Data Link Solutions, ViaSat win $957.2 million airborne tactical data link orders
SAN DIEGO, 6 July 2015. U.S. military radio communications experts are spending nearly a billion dollars for software-defined radio airborne tactical data link and networking equipment for aircraft, fixed sites, land vehicles, and surface warships.
Officials of the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) in San Diego has awarded two big contracts to build and maintain Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) Joint Tactical Radio Systems (JTRS) terminals.
The contracts were awarded to the two companies authorized to manufacture MIDS JTRS -- Data Link Solutions LLC in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a joint venture between Rockwell Collins and BAE Systems; and ViaSat Inc., Carlsbad, Calif.
The MIDS JTRS terminal is a four-channel software-defined radio that delivers existing Link 16 tactical networking and situational awareness with concurrent multi-netting-4 and tactical air navigation (TACAN) functionality.
Data Link Solutions won a $478.6 million MIDS JTRS production contract in mid-June, and ViaSat won a contract of identical value in late May. The total value of these MIDS JTRS production contracts is $957.2 million.
The MIDS JTRS terminal has three channels for future growth, including JTRS advanced networking waveforms such as tactical targeting network technology, multifunction advanced data link, intra-flight data link, and other advanced networking waveforms.
The system is a line-of-sight radio system for collecting and transmitting broadband, jam-resistant, secure data and voice across a variety of air, sea, and ground platforms.
The contract encompasses MIDS JTRS purchases for the U.S. Navy, as well as the governments of Austria, Chile, Finland, Israel, Jordan, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, NATO, and all NATO nations under the Foreign Military Sales program.
SPAWAR awarded the contracts to Data Link Solutions and ViaSat sole-source because these companies are the only responsible sources and no other suppliers or services will satisfy agency requirements, Navy officials say.
Data Link Solutions will do the work in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and Wayne, N.J., and should be finished by 2020. ViaSat will do its MIDS JTRS work in Carlsbad, Calif., and should be finished by May 2020.