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US Stealth Jet Has To Talk To Allied Planes Over Unsecured Radio

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the that's-some-good-planning-there-lou dept.

The Military 270

Lasrick writes "David Axe at Wired's Danger Room explains: 'For the first time, America's top-of-the-line F-22 fighters and Britain's own cutting-edge Typhoon jets have come together for intensive, long-term training in high-tech warfare. If only the planes could talk to each other on equal terms. The F-22 and the twin-engine, delta-wing Typhoon — Europe’s latest warplane — are stuck with partially incompatible secure communications systems. For all their sophisticated engines, radars and weapons, the American and British pilots are reduced to one-way communication, from the Brits to the Yanks. That is, unless they want to talk via old-fashioned radio, which can be intercepted and triangulated and could betray the planes’ locations. That would undermine the whole purpose of the F-22s radar-evading stealth design, and could pose a major problem if the Raptor and the Typhoon ever have to go to war together.'"

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Ironic (-1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about a year and a half ago | (#42965695)

The Brits almost certainly invented the Cryptography involved in the 1st place!

Re:Ironic (4, Funny)

MountainMan101 (714389) | about a year and a half ago | (#42965717)

No, the Romans had it (hence their successful invasion of Britain).

Surely they could solve this using a verbal code.

From now on, frog is me, sandwich means you and lemon means rocket. So, come on, sandwich, build me a lemon â(TM)cause froggy wants to come home.

Re:Ironic (4, Informative)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about a year and a half ago | (#42965823)

Actually most of the stuff that makes up PKI (Public Key Infrastructure) was invented at Bletchly Park (UK) during the war. Obviously Encryption has a very long history but the encryption used in the F22 is probably loosely based on a Secure PBX designed by Alan Turing.

Re:Ironic (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42965937)

Turing, who was a buttfucker.

Good on the USA for not using gay technology!

Re:Ironic (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42966039)

Turing, who was a buttfucker.

Good on the USA for not using gay technology!

YOU A DICK THAT NEEDS TO GET YOU HEAD OUT OF YOU ASS

Re:Ironic (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42966141)

"YOU A DICK THAT NEEDS TO GET YOU HEAD OUT OF YOU ASS"

He was being intolerant of homosexuals. You're being intolerant of autosexuals. There's not much difference.

Re:Ironic (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42966483)

Turing, who was a buttfucker.

Good on the USA for not using gay technology!

YOU A DICK THAT NEEDS TO GET YOU HEAD OUT OF YOU ASS

YOU != YOU'RE

Re:Ironic (2)

pegdhcp (1158827) | about a year and a half ago | (#42965863)

Surely they could solve this using a verbal code.

I guess "secure" means more than "secret" in the context of TFA. As it is mentioned that regular radio can be triangulated, hence I am assuming that "secure radio" should be protected from that. Which might mean serious frequency hopping and probably bouncing signal from big birds flying above etc...

Re:Ironic (4, Funny)

MountainMan101 (714389) | about a year and a half ago | (#42965889)

You clearly failed to triangulate the humour as it flew over.

Re:Ironic (1)

hlavac (914630) | about a year and a half ago | (#42965913)

Probably extreme high frequency narrow beam to satellite.

Re:Ironic (4, Interesting)

garyebickford (222422) | about a year and a half ago | (#42967119)

You just triggered a thought. It is possible to build an emitter (transmitter + antenna) that simulates a completely different emitter, including a diffuse one. This is done by working backwards from the far field equations. This was originally done (AFAIK) to develop a sonic equivalent of a laser that worked underwater - the scientists worked backwards from the far field equation for a coherent sonic beam, and successfully came up with and built a sonic emitter that resulted in the desired coherent beam. Another recent related example of working the equations are the successful experiments in 'invisibility cloaks'. So by determining what the far field of a diffuse emission would be, it should be possible to build a radio transmitting system that was essentially invisible in the sense of determining where it came from, at least from a significant distance.

In fact, a similar methodology might be effective in countering the latest threat to stealth - reading the disturbances in the milieu of the many terrestrial radio sources such as cell towers and power lines. As early as the Kosovo war, experimenters successfully located stealth planes by measuring the distortions in the field that is generated by the cell tower network. This is somewhat like seeing the distortions of ocean waves caused by islands or other fixed objects. So, by continuously monitoring those fields, a stealth plane could compute the necessary interference to make its own distortions of the fields disappear.

