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MADL becomes a universal translator

3rd November 2020 - 14:30 GMT | by Thomas Withington in Toulouse

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Waveform used by the F-35 is being upgraded to ensure compatibility with the emerging ABMS concept from the USAF

The Multifunction Advanced Data Link (MADL) waveform is used for communication among F-35A/B/C aircraft, carried across the Northrop Grumman AN/ASQ-242 communications, navigation and identification system.

Ku-band frequencies of 12-18GHz give the waveform a low probability of detection/interception, helping to preserve the F-35’s low observability. The beamwidth of Ku-band transmissions allows them to be highly directional, enabling transmissions to be precisely directed towards the recipient aircraft. This reduces the risk that they will be overheard by hostile communications intelligence collectors.

Moreover, Ku-band antennas are small; therefore they can be easily accommodated on the aircraft without occupying too much exterior space or altering

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