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Northrop Grumman demonstrates 5h- to 4th-generation aircraft communications capabilities

28 May 2014

Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC) said it has built and demonstrated a unique communications capability for the US Department of Defense that enables fifth-generation aircraft to share information through existing data links with fourth-generation fighters to improve situational awareness and combat effectiveness.

The F-22 Raptor and the F-35 Lightning II are the world´s only operational fifth-generation stealth aircraft; fourth-generation fighters include the F-15, F-16 and F-18. The F-35 has three variants that will serve the US Air Force, US Marine Corps, US Navy, its partners and allies. Networking these aircraft will improve connectivity and communications, creating a force multiplier to dramatically increase the effectiveness of the total force.

Northrop Grumman demonstrated this “fifth-to-fourth” generation networking capability during a series of operational flight tests under the Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) program, referred to as Jetpack 5th to 4th JCTD.

The flight tests, conducted in late March at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, and in early April at Edwards Air Force Base, California, conclude the final phase of the JCTD program. Northrop Grumman is the lead contractor on the Jetpack 5th to 4th JCTD program, which was sponsored by the Office of the secretary of Defense (OSD), US Air Force Air Combat Command, Pacific Command and OSD´s Defense Microelectronics Activity.

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cyber, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide. Visit for more information.


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