SAN DIEGO – U.S. Navy communications experts are awarding Data Link Solutions LLC in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a five-year contract worth nearly a billion dollars to provide digital tactical networking and voice communications capability for U.S. and allied aircraft, ground vehicles, and surface warships.
Officials of the Naval Information Warfare System Command in San Diego announced a $998.8 million five-year contract to Data Link Solutions this week to build and maintain Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) Joint Tactical Radio Systems (JTRS) terminals.A second source for MIDS JTRS radios -- Viasat Inc. in Carlsbad, Calif. -- this week also won an identical five-year contract to provide these tactical networking radios. Data Link Solutions comprises the BAE Systems Electronic Systems segment in Wayne, N.J., and the Raytheon Technologies Corp. Collins Aerospace segment in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
MIDS JTRS are line-of-sight radios for collecting and transmitting broadband, jam-resistant, secure data and voice across a variety of aircraft, surface ships, land vehicles, and command posts.
The MIDS JTRS terminal is a four-channel software-defined radio that delivers existing Link 16 tactical networking and situational awareness with concurrent multi-netting-4 and tactical air navigation (TACAN) functionality.
There are three variants of MIDS JTRS terminals: the Concurrent Multi-Netting-4; the Tactical Targeting Network Technology; and the F-22 variant.
Data Link Solutions and ViaSat will build, upgrade, and maintain MIDS JTRS terminals that provide three channels for future growth, including JTRS advanced networking waveforms such as tactical targeting network technology, multifunction advanced data link, intra-flight data link, and other advanced networking waveforms.
This contract combines purchases for the U.S. Navy and Air Force; other U.S. military organizations; and all NATO nations. The system is designed to provide interoperable, affordable, and secure MIDS tactical data link and programmable networking technologies and capabilities for the joint, coalition, and international warfighter, SPAWAR officials say.
The Data Link Solutions and ViaSat MIDS JTRS terminals combine network-centric communications capability with a real-time operating picture in one unit. The terminal’s dedicated Link 16 channel is interoperable with fielded MIDS-Low Volume Terminals (LVTs) and backward-compatible with legacy communications systems to exchange tactical picture information in real-time.
By retaining the existing MIDS-LVT form factor and interfaces, the MIDS JTRS terminal facilitates integration into aircraft, vehicles, and ships that already host MIDS-LVT. This approach minimizes life-cycle costs by leveraging past expenditures for platform integration of Link 16 and TACAN, while providing a gateway for new JTRS and other enhanced capabilities.
On this contract Data Link Solutions will do the work in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and Wayne, N.J., and should be finished by May 2025. For more information contact Data Link Solutions online at www.datalinksolutions.net, or the Naval Information Warfare System Command at www.public.navy.mil/navwar/Pages/default.aspx.