Communications requirements are changing in tandem with new modes of military battlefield requirements. Until a few years ago, voice had been the predominant communications medium. Variable message format messages were adopted as the digitally aided close air support standard, however even with a concerted effort by the U.S. Defense Department to standardize requirements, there continues to be longstanding issues with interoperability, including significant loss of key data and slow refresh rates.
Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Redondo Beach, California has been awarded a $22,028,188 cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for a research project under the 100 Gb/s RF backbone (100G) Phase 2 program. Building on work that was performed under Phase 1 of the program, the contractor will develop and test an integrated prototype airborne datalink system that leverages state-of-the-art advances in high-order modulation, spatial multiplexing and other power and spectral efficiency technologies to achieve program goals. Fiscal 2015 research and development funds in the amount of $8,771,476 are being obligated at the time of award.
Goodrich Corporation, Surveillance & Reconnaissance Systems of Chelmsford, Massachusetts, was awarded a nearly $72 million U.S. Air Force contract to provide five dual band-110 Pod, two datalink upgrades to existing pods, two fixed ground stations, one mobile ground station, four ground station datalink receiver kits, initial spares, technical manuals, minimal initial engineering support for final in-country installation, integration, testing and a study for a potential fusion center. This supports a Foreign Military Sale program and Pakistani F-16 aircraft.