The US Department of Defense is heavily investing
in current and future MIDS-JTRS development efforts. Data Link Solutions LLC and ViaSat Inc are each being awarded with contract modifications valued at $386.9 million and $96.2 million, respectively. Both modifications increase the ceiling of existing indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contracts that provide for the production and engineering efforts related to the MIDS-JTRS program. The Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) Joint Tactical Radio Systems (JTRS) program
replaces numerous legacy radios, reducing the need for excessive spares and logistics support. The software-defined MIDS-JTRS
is a 4-channel radio designed to run the complex Link 16 waveform and up to three additional communication protocols, including the Airborne Networking Waveform (ANW). Because MIDS-JTRS is a software-defined system, new capabilities can be added within the limits of a module’s on-board processing and storage capabilities. Both contracts combine purchases for the Navy, Air Force and the MIDS Program Office, as well as to 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 and the United Kingdom. DataLink Solutions will perform all relevant work at its Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Wayne, New Jersey facilities, whereas ViaSat will perform its work in Carlsbad, California. The ordering periods are expected to be completed by June 15, 2020.
What one sees, all see. Jam-resistant Link-16 radios automatically exchange battlefield information – particularly locations of friendly and enemy aircraft, ships and ground forces – among themselves in a long-range, line-of-sight network. For example, air surveillance tracking data from an Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft can be instantly shared with fighter aircraft and air defense units. More than a dozen countries have installed Link 16 terminals on over 19 different land, sea, and air platforms, making it an interoperability success story.