Rafael Advanced Defense Systems has enhanced its fifth-generation Python-5 short-range air-to-air missile (AAM) with a networked capability, enabling it to acquire targets in a tactical air-to-air environment from associate aircraft equipped with the company’s Global Link software-defined radio (SDR) system.
Based on Rafael’s proprietary BNET technology, Global-Link is an advanced airborne multi-band (VHF/UHF+L) high-automation IP MANET (mobile ad hoc network) SDR, designed to augment the exchange of secure information between modern fighter aircraft in tactical operations. MANET is a multihop, self-configuring, and autonomous network that uses intermediate mobile nodes as a router and transmits data between mobile devices.
Using Multi-Channel Reception (MCR) technology, Global Link simultaneously supports legacy (AM/FM) communication and advanced MANET waveforms with high-capacity data, digital voice, video, and automatic multiple relays to create a tactical network between fast-jets that not only delivers enhanced airborne situational awareness but also provides an uplink to Rafael’s Python-5 and other AAMs.
As a consequence, a modern fighter aircraft equipped with Global Link is able to launch a Python-5 AAM towards a target that is derived from the tactical network and not from its own radar, Yaniv Rotem, Marketing and Business Development Director, Air-to-Air Missiles, Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, told Janes. According to Rotem, no additional transceiver is required to be installed on the aircraft because the same SDR enables the uplink functions to the missile.