OPAL connects to NATO’s Link 16 ESG and IAI unveil groundbreaking interoperability

NEOS-OPAL demonstrator (credit: ESG)
NEOS-OPAL demonstrator (credit: ESG)

Germany’s ESG Elektroniksystem and Logistik, and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), have set up a groundbreaking demonstrator.

Based at ESG, this will highlight the exceptional interoperability achieved between the IAI-developed OPAL real-time net-centric warfare network (designated by ESG as NEOS), and the Link 16 tactical datalink. The collaboration aims at showcasing a German gateway solution that seamlessly converts messages between Link 16 and the real-time decentralized airborne OPAL/NEOS network.

The demonstrator is a significant leap forward in enhancing information exchange and mission effectiveness for air-combat operations. By integrating Link 16, widely used by NATO and allied forces, with the innovative OPAL network, interoperability between different platforms and mission efficiency are significantly improved. This opens up new possibilities for secure and efficient real-time data-sharing among diverse airborne assets, ensuring a higher level of situational awareness and more effective decision-making for complex operations.

The ESG-developed gateway is a key part of the demonstrator, seamlessly translating and converting messages between the established Link 16 network and OPAL, ensuring the seamless flow of critical real-time information without compromising security or reliability. This shows the potential of joining existing standardized systems with a state-of-the-art, decentralized communication and application cloud, to meet the evolving operational needs of modern warfare and air-defense.

Dr. Ingo Eickmann, EVP Strategic Business Development of ESG stated: “We are delighted to join forces with IAI in this endeavor, demonstrating the power of international cooperation and technological integration. Combining our expertise with IAI’s OPAL network, we can achieve seamless communication and interoperability between disparate systems, maximizing the effectiveness and safety of our armed forces.”

Shmuel Kuzi, EVP and General Manager of IAI’s Aviation Group said: “We are proud to collaborate with ESG on this remarkable joint demonstrator, which showcases the interoperability between the OPAL network and the widely-implemented Link 16 system. This highlights our commitment to developing innovative solutions to empower our customers with enhanced interoperability capabilities, fostering improved coordination and information sharing for optimal mission success.”

The joint demonstrator is a testament to ESG and IAI’s shared vision to provide cutting-edge solutions for the aerospace and defense sectors, marking an important milestone in the ongoing development of advanced communication networks and interoperable systems, and revolutionizing the way information is shared and utilized across air-defense operations.