Navy asks L3Harris to upgrade information security for military communications that share tactical picture

Nov. 28, 2023
Link 16 provides real-time data communications, situational awareness and navigation, and jam-resistant crypto-secured digital voice.

SAN DIEGO – Secure communications experts at L3Harris Technologies, Inc. will upgrade information security for a U.S. military secure digital data and voice communications system under terms of a $15 million order announced earlier this month.

Officials of the Naval Information Warfare Systems Command (NAVWARSYSCOM) in San Diego are asking L3Harris Communication Systems-West in Salt Lake City for Secure Data Units (SDUs) for the Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) Low Volume Terminals (LVT) that support MIDS-LVT terminals and Link-16 capabilities.

These terminals provide secure, high-capacity, jam-resistant, digital data and voice communications capability for Navy, Air Force and Army systems, as well as U.S. allies.

The MIDS-LVT system provides high-capacity, jam-resistant digital data and voice secure communications capability for aircraft, ships, and ground applications. The MIDS-LVT block upgrade II involves crypto-modernization, enhanced throughput, and frequency remapping requirements.

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

MIDS-LVT was developed to provide secure Link 16 capability at a relatively low weight, volume, and cost. Link 16 provides real-time data communications, situational awareness and navigation, and in some cases digital voice, all in a jam-resistant, crypto-secured, information security package. Link 16 is a military tactical data link network for U.S. and NATO military forces.

With Link 16, military aircraft as well as ships and ground forces may exchange their tactical picture in near-real time. Link 16 also supports the exchange of text messages, imagery data and provides two channels of digital voice at 2.4 kilobits per second and/or 16 kilobits per second in any combination.

Link 16 is defined as one of the digital services of the JTIDS / MIDS in NATO's Standardization Agreement STANAG 5516. MIL-STD-6016 is the related United States Department of Defense Link 16 military standard.

Related: Northrop Grumman to install crypto-modernization beyond-line-of-sight Link 16 tactical data link on E-2D

This order is part of a long-term program designed to meet the requirements of U.S. and allied forces for communications among airborne, shipboard, and ground forces.

The terminals are being installed on the U.S. Navy F/A-18E/F, U.S. Air Force F-16, B-1, B-2 and B-52, and on U.S. and allied naval ships. This order brings the contract's cumulative total to $694 million, which will be added to a new contract line item number to the base contract for the procurement of SDUs, which expires in June 2025.

On this order L3Harris will do the work in Salt Lake City, and should be finished by June 2025. For more information contact L3Harris Communications Systems-West online at, or NAVWARSYSCOM at

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