Navy eyes new JTIDS crypto modernization for communications information security and trusted computing

Feb. 5, 2020
JTIDS has secure spread-spectrum capability, yet military leaders have decided to boost the system's trusted-computing and crypto modernization.

SAN DIEGO – U.S. Navy airborne communications experts needed cryptography upgrades for the legacy Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS). They found their solution from Data Link Solutions LLC in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a joint venture between Collins Aerospace and BAE Systems.

Officials of the U.s. Naval Information Warfare Systems Command in San Diego announced a $9.1 million order to Data Link Solutions on Tuesday to provide 47 JTIDS cryptographic modernization kits to provide a build-to-print solution to maintain secure operations of Link 16 for all versions of the JTIDS terminal.

JTIDS, developed in the 1970s enables jet fighter and surveillance aircraft to share not only voice and data communications, but also to share graphic representations of targeting and situational awareness data.

JTIDS uses the Link 16 military tactical data link network with information security that enables military aircraft, ships, and ground forces to exchange their tactical picture in near-real time with a variety of information security measures.

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Deployment of JTIDS historically was slow and cumbersome because its hardware was large and expensive. Since its first deployments in the early 1980s, JTIDS largely has been superseded by the Link 16-equipped Multifunction Information Distribution System (MIDS).

JTIDS is an L-band distributed time division multiple access (DTDMA) network radio that produces a spread-spectrum signal using frequency- and phase-shift keying to spread the radiated power over a wide spectrum of frequencies.

Its spread-spectrum capability is designed to resist the effects of RF noise, jamming, and interception, military leaders have decided to boost the system's trusted-computing capability by boosting its security through the U.S. military Cryptographic Modernization Program.

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In addition to the 47 JTIDS crypto-modernization kits, this order includes program management, testing, and logistics support. United Technologies Corp. acquired Rockwell Collins for $30 billion last year and changed the company’s name to Collins Aerospace.

The order has an option that could bring its cumulative value to $12.1 million. Data Link Solutions will do the work in Wayne, N.J., and should be finished by July 2021.

For more information contact Data Link Solutions online at, or the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command at

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