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Weakest link eliminated in international exercise

4th June 2019 - 12:00 GMT | by Helen Haxell in Lulea

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The wide availability of Link 16 is now removing interoperability issues between air power platforms during challenging international training exercises.

At an Arctic Challenge Exercise (ACE) press briefing in May, a Swedish Air Force official commented that when multiple players are working together in combat training scenarios, such as ACE, collectively, nations need to adapt to less advanced platforms.

‘Every time you bring a lot of countries together you always have to adapt to the weakest link. The weakest link might be that one aircraft type might not have Link 16, one aircraft might only be air to air or air to ground.

‘Throughout this journey we have found ourselves being less limited for every update on the aircraft so nowadays we don’t have to raise our hands and say sorry we cannot do that,’ the official said.

ACE comprises of different set scenarios and will cover areas such as high density and high threat, crisis management operations under a NATO mandate to a realistic training environment – all under air power.

With something this large, naturally challenges would be the complex scale it works on but the results are shown through ally interoperability.

Platforms participating includes Sweden’s Gripen which has its Gripen data link system along with a Link 16 or National Data Link which can enable a battlefield network.

Other aircraft participating in the exercise include the Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon.

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