Re:Ironic (1)

Paul Jakma (2677) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966559)

Since when does encryption prevent radio signals from being triangulated? (Hint: it doesn't).

Re:Ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42966747)

The technique used is almost certainly a form of spread-spectrum transmission, making its interception by an ordinary receiver unable to listen in or conventional triangulation useless.

Re:Ironic (3)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | about a year and a half ago | (#42965719)

Unfortunately they were too busy making tea to be smug about this latest development.

Re:Ironic (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42965769)

Unfortunately they were too busy making tea to be smug about this latest development.

At least we can brew a decent pot. This is WHY y'all were so late to World War Two. By the time the Yanks had finished chatting the girls up, the war was almost over! ;)

~S~

Re:Ironic (1)

jacknifetoaswan (2618987) | about a year and a half ago | (#42965855)

"So by the time America came in - ‘cause you were watching a U.S. cavalry film, ‘cause the U.S. cavalry always comes in right just towards the end of the film - ( sings charge melody ) "Ok, let's go America!" ( charge melody ) "I love the smell of Europe in the morning! So, how're you doing?", we were going, "Fucking ‘ell, where've you been?" "Ah, having breakfast. So, what's going on, hey?'" - Eddie Izzard (Dress to Kill)

Re:Ironic (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42965777)

Don't forget French and Poles. Credit where is due.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cryptanalysis_of_the_Enigma

Re:Ironic (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966159)

Indeed :)

Re:Ironic (5, Interesting)

dave420 (699308) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966283)

He was probably referring to public key cryptography, which was indeed invented in Britain first. Due to the official secrets act, it was not revealed until after some clever people in the US figured it out, too. Interesting anecdote: The Brit who came up with it figured out all the mathematics involved in his head without writing anything down, as he did it at home, where his job forbade him from writing anything work-related down.

Did they try Chinese? (4, Funny)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a year and a half ago | (#42965723)

I mean, they have hacked both US and Brit planes' software. So if we could persuade them to CC: the American and Brit planes, they could have direct encrypted communication, just a minor delay for round-tripping via Unit 6 1398 in the Beijing suburb.

Re:Did they try Chinese? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42966279)

"they have hacked both US and Brit planes' software"? Link?

Re:Did they try Chinese? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42966627)

almost thought you were chinese until you said shanghai is a suburb of beijing. well, florida is a suburb of new york, so maybe ... but more likely, troll -1

type44q (5, Funny)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a year and a half ago | (#42965729)

the American and British pilots are reduced to one-way communication, from the Brits to the Yanks.

That's okay; if the grammar and vocabularly of today's 20 and 30 year old Americans are any indication, our boys need to just shut the fuck up and listen. :p

Re:type44q (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42965825)

it helps the Brits that they can see the 'stealth' aircraft using their radar in any case - quite right about the level of education although, it has to be said, that the Brits are starting to lag behind the rest of Western Europe...

Re:type44q (4, Funny)

theVarangian (1948970) | about a year and a half ago | (#42965953)

the American and British pilots are reduced to one-way communication, from the Brits to the Yanks.

That's okay; if the grammar and vocabularly of today's 20 and 30 year old Americans are any indication, our boys need to just shut the fuck up and listen. :p

British youth aren't exactly any better. Come to think of it, it would be interesting to see a typical N-American urbanite speaking some street dialect and a cockney speaking Londoner trying to come up with a tactical plan. Headline: "Afghan based British and US aircraft bomb Faroe Islands, Pentagon/MOD reluctant to comment"

Re:type44q (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42966235)

i'm pretty sure london yoof, urban merican yoof and possibly jamaican youth could communicate fluently with each other and if they are on the same side without the need for high tech radio as noone else will understand a word. not unlike using native americans as radio operators in the world war.

but one way from the british may be by design, and only one message is expected "DON'T SHOOT ME!"

Re:type44q (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42965961)

oh, where to begin... first, what fuckwit puts their username as the subject? Second, way to over generalize... where do you get your info on today's youth, Readers Digest?

you're a complete fucking moron.

Re:type44q (4, Funny)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42965973)

That's okay; if the grammar and vocabularly of today's 20 and 30 year old Americans are any indication,

No, you've got the reason all wrong.

The reason for the one way communication is that the F22 pilots can't talk back due to having passed out from lack of oxygen.

