The expected battlefield tactics of the 1980's and 1990's will be fluid and dynamic. If tactical reconnaissance is to meet this challenge, it must explore all ways of accelerating the flow of information through the reconnaissance cycle, from the moment a tasking request is received to the time the mission results are delivered to the requestor. In addition to near real-time dissemination of reconnaissance information, the mission planning phase needs to be more responsive to the rapidly changing battlefield scenario. By introducing Artificial Intelligence (AI) via an expert system to the mission planning phase, repetitive and computational tasks can be more readily performed by the ground-based mission planning system, thereby permitting the aircrew to devote more of their time to target study. Transporting the flight plan, plus other mission data, to the aircraft is simple with the Fairchild Data Transfer Equipment (DTE). Aircrews are relieved of the tedious, error-prone, and time-consuming task of manually keying-in avionics initialization data. Post-flight retrieval of mission data via the DTE will permit follow-on aircrews, just starting their mission planning phase, to capitalize on current threat data collected by the returning aircrew. Maintenance data retrieved from the recently flown mission will speed-up the aircraft turn-around by providing near-real time fault detection/isolation. As future avionics systems demand more information, a need for a computer-controlled, smart data base or expert system on-board the aircraft will emerge.