The US Air Force uses the F-35 with a QRIP device to collect flight data

The US Air Force uses the F-35 with a QRIP device to collect flight data
The US Air Force uses the F-35 with a QRIP device to collect flight data

A US Air Force test squadron hopes that a football-sized device could revolutionize the way data is collected in flight.

this is what we know

The device is called Quick Reaction Instrumentation Package (QRIP). The Air Combat Command’s 59th Test Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada began equipping fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II fighter jets with these devices earlier this year. The QRIP is located in the aircraft’s weapons compartment.

In an interview with Defense News on November 10, the squadron commander, Lt. Col. Nathan Malafa, said the US Air Force wants to use QRIP on other aircraft. It is possible that in the future the device will be installed on all aircraft of the US military.

The service constantly collects flight information from its aircraft. The data obtained is sent to contractors so that companies can improve the software of the fighters.

Before, instruments weighing more than 1,100 kilos were used to record the data, which occupied an entire compartment of the canyon and cost 25 million dollars.and sometimes you had to wait weeks or even months to have access to the data.

But, as is known, progress does not stand still. Technological advances have made it possible to create a more compact system with similar functionality. The QRIP is a football-sized device that weighs less than 4 kg. It bolts to the F-35 Lightning II’s gun bay and can record almost 1TB of data during flight. The cost per device is $230,000, which means it costs 100 times less than the old system, which weighs over 1 ton.

The QRIP is in sync with the fighter’s computers. The system collects information about altitude, power, performance and failures that occur during the flight. QRIP is already installed on several fighter jets F-35A Lightning II of the US Air Force. Using QRIP in real world missions will allow aircraft to collect more flight data that cannot be obtained in a test environment.

The US Air Force uses the F-35 with a QRIP device to collect flight data

So far, the US military has only used QRIP on the F-35, but the 59-xcdr intends to start equipping the device first in testing and then on F-22 Raptor fifth-generation fighter jets in 2023. The system will be different from the one used in the Lightning II, and is already under development.

The US Air Force is considering the creation of the QRIP for fourth generation fighters F-16 Fighting Falcon and the A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft. In addition, specialists are studying the possibility of installing the device on the MQ-9 Reaper drones and on the B-52 Stratofortress and B-21 Raider nuclear bombers.

The article is in Spanish


Tags: Air Force F35 QRIP device collect flight data

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