Joint tactical radios approved for aircraft integration

MIDS JTRS terminals to be used on Navy Super Hornet, select Air Force planes

The U.S. military’s next-generation radio system, the Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio System (MIDS JTRS), has been approved for a second increment of limited production, according to the joint program office overseeing the program.

MIDS JTRS will provide 42 terminals delivering advanced radio communication capabilities for the Navy’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the Air Force’s EC-130H Compass Call and RC-135 Rivet Joint, according to a release from the Joint Program Executive Office for the Joint Tactical Radio System (JPEO-JTRS).

“The MIDS JTRS Limited Production 2 decision is another major accomplishment for the MIDS program and the JTRS enterprise and advances the program one step closer to full production and the initial operating capability milestone,” Navy Capt. Scott Krambeck, MIDS program manager, said in a statement.

MIDS JTRS was originally authorized for limited production of 41 terminals last January, and received key National Security Agency certification last March.

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Designed to improve situational awareness for deployed forces, MIDS JTRS evolved from the military’s need to replace legacy radio systems and meet the transforming operational requirements for secure, wireless and integrated communications across forces, networks and platforms, all linked to the Global Information Grid. The new system will also reduce the number of varying types of radios and provide a single chassis, multiple-channel radio communications capability, JTRS officials said.

The MIDS JTRS is a software-defined networking terminal that aims to provide interoperable, affordable and secure tactical data link and programmable networking technologies to troops on the ground, according to JPEO-JTRS.

Speaking at the AFCEA West conference in San Diego on Jan. 25, Krambeck stressed the importance of the system’s interoperability. He discussed the possibilities for open-architecture approaches that would allow MIDS JTRS to be used with other network management systems, including the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical, and also different user interfaces like iPhone and Android.

“We’re about bridging networks and synergistically bringing warfighting on target,” he said.

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a staff writer covering military networks for Defense Systems.

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