Navy looks to General Dynamics for big order in maritime radios for shipboard communications
SAN DIEGO – U.S. Navy shipboard communications experts are asking General Dynamics Corp. to provide AN/USC-61(C) maritime radios to enable Navy surface warships and submarines to communicate over high frequency (HF), ultra-high frequency (UHF) line of sight, UHF satellite communications (SATCOM), and very high frequency (VHF) radio bands.
Officials of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) in San Diego announced a $198.1 million contract Wednesday to the General Dynamics Mission Systems segment in Scottsdale, Ariz., to build AN/USC-61(C) digital modular radio (DMR) systems.
The contract includes high-frequency distribution amplifier group components, spare parts, and engineering services for continued fielding and maintenance of the maritime radio communications system.
The AN/USC-61(C) is a maritime software-defined radio (SDR) that has become standard for the U.S. military. The compact, multi-channel DMR provides several different waveforms and multi-level information security for voice and data communications.
The radio includes Embedded type 1 encryption; embedded red/black baseband switching and routing; co-site performance; reduced manpower requirements; single point of control for HF/VHF/UHF/SATCOM radio communications; and built-in test (BIT).
Software-defined radio waveforms are computer programs that enable SDR-enable radios to operate on different frequency bands with different encryption and cyber security functions. The AN/USC-61(C) operates on Navy surface ships, submarines, and other military platforms using frequencies from 2 MHz to 2 GHz.
General Dynamics has certified the DMR to pass secure voice and data at multiple independent levels of security (MILS) over HF, VHF, UHF, and SATCOM channels, and to withstand the effects of electromagnetic interference and other harsh operating conditions.
The DMR also is certified by the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) to be compliant with the U.S. government’s MIL-STD-188-181B/182A/183A requirements for UHF SATCOM. General Dynamics builds the AN/USC-61(C) using open-architecture standards.
This contract has a five-year ordering period to the contract award amount, and has one option that could bring its value to about $208.9 million. General Dynamics will do the work in Scottsdale, Ariz., and should be finished by December 2022.
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