A network-centric command and control system (NC3S) has conducted its first data transmission with a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) F/A-18 Hornet using link 16 technology.

The NC3S, designed by Boeing for the RAAF, is being provided under the project Vigilare.

NC3S combines information in near real time from a wide range of platforms, sensors, tactical data links and intelligence networks to deliver tactical and strategic-level surveillance operations and battlespace management in the air and joint domains.

The inputs are then fused to present a unified operational picture to the operator at single or multiple operational control centres.

The link 16 capability will allow the RAAF to securely transfer and receive critical tactical data to and from RAAF platforms such as the Wedgetail airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft, F/A-18 Hornets and F/A-18E/F Super Hornets.

Boeing has also developed a record and replay feature for the NC3S to enhance training and mission planning, allowing RAAF console operators to replay real and simulated scenarios numerous times to multiple operator consoles simultaneously, separately or concurrently.

A follow-on NC3S capability demonstration for the Commonwealth of Australia will take place in early 2010, in which an airborne RAAF Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft will transmit data using link 16 to the Vigilare system at the Northern Regional Operations Centre (NorthROC), RAAF Base Tindal.