After yearlong delay, Data Link Solutions to upgrade shipboard data networks

SAN DIEGO-Military communications experts at Data Link Solutions LLC in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, won a long-delayed contract in February for a major data communications system upgrade that will enhance the ability of Navy surface warships to exchange text and imagery with aircraft and ground forces.

Officials of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command announced a $25 million contract to Data Link Solutions for the Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) on Ship (MOS) Modernization (MOS MOD) program, which had been held up for a year due to Pentagon budget cutbacks and congressional sequestration.

Data Link Solutions, a joint venture of Rockwell Collins and BAE Systems, will upgrade shipboard data communications.
Data Link Solutions, a joint venture of Rockwell Collins and BAE Systems, will upgrade shipboard data communications.

The original solicitation for the MOS MOD program was issued in September 2011, and an award had been expected in 2013.

The program seeks to alleviate obsolescence and supportability issues of the MIDS shipboard system, which receives and transmits text and imagery to and from military aircraft and ground forces to share the tactical picture in near-real time.

The goal is to replace old MIDS on Ship components, such as the system's high-power amplifier (HPA), MIDS low-volume terminal (LVT), power supplies, software, and related components. The project also will prepare the MIDS on Ship system to accept future enhancements, such as enhanced throughput, concurrent multi-netting, and concurrent contention receive.

MIDS, the NATO term for the Link 16 military tactical data exchange network, represents an upgrade to the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System. Link 16 helps military forces exchange text messages and imagery data, and provides two channels of digital voice-one running at 2.4 kilobits per second and the other at 16 kilobits per second.

Data Link Solutions engineers will provide new hardware and software for a MOS MOD system that supports legacy MIDS JTRS and MIDS LVT-4 terminals for use on Navy surface warships. Company engineers also will build qualified and certified MOS MOD system hardware and spares, as well as provide logistics support. Data Link Solutions will do the work in Wayne, N.J., and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and should be finished by February 2017. Contract options could increase the value to $66.3 million and extend work through early 2022.

FOR MORE INFORMATION visit Data Link Solutions online at www.datalinksolutions.net.


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