the same time, the troops noted that the tests as a whole can hardly be called successful. The fact is that of the 18 initially designated test goals, only nine were achieved.
US Air Force Lt. Col. Keith Stowe on new tests:
Obviously, not everything went completely according to plan. It turned out that some time after takeoff, the communication equipment lost communication, and all the test goals could not be achieved. At the same time, gatewayONE equipment was initially able to configure a two-way data transmission channel between platforms.
What caused the loss of communication has not yet been reported.