Yes although Rockwell Collins would recommend for a complete long-range data link capability a combination of HFDL with satellite. Not only does this provide global coverage, but also redundant communications systems.
Yes it is cheaper but we would recommend to run HFDL in conjunction with either Satcom or Iridium
Yes, Iridium is seamlessly integrated with VHF, HFDL and Inmarsat-based satellite through Rockwell Collins' CPS.
HFDL provides true global coverage and a reliable redundant back-up communications system. Satellite coverage drops off around 80 degrees north and south latitude and using adaptive frequency management HFDL manages effects of weather or solar activity.
Yes, as well as a manual override that the Pilots are required to add, there are procedure transmission inhibitors that have been fitted to ensure that transmissions during fueling does not happen.
HFDL has 4 transfer rates based on the signal strength i.e. 300, 600, 1200 and 1800 bits per second (bps).The speed is automatically negotiated between the aircraft radio and ground radio. It is transparent to the crew.
No, Due to the speed of HFDL; HFDL is currently only certified for AOC and FANS.