They're all idiots (2)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966067)

the American and British pilots are reduced to one-way communication, from the Brits to the Yanks.

That's okay; if the grammar and vocabularly of today's 20 and 30 year old Americans are any indication, our boys need to just shut the fuck up and listen. :p

It's become clear to me from what I see on various internet forums, including Slashdot, that almost nobody under the age of 30 in any English speaking nation has an education worth having. So I wouldn't hold my breath that the Brits would be any better than Americans.

Re:They're all idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42966583)

perhaps you should go outside and interact with other humans. Not a great idea to form your opinions based on forum posts. Oh, and you are a moron.

Re:They're all idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42966637)

yeah, drone video is routinely sent in the clear ... morans all of them

Re:They're all idiots (1)

jacknifetoaswan (2618987) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966821)

What's a moran?

Re:They're all idiots (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42966975)

Maybe "MORAN, an acronym for Multi-Operator Radio Access Network"?

Or they all coincidentally have a surname that hails from the west of Ireland.

Re:They're all idiots (1)

Eunuchswear (210685) | about a year and a half ago | (#42967157)

So I wouldn't hold my breath that the Brits would be any better than Americans.

Could you re-write this in English please.

Nobody goes to war anymore. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42965739)

Today "wars" can be described as
- invasions
- grab natural resources and go
- wipe your competition

Enough said.

Re:Nobody goes to war anymore. (3, Insightful)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year and a half ago | (#42965843)

Africa is still full of old school wars. We just don't see them talked about on news because it's not really in interests of anyone to have voting sheep know that real wars are still fought, and as a result start thinking that wars aren't about sexy hardware and war heroes and supporting your troops (several from safety of at least one ocean away). Not having modern weaponry, good support base far away from conflict and hatred for your neighbour that can only be born from cohabiting for millenia makes for a wonderful pot dish of war.

Re:Nobody goes to war anymore. (2)

jacknifetoaswan (2618987) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966003)

The wars in Africa are old school, in the sense that it's a bunch of people fighting a bunch of people with somewhat decent weapons, on the ground. For the most part, they don't have fighter jets, they don't have close air support, they don't have forward air controllers, they don't have long range artillery, just a bunch of people with Kalashnikovs shooting each other. These are the types of wars that really haven't been fought by the developed world since about World War I.

Re:Nobody goes to war anymore. (5, Interesting)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966297)

Far more importantly, these are wars fought where people involved actually live. There is a massive disconnect in the Western countries about the entire concept of war, largely driven by mass media.

You see, even modern wars fought by West, like Iraq and Afghanistan are fought on the ground. The main difference is that one party only has army living out the realities of the war, while its civilian population is far away and doesn't have to experience any of the harsh reality of wars. Wars like Iraq and Afghanistan, only the enemy civilians are exposed to the war.

And yes, I know that official propaganda line is that they're not the enemy. It doesn't change the fact that they are treated like enemy civilians of occupied enemy nation, and the fact that they react like such civilians, by widely supporting local guerilla freedom fighters who are fighting asymmetric war against far more powerful invader that has no non-mercenary civilians of its own exposed to the war.

Personally I recommend BBC's Bomb Alley.

Re:Nobody goes to war anymore. (3, Insightful)

jacknifetoaswan (2618987) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966785)

I don't disagree with you there, at all.

That said, I personally disagree with the decoupling of civilians from enemy aggressors, as well as the focus on eliminating collateral damage. Sure, it makes you look nice in the papers, but if you're going to war with someone, it should be all-out war. Bring everybody in, decimate the aggressors, and be done with it. I'm tired of this line that we need to make sure that we're sensitive to the people that live there, when any one of them could strap a bomb on and kill twenty American soldiers.

Also, while I was and am a supporter of what the US did in Iraq, both from a 'remove Saddam' and 'build a relatively healthy, friendly nation,' I've become wholly unsupportive of our action in Afghanistan. We're just spinning our wheels in a country where we'll never be able to implement a healthy government, spending a metric crapload of money on people that will never support us, and overextending our active duty military (and reservists) such that we're now going to furlough them or lay them off, further reducing our expeditionary capabilities.

Re:Nobody goes to war anymore. (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966737)

There is no western interest in the areas mainly due to lack of oil in the ground. Or other sufficiently valuable resources.

