Northrop Grumman to upgrade E-2D airborne radio with MUOS SATCOM secure UHF communications capability

Oct. 15, 2021
AN/ARC-210 RT-2036 radio offers secure communications; interoperability with VHF and UHF radios; and high-speed, ad-hoc networked communications.

PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md. – Military radio communications experts at Northrop Grumman Corp. will upgrade radio equipment in the U.S. Navy E-2D carrier-based radar surveillance aircraft to include one channel of Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite communications (SATCOM) capability.

Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., are asking the Northrop Grumman Aeronautics Systems segment in Melbourne, Fla., to integrate MUOS SATCOM capability for the E-2D aircraft under terms of a $9.1 million order announced late last month.

Northrop Grumman is the builder and avionics systems integrator for the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft. Company engineers will integrate MUOS capability into the Hawkeye's AN/ARC-210 airborne radio from Collins Aerospace, a unit of Raytheon Technologies Corp., in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

This project will involve upgrading the Collins ARC-210 aboard the Hawkeye from the RT-1939A to the RT-2036 with MUOS capability. The AN/ARC-210 RT-2036(C) single-channel software-defined radio offers several different waveforms, high-speed mobile ad-hoc networking, and beyond-line-of-sight connectivity for data, voice, and imagery.

Related: Boeing looks into installing MUOS SATCOM system to improve communications aboard P-8A reconnaissance plane

The radio offers secure communications; form and fit compatibility with other ARC-210 radio versions; interoperability with VHF and UHF radios; high-speed, ad-hoc networked communications between jet aircraft and mobile ground forces; software/network management; SCA-compliant waveform development; software programmability; and is based on Collins TruNet networked communications.

MUOS SATCOM is for secure UHF communications for mobile, tactical ground, sea, and air operations. It can connect around the globe and into the Global Information Grid, as well as into the Defense Switching Network. MUOS capabilities include simultaneous voice, video, and mission data on a high-speed Internet Protocol-based system.

The AN/ARC-210 radio operates over frequencies from 30 to 512 MHz, covering UHF and VHF bands with AM, FM, and satellite communications. It includes embedded anti-jam waveforms like Have Quick and SINCGARS, and other data link and secure communications features for battlefield interoperability and transfer of data, voice, and imagery. The radios communicate with other avionics over a MIL-STD-1553 data bus.

The ARC-210 aircraft radio provides VHF close-air-support radio communications on 30-88 MHz frequencies; navigation on 108-118 MHz; air traffic control on 118-137 MHz; land mobile communications on 137-156 MHz; and maritime communications on 156-174 MHz.

Related: Boeing to build 11 new P-8A maritime patrol aircraft with integrated sensors, avionics, and communications

The radios also provide aircraft with UHF military and homeland defense communications on 225-512 MHz frequencies; and public-safety communications on 806-824, 851-869, 869-902, and 935-941 frequencies.

The AN/ARC-210 also has a connector in the back of the radio for an Ethernet input for network-centric warfare. It also provides embedded programmable information security per the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) Cryptographic Modernization Initiative.

On this order Northrop Grumman will do the work in Melbourne, Fla.; Boulder, Colo.; Liverpool, N.Y.; Menlo Park, Calif.; West Chester, Ohio; and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and should be finished by September 2024.

For more information contact Northrop Grumman Aeronautics Systems online at, Collins Aerospace at, or Naval Air Systems Command at

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