Raytheon’s Ship Self Defense System (SSDS) established a digital air connection between a sea-based U.S. Navy ship and an airborne U.S. Marine Corps Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) F-35B aircraft for the first time.
The demonstrations proved the combat system’s ability to share digital tactical data from a JSF across a deployed Expeditionary Strike Group.
This capability, also referred to as Link 16 Digital Air Control (DAC) provides tactical, wireless integration between surface ships and aircraft, enhancing mission effectiveness through expanded situational awareness and interoperability.
Shared data between surface ships and aircraft can include:
- detected targets
- mission assignment and engagement status exchange (without voice communication)
- aircraft status information, such as fuel levels or weapons inventory
Working together with the U.S. Navy, Raytheon modified the current SSDS baseline (MK 2) to establish the DAC interface.
In just under 18 months, the capability was developed, tested and delivered to the USS WASP – and successfully demonstrated. Now proven, other SSDS MK 2-equipped ships will be upgraded to include this mission-enhancing Link 16 DAC capability.