L-3 to provide airborne digital data link to connect helicopters and Navy surface warships

PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md. – U.S. Navy helicopter avionics experts needed a digital data link to enable helicopters to share sensor information in real time with Navy surface warships. They found their solution from L3 Communications-West in Salt Lake City.

L-3 to provide airborne digital data link to connect helicopters and Navy surface warships
L-3 to provide airborne digital data link to connect helicopters and Navy surface warships
PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md. – U.S. Navy helicopter avionics experts needed a digital data link to enable helicopters to share sensor information in real time with Navy surface warships. They found their solution from L3 Communications-West in Salt Lake City.

Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., announced a $25.6 million contract Monday to L3 to build, test, and support AN/SRQ-4 Hawklink common data link systems for the Navy MH-60R Seahawk helicopter.

The AN/SRQ-4 is a situational awareness system that links the MH-60R helicopter with surface warships in the area. It provides command and control (C2), sensor data transfer, data link operation, and built-in-test.

The system provides real-time use of aircraft sensors to extend situational awareness over the horizon by enabling surveillance helicopters to data-link radar, video, networking, and acoustic data to Navy Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, Ticonderoga-class cruisers, and other surface warships.. Its control systems run on modern open-systems architectures, L3 officials say.

The AN/SRQ-4 supports anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-ship surveillance and targeting (ASST) missions; receives and distributes full-motion video; is IP-enabled and built to work with future network-centric applications; is compatible with the SAU7000 digital messaging interface; and has ruggedized construction and modules that are qualified to Navy shock and environmental standards.

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The system is interoperable with the CDL family of airborne terminals not only on the MH-60R, but also on the Fire Scout unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), the P-3 Orion surveillance turboprop aircraft, and the P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol jet.

It has a touch-screen graphic user interface for control and status; and has a growth path to dual-link operation, L3 officials say. The system is interoperable with the Navy SQQ-89 anti-submarine warfare system and shipboard Navigation Sensor System Interfaces (NAVSSI). It is software-configurable for Common Data Link (CDL) waveforms.

For this contract L3 will do the work in Salt Lake City; Atlanta; Mountain View, El Cajon, Oxnard, Sunnyvale, and Salinas, Calif.; Exeter and Dover, N.H.; Derby, Kan.; Boise, Idaho; York Haven, Pa.; Bohemia, N.Y.; Littleton and Stow, Mass.; Providence, R.I.; Fort Worth and Cedar Park, Texas; Minnetonka, Minn.; Phoenix; and Toronto, and should be finished by August 2020.

For more information contact L3 Communications-West online at www2.l3t.com/csw, or Naval Air Systems Command at www.navair.navy.mil.

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