No I say that wrong, as there are valuable resources in Africa. It is more that as long as those wars are fought, no-one is able to actually keep track of what western companies - who secure their installations using private-hire armies - remove from their lands. And that's a win for the western world, who as a result are not really interested in stopping those wars.

Well, also not entirely true, that is unless some islamists start to actually gain ground, like recently in Mali, after which western forces jump in to restore the balance of power and to prevent the conflict from ending.

I don't think the cypher is the problem. (4, Interesting)

Brandano (1192819) | about a year and a half ago | (#42965741)

If the F22 has to keep stealthy, it can't irradiate, period. Transmitting any sort of signal would allow a third party to triangulate its position. If the Typhoon is not concerned with hiding its position, it can transmit without worries. The only mitigation against discovery through listening in passively to the Raptor's transmission is to either devise a system to transmit on multiple frequencies in a way that cannot be distinguished with background noise, or hop frequencies in the hope that the eavesdropper won't be able to match the signal for more than a fraction of the time.

Re:I don't think the cypher is the problem. (4, Informative)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year and a half ago | (#42965849)

F22s can talk to each other, but it requires a special data link that is apparently top secret and cannot be given out to allied aircraft.

Re:I don't think the cypher is the problem. (4, Funny)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966603)

Two cans and a piece of string?

Re:I don't think the cypher is the problem. (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966779)

How is this even a problem? Why can an AWACS not simply relay the signal? The enemy already knows where the AWACS is, it's out of range.

Re:I don't think the cypher is the problem. (2)

way2trivial (601132) | about a year and a half ago | (#42965867)

why can't it transmit straight up only?

there is no way to ensure the emissions are entirely (at detectable levels) in the direction away from ground sources?
then you only have interception from countries with enough satellites to track that...

cuts a lot of nations out....

Re:I don't think the cypher is the problem. (4, Informative)

jacknifetoaswan (2618987) | about a year and a half ago | (#42965875)

Incorrect. The F-22 and F-35 have both active and passive seekers, and they're able to determine range, altitude, and bearing with just their passive seeker.

Re:I don't think the cypher is the problem. (5, Informative)

dywolf (2673597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966189)

Partly true.

In order to passively seek, there has to be something to be sought.
in other words, it only works if the other guy is actively emitting in some way.

if the other guy is also only passively seeking, neither one can see the other.
basic physics, engineering, logic, or whatever you want to call it.

the only passive seeker that will always remain effective is IR band, because they kinda need the engines to fly. but its also rather short range, wont give real accurate RAB (RAB being only really relevent for BVR) and if you're that close and can pickup his tailpipes, you already know where he's at, and which way hes going.

Re:I don't think the cypher is the problem. (4, Insightful)

jacknifetoaswan (2618987) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966267)

In a true air-to-air conflict, there will be radar signals bouncing all over the place, originating from everything from AWACS to SAM sites. There's plenty of emission, just from the defensive ground stations. A really good passive seeker is all you need for target acquisition, especially when your aircraft is equipped with fire-and-forget missiles that have their own active seeker, and require no intervention from the pilot of the firing aircraft.

Re:I don't think the cypher is the problem. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42965885)

Frequency hopping is already widely used in radio transmissions. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HAVE_QUICK )
The article is about the F-22 sharing its IFDL data with the Typhoon - mainly, feed other aircraft with its radar/target data.
It's a design/specification/protocol problem - the Americans are loathe to make the F-22 be nice and share - but I don't blame them.
Someone would have to pay for the upgrade and there really isn't much of a reason. The Raptor was designed as an air superiority fighter, the Typhoon is multi-role fighter. They're hunting for different things - the typical scenario is Wild Weasels knock out the radars, F-22s shoot down the enemy's air force and Typhoons take out ground targets at will.
It's just a typical sensationalist article.

Re:I don't think the cypher is the problem. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42966161)

If the Weasels are wild then by definition they aren't trained well enough to knock out a specific target. I'd say it's better to go with a Honey Badger. It'll take out everything because it just don't give a fuck.

Also, the pilots shouldn't use Foursquare (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42965987)

You'd think it was obvious, but there's more than one soldier been caught with a smartphone running a location app.

Re:I don't think the cypher is the problem. (4, Informative)

dywolf (2673597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966123)

precisely. its a non-story written by the same idiot at wired who constantly uses every opportunity he can to bash on the F22 and F35, while glossing over or ignoring inconvenient facts.

