Data Link Solutions Completes Tests of USN Tactical Radio System

10/22/2008 - CEDAR RAPIDS, IA - Data Link Solutions and the U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center have completed the first flight test of a networking tactical radio system. The test demonstrated the system's ability to interoperate with other communications, situational awareness, and navigation systems for increased mission effectiveness and survivability.

The Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio System (MIDS-JTRS) was tested aboard an F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft at the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division in Patuxent River, Maryland. The latest MIDS-JTRS design, using the Link 16 data exchange format, combines situational awareness capabilities and tactical navigation functionality for the first time. The system improves operational effectiveness through software enhancements, expanding capability without adding weight or consuming additional space or power.

"Use of MIDS-JTRS enables interoperable, secure communications with coalition allies through a common software-defined radio architecture," said Jim Pitts, MIDS-JTRS program director for Data Link Solutions. "This test marks the first successful use of JTRS in flight with Link 16 capabilities, allowing the pilot to communicate continuously with current networked ground-level and airborne radios."

Link 16 provides real-time data communications, situational awareness, navigation, and in some cases, digital voice, in a jam-resistant, crypto-secured package. Link 16 users gain situational awareness by exchanging digital data over a common communication link that is continuously and automatically updated in real time.

The MIDS-JTRS terminal is designed for plug-and-play interchangeability for U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force platforms that use current MIDS low-volume terminals. The test was part of a development contract between the U.S. Naval Air Warfare Center and Data Link Solutions to provide a certified MIDS-JTRS system by spring 2009. Work on the MIDS-JTRS program is being performed in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Wayne, New Jersey.

Data Link Solutions was established in 1996 by BAE Systems and Rockwell Collins to pursue the next generation Link 16 applications. With a heritage of more than 20 years of Link 16 design and production experience of more than 4,000 Link 16 systems delivered, DLS is a leading supplier of Link 16 terminals and software, as well as logistics and support services for air, land, and sea-based applications. DLS has provided MIDS terminals for more than 40 different platforms in 28 countries with product offerings that include the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS) Class 2 family, the Multi-functional Information Distribution System (MIDS) LVT-1 Low Volume Terminal, LVT 2/11 Terminals and the LVT-3 Fighter Data Link, along with the URC-138 Link 16 terminal and various country-unique data links.

Source: Rockwell-Collins Press Release

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