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Taiwan Seeking Datalink Equipment for SeaGuardian Drones

The Taiwanese Air Force is requesting datalink equipment from the US to be integrated into its forthcoming MQ-9B SeaGuardian drones.

Datalink equipment is used to establish digital communications between aerial and ground systems.

It uses standardized radio technology operating on a high-frequency band to enable smooth air-to-ground communication exchanges with friendly aircraft.

According to the service, the equipment would allow MQ-9B drones to share information with a joint command-and-control system for a comprehensive overview of all ongoing military operations.

The four SeaGuardian drones that the Taiwanese Air Force is acquiring from the US already include line-of-sight ground data terminals and data connections for weapons integration.

The SeaGuardians

Developed by General Atomics, the MQ-9B drone reportedly features improved structural fatigue and damage tolerance and more robust flight control software.

It is also equipped with the latest technologies to allow operations in adverse weather, including icy conditions.

According to the company, the “highly modular” platform carries multiple mission payloads and a state-of-the-art detect-and-avoid system.

“The maritime variant of MQ-9B can be configured with cross-domain capabilities for a vast range of maritime surveillance operations, including anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and search and rescue,” General Atomics says on its website.

The SeaGuardians are expected to improve Taiwan’s ability to respond to threats by providing timely intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.

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