I'm not saying they arent without their problems...i'm saying the writer has proven in the past he has an axe to grind, much like the that Broder guy at NYT writing about the Tesla last week.

another thing he misses, is that most aircraft are not locked into a single design. it's entirely possible to replace the radios with other radios. you'd have to redraw some tech manuals, and maybe run some more wires. but its not unheard of and actually quite common for hardware to be updated.

Re:I don't think the cypher is the problem. (2)

RobertNotBob (597987) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966381)

Actually.... Nothing to rewire; modern weapon system are spec'd to be modular. As you mentioned, they are expected to outlive the technology of any given component... so the comm's gear should be easily replaceable by upgrades stuff in the future.

As of the idiot at WIRED... Look a the name... How can you say that he doesn't have an axe to grind? It's probably a pseudonym for that express purpose!

Re:I don't think the cypher is the problem. (1)

RobertNotBob (597987) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966419)

oops...

Dywolf,

I am aware we agree about the author of TFA.

omitted was an emphasis on the word DOESN'T....

Re:I don't think the cypher is the problem. (1)

trout007 (975317) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966869)

What about direction? Can you direct the signal towards satellites and away from ground radar?

Please for humanity's sake (1)

chaseDigger (2778687) | about a year and a half ago | (#42965789)

...."could pose a major problem if the Raptor and the Typhoon ever have to go to war together.'" Aww, such a sweet pair, and yet their communication is just not would it could have been when they are heading out to fuck humanity up the butthole.

ello govna (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42965821)

"That would undermine the whole purpose of the F-22s radar-evading stealth design, and could pose a major problem if the Raptor and the Typhoon ever have to go to war together."

The pilots speak different languages anyways, so who cares? ello govna!

War with Europe? (0)

johnny cashed (590023) | about a year and a half ago | (#42965833)

That would undermine the whole purpose of the F-22s radar-evading stealth design, and could pose a major problem if the Raptor and the Typhoon ever have to go to war together.

If the Raptor and Typhoon have to go to war, we'll have bigger problems.

Re:War with Europe? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year and a half ago | (#42965943)

"Go to war together", not "go to war with each other".

Re:War with Europe? (2)

bWareiWare.co.uk (660144) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966031)

Against who? Anyone who can field anything that could even shoot in the general direction of a single F-22 also have nukes.

Re:War with Europe? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966139)

Europe, according to the grandparent post.

Re:War with Europe? (2)

msauve (701917) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966255)

Against the stone-throwing terrorists, obviously. You've never heard of the "shock and awe" method of warfare? That's why $200,000,000 planes are needed to attack people with $20 AK-47s.

Re:War with Europe? (2)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966811)

TFA mentions that F22s would have been used in Lybia, if not for these communication issues. So there you have your answer.

Just like the B2 was used against Saddam in Iraq. Weapons the enemy doesn't have an answer to - that at least makes kinda sure your plane will come back unharmed, and that the mission will be accomplished. That doesn't mean a lesser aircraft could also have done the job, it's just making extra sure the job is done.

Re:War with Europe? (1)

kannibal_klown (531544) | about a year and a half ago | (#42965991)

Go to war together... meaning fighting on the same side. Such as a squadron of F-22's and Typhoons working together during an op / firefight / etc.

Link 16 (5, Interesting)

jacknifetoaswan (2618987) | about a year and a half ago | (#42965837)

As someone who once worked a project to implement Link 16 into a laptop on a HUMVEE, Link 16 is very easy to implement. If the Air Force wanted it, they'd have it. In all likelihood, the Air Force is unwilling to share the Raptor's targeting data, as they don't want the operational capabilities of the radar/IFF/command and decision systems to be revealed to anyone, including one of our closest allies. Such data can reveal the range of the radar, the resolution, and the characteristics of the radar when it comes to jamming and clutter. Obviously, all this data is classified as secret or above, and is almost certainly not for release to foreign individuals.

Remember, the F-22 is the only airborne weapons system that the US Government refuses to sell to other countries, because it's an apex predator. There's nothing out there that can rival it, and even the F-35, which is basically a follow-on of F-22 technology, is no match for it. Thus, we'll sell it to allied countries, but the F-22 stays US-only, in the case that if we're ever involved in an air war where we're back to old school air superiority, there are no air forces that can match ours.

