Air Force to enhance tactical air control vehicles

The Air Force has awarded BAE Systems a $120 million contract to boost voice and data communications on hundreds of its ground vehicles that coordinate aircraft operations.

Under the contract, BAE Systems, of Rockville, Md., will design, produce and install communications systems for 400 ground vehicles as part of the Air Force’s Tactical Air Control Party Modernization program, company officials said Jan. 28.

The contract might be worth as much as $233 million if all options are exercised.

The Vehicular Communications System, as they units are called, are designed to provide mobile voice and data communications for Air Force tactical air control groups while they operate in the battle space, the officials said.

The groups advise ground commanders and staff on aerospace power capabilities and assist in planning close-air-support operations using vehicle-mounted communications systems, man pack-radios and digital communications devices.

VCS units are used by tactical air controllers to advise ground commanders and coordinate aircraft operations. Since ground forces, military aircraft and ground control stations use a variety of different communications systems, VCS must accommodate multiple waveforms and data protocols.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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