L3Harris to build RF and microwave tactical networking terminals to link sensors aboard aircraft and ships

May 9, 2023
AN/SRQ-4 Hawklink terminal aboard Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and Ticonderoga-class cruisers provides command and control and sensor data transfer.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Navy shipboard communications experts will develop and build digital tactical networking datalinks to enable the MH-60R multimission helicopter to share information from sensors in real time with surface warships under terms of a potential $141.8 million contract announced in April.

Officials of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington are asking L-3Harris Communication Systems-West in Salt Lake City to develop and build the AN/SRQ-4 Radio Terminal Set (RTS) Common Data Link (CDL) Hawklink for surface combatants.

The initial one-year contract is for $16 million, and has options that could increase its value to $141.8 million and extend the contract's length through April 2028.

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The L3Harris rugged AN/SRQ-4 Hawklink shipboard terminal is aboard Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and Ticonderoga-class cruisers, and provides command and control, sensor data transfer, datalink operation, and built-in test, L3Harris officials say.

The tactical RF and microwave networking link enables surface ships and MH-60R helicopters to share information from radar, video, network, and acoustic data interfaces, and enables naval personnel to exploit aircraft sensor data in real time to extend situational awareness over the horizon. It has a range of about 100 nautical miles.

The Ku-band communications system runs on an open-systems architecture with touch-screen interfaces. Its 43-inch direction a antenna offers auto-switching between open-loop pointing and closed-loop tracking, depending on the range between the helicopter and the ship.

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The tactical data link terminal is interoperable with the AN/SQQ-89 warship undersea warfare combat system and shipboard navigation sensors. It is software-configurable with Common Data Link (CDL) waveforms, and is compatible with SAU7000 digital messaging interfaces.

In addition to the MH-60R helicopter, the system also can work with the Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), the P-8 Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft, and the P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft.

On this contract L3Harris will do the work in Salt Lake City, and should be finished by April 2023. For more information contact L3Harris Communications-West online at www.l3harris.com, or Naval Sea Systems Command at www.navsea.navy.mil.

About the Author

John Keller | Editor-in-Chief

John Keller is the Editor-in-Chief, Military & Aerospace Electronics Magazine--provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronics and optoelectronic technologies in military, space and commercial aviation applications. John has been a member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since 1989 and chief editor since 1995.

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