That said, I remember reading an article a couple weeks ago, where a new pod is being installed in several US fighters that allow for interoperability with the F-22, over a form of encrypted radio. Basically, the pod allows the fighters to act as a sort of wireless access point, which interfaces with the F-22 and any other fighter with radios that don't talk the same language.

Re:Link 16 (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966017)

Obviously, all this data is classified as secret or above, and is almost certainly not for release to foreign individuals.

The USA, UK, Canada and Australia all have the administrative structure in place to share classified data with each other. Naturally not all classified data is to be shared, but classified doesn't imply not for fireigners.

The funny thing is that the NOFORN stuff is an entirely different mechanism done as trade protection, and while you can share it with any 2 bit sleaze bag multiple felon with US citizenship, you can't share it with your trusted allies sharing a clearance level.

Brilliant!

Re:Link 16 (1)

jacknifetoaswan (2618987) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966215)

Right...it's all about releasability. But again, it's not prudent that the USG allow for the release of some of the most important performance data on its top tier fighter to anyone, including its top tier allies.

Re:Link 16 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42966367)

No problem by me. We'll just give that "2 bit sleaze bag multiple felon with US citizenship" a few thousand USD and he'll give us any information we want. Or we'll tell him that we are helping his favorite political party or his favorite religion, and he'll give us the information for free.

Good thing you know how to prioritize.

Re:Link 16 (1)

jacknifetoaswan (2618987) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966885)

You're obviously a troll, but I'll bite - people given US security clearances have a VERY intensive background check done on them, as well as their friends. It includes inquisitions into their criminal record, their financials, as well as a thorough investigation into their associations, friends, and activities. These types of people are not the types that sell out their nation for a couple hundred bucks, regardless of what Hollywood wants you to believe.

Re:Link 16 (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966997)

people given US security clearances have a VERY intensive background check done on them,

Well, except members of congress who can get clearances of any level necessary for an investigation, regardless of their level of criminality and dodgy financials.

Actually, these days it's pretty unusual to have a congrescritter without dodgy financials.

Re:Link 16 (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966849)

The only problem is that if the US would ever start a serious war with say China, or one of China's allies, all China has to do is stop supplies of anything to the US.

That would quickly ground most equipment due to lack of parts.

And it would kill the rest of the population who would die from starvation, as after a while no more working microwaves to heat up their junk food.

Relative speed of technology (3, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | about a year and a half ago | (#42965839)

From TFA:

Efforts to upgrade Raptors with two-way Link 16 or another, more widely compatible datalink so far have been stymied by technical and budgetary problems. In 2008, the Air Force tested a ground station at Langley that was able to receive data from F-22s then pass it back up to other fighters

All this means to me is that the technology of the data network and the doctrine for using that network is evolving faster than the aircraft themselves.

The F-22's design is over 20 years old [wikipedia.org] . Think about what data networks looked like 20 years ago compared to today. Considering that the F-22 is an air superiority fighter and the current war is against an enemy who has no air force, I can see how the F-22 might not be at the top of the priority list for a comms refit.

Re:Relative speed of technology (0)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year and a half ago | (#42965917)

The space shuttles were first launched starting in 1982, but I'm pretty sure they upgraded the internal hardware every now and then, especially the computers and communications. I see no reason why the F-22's wouldn't have undergone more frequent refits, especially given the budget difference between NASA and the DoD. We haven't really needed them in war, so it's no problem to rotate them out every couple years to upgrade.

Re:Relative speed of technology (1)

Bazzargh (39195) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966395)

The F-22's design is over 20 years old [wikipedia.org] . Think about what data networks looked like 20 years ago compared to today.

Ah, so all the Tornado needs to do is watch the skies for a trailing Cat 5 cable, plug it into an ethernet port, and they're good to go!

Re:Relative speed of technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42966905)

Or RFC 1149 () to the rescue. Just picture it.

In one word: (1)

KublaCant (2847303) | about a year and a half ago | (#42965869)

Woosh

Nothing new; ammo incompatabilites pre-date (1)

dltaylor (7510) | about a year and a half ago | (#42965871)

When the US gov't gifted Chrysler with the M1 "designed for the European theater" contract to a facilitate THAT bailout, it used a 105 mm main gun, while the "NATO Standard" was 120 mm, which the Abrams later adopted. Really silly to have to carry a completely different set of ammunition: "We've got 10,000 rounds of main battle tank main gun ammo, Sir, but none of it fits the tanks that happen to be near our ammo carrier, so should we just throw the rounds at the Russians?".

