C4ISR

Navy awards a second $478.6M contract for joint tactical radios

MIDS JTRS radio

The Navy has awarded a second $478.6 million contract for four-channel, software-defined radios, bringing the total the military has committed to the radios over the past few weeks to nearly a billion dollars.

The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command in San Diego awarded the five-year indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to Data Links Solutions for the production, development and sustainment of the software-defined Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio Systems (MIDS JTRS) terminals.

Data Link, a joint venture of Rockwell Collins and BAE Systems, co-developed the radios under an earlier series of contracts with ViaSat, which in late May was awarded an identical five-year, $478.6 million contract. The combined total of the two is $957.2 million.

MIDS JTRS will upgrade the MIDS-LVT terminals and makes use of Link 16, a tactical data exchange network certified by the National Security Agency. The jam-resistant, line-of-sight radios are capable of delivering near-real time voice, data and images over long ranges and across a variety of platforms for ground, air and sea forces. SPAWAR said 99 percent of the radios will be used by the Navy and potentially other U.S. forces, with the remaining 1 percent available to NATO and as many as 24 partner countries.

In addition to their four current channels, the radios have three open channels to allow for future growth and include advanced networking waveforms such as the Tactical Targeting Network Technology, a low-latency technology used in ad hoc networks at the tactical edge.

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