Harris to continue tactical comm work

Harris Corp. won a four-year, $33.5 million follow-on contract from ViaSat Inc. for integration services and hardware for a U.S. military digital tactical communications system.

The work will be performed on Multifunctional Information Distribution System terminals that U.S. forces use for secure, jam-resistant communications. The follow-on award brings the overall value of the contract to Harris to $140 million.

Harris is providing an enhanced voice card, power supply assemblies, processor modules and the chassis for each of the terminals, as well as comprehensive environmental testing of the systems.

Most U.S. Air Force and NATO fighter aircraft today have voice or limited data communications capabilities that can connect with only selected aircraft. The Multifunctional Information Distribution System provides interoperable data communications that link fighter aircraft to airborne controllers, surveillance radars, collection assets, and ground-based command and control nodes.

The system's low volume, terminal Link-16 protocol provides combat aircraft with integrated information from the battlefield, including threat and targeting data, in near real-time.

The ViaSat/Harris team is under contract to the Navy Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command for full-rate production of various models of the systems, which are used by aircraft such as the Navy F/A-18 and the Air Force F-16, and also used in ground-based applications in shelters, vehicles and weapon systems such as the Patriot.

Harris of Melbourne, Fla., has about 13,000 employees and annual revenue of more than $3 billion. The company ranks No. 22 on Washington Technology's 2006 Top 100 list of federal IT prime contractors.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Washington Technology.

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