I just hope the Saudi crews perform as well in the Leopard II as the Iraqis did in the T72, in case we ever have to suppress yet another US-backed potentate gone rogue.

Ssh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42965873)

That's easy. You just get a box at home, set up ssh to port forward everything, and just route all your traffic through that box.

What was the question again?

Doesn't fit the intended role (4, Interesting)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year and a half ago | (#42965915)

A good question is how much radar data from passive only F22 is to a typhoon that has its active radar powered up. F22 essentially cannot fire up its radar and stay stealthy for obvious reasons, so its passive radar only. The major part of data link is sharing targeting data. F22 is designed to feed off allied aircraft's search and fire control radar data for both target acquisition and weapon guidance.

Not having proper communications link is a bitch, that's certain. But F22 is just not designed to be fighting alongside aircraft it needs to talk to in the first place. It's the silent hunter that doesn't really see anything on its own, and just listens to what allied aircraft tells it via datalink or what it can scrounge up from passive sensor data, and then performs interception based on that data. It apparently can also occasionally fire up its own fire control radar in short pulses to minimize risk of detection, but it's simply not intended to be an actively radiating aircraft.

The stupidity here is that it has no standard NATO datalink for cases where it has to perform other roles. It's one of the reasons why F22 hasn't seen any combat to date. There are no pure air superiority missions in the modern world for US airforce, and F22 is pretty incapable of doing anything properly else because of the way it was designed. Lack of common data link is just one of the design choices that hurts that aircraft really badly when it comes to doing anything else.

Re:Doesn't fit the intended role (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42966089)

The F-22 has a phased array, spread spectrum "Low Probability Intercept" radar system. It can lock multiple targets, share those targets with other Raptors, and the targets Threat Warning Systems of those targets never even know they are locked up.

Stealthy airframe, stealthy target acquisition. You don't even know you are under attack until your IRST starts screaming about incoming missiles, which were launched with a 99% pk (probability of kill), or you just blow up because it was fired from a tail chase.

Re:Doesn't fit the intended role (1)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966769)

"Not a pound for the ground" worked very well for the F-15. If the F-22 is needed for air superiority those choices will be proven well made.

Solution (1)

jlebrech (810586) | about a year and a half ago | (#42965925)

Why not drop little sub transmitters with parachutes to translate the signals from secure to non-secure channel.

Please stop. (2)

mumblestheclown (569987) | about a year and a half ago | (#42965951)

The "writ large" subtext of the headline is that "somebody or somebodies in defense procurement is an idiot."

Not so fast there.

1. there are coordination costs and possibly size/weight penalties associated with installation of additional equipment.
2. the act of installing additional equipment and sharing the necessary protocols is itself a security weak spot.
3. it is hard to imagine where the two aircraft would be operating together and need direct ship to ship communications...
4. especially as they always have the ability to communicte indirectly via AWACS, etc.
5. and if they were in the air together, it is highly unlikely that whatever they'd transmit would be anything except other than a short time period thing that would be useless and impossible for an enemy to make use of (such as coordination information during an air-to-air engagement)

so let's be clear, smitty - what you are basically arguing is for FURTHER gilding the defense lilly and spending what will ultimately amount fo at least one human life's worth of effort to engineer this potential security hole for some highly unlikely engagement.

sorry, but no.

Triangulation (1)

Arancaytar (966377) | about a year and a half ago | (#42965977)

That is, unless they want to talk via old-fashioned radio, which can be intercepted and triangulated and could betray the planes’ locations.

This sounds as though the encryption is capable of evading triangulation. Don't know how they want to do that...

Re:Triangulation (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966129)

Encryption can make the signal look like normal background noise. You can bounce things of a sat with a tight upwards beam. You can compress it down and frequency hop all over he place. Hell you can do all of the above at the same time. But the signal that you cant tell is a signal and/or cant find quickly enough can not be triangulated in near real time.

Re:Triangulation (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966913)

You can't frequency hop very far, though. If you do, you'll run out of the passband of your aerial and the efficiency will suck. If you use a suitably wide front-end on your receiver then you can tell that *something* is there, well enough to triangulate it.

why stealth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42965985)

If the F22 is a top of the line fighter, why would it need stealth?

