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I was taking a look at pictures of the SLAM-ER when I noticed an F/A-18C carrying two AWW-13 datalink pods on its left wing. Why carry a second one? Does it increase signal strength or something?

Image from Wikipedia
Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:F-18C_with_SLAM-ER_missile_and_AWW-13_pods_in_flight.jpg

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    $\begingroup$ This being a question about military aircraft and intel systems, you are unlikely to get accurate factual answers. As pure speculation though: reasons may include Redundancy; extending bandwidth and/or channel count; Testing, calibration, simulation; training etc. $\endgroup$
    – Jpe61
    Mar 26, 2021 at 17:25
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    $\begingroup$ Btw, all in all a very peculiar payload on this one... $\endgroup$
    – Jpe61
    Mar 26, 2021 at 17:28

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That pic is from "the Naval Air Warfare Center, Weapons Division (NAWCWD)" So, testing and development.

Possible reasons (purely speculative):

  1. Testing capability/performance from the 2 different wing stations.
  2. Test/compare different software configs in each.
  3. Ferry one to somewhere else.
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