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A method and apparatus for providing RF-photonic filtering link. Specifically, one embodiment is an apparatus comprising a radio frequency (RF)-photonic filter for filtering an RF signal, where the RF-photonic filter comprises a loop comprising an electro-optical modulator, an optical fiber, a photo detector. Another embodiment is a method of operating an RF-photonic filter comprising applying a reference signal to the RF-photonic filter; selecting a reference frequency for the RF-photonic filter upon the RF-photonic filter locking to the reference frequency, disconnecting the reference signal; and applying an RF input signal to the RF-photonic filter to lock the RF input signal to the RF-photonic filter.