Special forces surveys industry for repair and upgrade of voice and data recorders for military helicopters

May 18, 2023
SOCOM officials will use information from responses to craft a future request for proposals to upgrade helicopter voice and data recorder.

FORT EUSTIS, Va. – U.S. special forces helicopter experts are surveying industry to find companies able to upgrade and sustain a voice and data recorder for military helicopters -- the 3253N VADR from GE Aviation in Grand Rapids, Mich.

The U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Technology Application Contracting Officer (TAKO) at Fort Eustis, Va., issued a sources-sought notice (H9224123R0012) this week for the Voice and Data Recorder (VADR) project.

SOCOM experts would like to hear from companies able to support and sustain the General Electric K6-VADR (Part Number 3253-K6) and their recurring software and configuration updates; develop and integrate the ability to record a multifunction display video source for incident and accident investigations; and upgrade the device to a threshold crash protected memory of 40 to 60 gigabytes, while allowing for future growth.

SOCOM also wants to upgrade the GE K6-VADR to meet ED-112A standards; to compress audio for long audio files that use little memory; add Gigabit Ethernet capability to reduce data download times; and to compress video for increased video recording with reduced memory loss.

Related: Army orders more UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters, avionics, and navigation control in $98.9 million order

In addition, SOCOM wants to upgrade the voice and data recorder with a non-CPM bulk memory larger than 64 to 128 gigabytes to allow for other data recording applications; with a processor capable of a minimum of 1200 to 1400 million of instructions per second (MIPS) for future operational needs; and with the ability of encrypting certain parameters.

SOCOM officials will use information from responses to craft a future request for proposals. Companies interested should email their qualifications to perform the defined work no later than 25 May 2023 to SOCOM's Genie Williams at [email protected].

A .pdf data sheet for the GE 3253N VADR is online at www.geaerospace.com/sites/default/files/2022-02/NVADR-Datasheet.pdf. More information on this sources-sought notice is online at https://sam.gov/opp/2a7a91f9317a45c49f65937e6fbfd520/view.

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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