Re:why stealth (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966201)

For the same reason that the world MMA champion doesn't go around picking fights with enraged crocodiles: being the best of your species doesn't mean you're invincible. In this case, you want to avoid surface to air missiles.

Re:why stealth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42966475)

It's one of the things that make it a top of the line fighter,
being able to sneak up on victim and kill it before it even realized you are there.
Just look at nature and you will see that all/most of the top-players(tiger, crocodiles.....) uses to some degree stealth. It lower risk and saves energy.
even when man hunts other animals we uses stealth.

Easy solution (1)

bazorg (911295) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966073)

RAF and USAF pilots just need to use cockney rhyming slang. enemies will die laughing and the war ends quickly.

Re:Easy solution (1)

ledow (319597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966187)

Because "I have a bogey on my tail" is any less obscure. Personally, I'd be checking my Aristotle if someone said that.

Signed,

A Genuine Cockney.

Re:Easy solution (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966405)

I you want them to die laughing, just read them "The Joke."

Miscellanous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42966121)

The Link-16 US (NATO) airborne crypto-comms system was rather late to the fighter jet scene. Both the soviets, with their encrypted analogue symbol based ground-controlled interception infrastructure and the swedes with their amazingly advanced digital "Stril" systems preceded it. (What their Gripen has with the TIDLS comms system nowadays versus Link-16 is like a trekkie holodeck compared to TV at the Berlin Summer Olympics.)

The problem is, stealth aircraft can only talk to each other via directional beams (radio with a narrow cone of emission and well-supressed sidelobes or laser, if there is line of sight). Laser is dependent on the weather and there is no such thing as a perfectly supressed sidelobe. The communist czechs had their Tesla factory, which manufactured tape decks and a passive radar called Tamara, which specialized in collecting minuscule seeping radio emissons. After the soviet block fell, Uncle Sam purchased the Tesla company and promptly sent it to the grinders wholseale. Yet, the tech behind Tamara is know to the russians and the chinese and they have derivate systems.

What remains for the stealth aircraft is to communicate via encrypted directed radio beams with well-supressed sidelobes and hope that transmitting according to LPI (Low Probability of Intercept) algorythms will prevent the enemy not just from eavesdropping, but also from realizing that any transmission is going on. That beliefe better be true, as there are huge computing and advanced RF electronic requirements, as well as costs behind LPI, which principle is also used in radar emissions, especially with the new beam-steared AESA active radars.

Currently more and more air forces are trying to solve plane-to-plane comms via satellites, so the transmitting parties RF emmission beam points upwards and is more difficult to notice for the enemy. The drawback is the time skip if the sats are geo-stationary. if the sats fly low, they can become single point of failure as the enemy downs them with missiles. Anyhow, the cost of airborne satcom is very high, but e.g. the zionist entity pays for it using american pockets, so it is not a problem for them...

Fine by me. (0)

ledow (319597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966133)

"the American and British pilots are reduced to one-way communication, from the Brits to the Yanks."

Well, at least then we can claim ignorance. "Bomb that hospital over there", "wipe out that rocket launcher that's really a new reporters", etc. can be greeted with "Sorry, can't hear you. By the way, would you like to sign the Geneva Convention yet?"

Reminds me of Blackadder in the trenches trying to avoid the order to go "over the top":

"I said, there's a terrible line at my end. You are to advance on the enemy at once."

"Well, as far as I can tell, the message was, "he's got a terrible lion up his end, so there's an advantage to an enema at once."

pffft (1)

DaMattster (977781) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966213)

Another example of monumental stupidity! I mean, really, a monument should be dedicated to this one ....

Re:pffft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42966325)

You're an idiot. Seriously, read the comments here to get an education on what is and what is not stupidity, as well as WHY this aircraft doesn't talk to anyone else. Then, and only then, can you comment again.

It's not really an issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42966317)

You can't talk much without oxygen anyway.

Can you hear me now? (2)

rjejr (921275) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966345)

Maybe they can get all the pilots Verizon iPhones? Just don't let then use the Map app.

An easy problem to solve... (1)

tekrat (242117) | about a year and a half ago | (#42966427)

Just give me $350 Billion dollars --- said greedy defense contractor.

It's a feature (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42966451)

It's actually a feature. It saves the Britons from having to put up with what the Americans do to their language.

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