Airborne, maritime joint network passes key milestone

Next-generation system using advanced IP technologies advances to next stage

The component of the Joint Tactical Radio System intended for airborne and maritime platforms and land installations has successfully completed a critical design review that capped more than six months of system and subsystem assessments.

The Airborne and Maritime/Fixed Station Joint Tactical Radio System (AMF JTRS) component is on track to meet government specification milestones, officials at prime contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. and the Joint Program Executive Office for JTRS said today. The system and subsystem reviews were conducted to ensure that AMF JTRS will meet the requirements of its various users, the officials said.

When it reaches initial operating capability in 2014, AMF JTRS will link more than 100 platforms via a secure, Internet-like tactical network and offer connectivity to areas previously lacking communications infrastructure, the officials said. The modular system, which can operate on several waveforms, is designed to interface with existing radios, waveforms and systems.Lockheed Martin’s team includes BAE Systems Inc., General Dynamics Corp., Northrop Grumman Corp. and Raytheon Co.

“By connecting the warfighter to the Global Information Grid, AMF JTRS provide non-line-of-sight capabilities, wideband networking, clear communications, easy upgrades, seamless handoffs and the most critical benefit — interoperability with all users across the network,” said John Mengucci, president of Lockheed Martin Information Systems and Global Services-Defense.

Among the weapons systems and platforms that will ultimately use AMF JTRS are CH-47, Apache and Blackhawk helicopters; class IV unmanned aerial vehicles; Hercules aircraft, Marine Corps helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft; Navy aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers and submarines; and Air Force fixed and deployable ground command systems.

The Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin a $766 million contract in 2008 to design and develop AMF JTRS.

About the Author

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

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