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Release No: 104-98
March 11, 1998


Department of Defense representatives accepted initial delivery of the Low Volume Terminal of the Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) from MIDSCO Inc. in a ceremony at the Pentagon today. Undersecretary of Defense (Acquisition and Technology) Jacques Gansler spoke briefly on the value of international programs following receipt of the MIDS terminal from John Sputz, president of MIDSCO.

MIDS, the next generation of Link-16 terminals, is the Department of Defense's first successful cooperative development of an electronic systems program. It is a tactical, secure, jam resistant voice and data communications systems that will be fully interoperable with the earlier Link-16 system, the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS). It features new Link-16 capabilities for multinational and multiplatform interoperability in support of coalition forces.

The contract for the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) of this command, control, communications and intelligence (C3I) program was awarded in March 1994 by the U.S. Navy on behalf of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United States. Managed by the MIDS International Program Office, MIDS has been heralded as a model of acquisition reform and international cooperation. The program has been recognized with the David Packard Acquisition Excellence Award in March 1997 and the Department of Defense Value Engineering Award in May 1997.

In the current development phase, the participant countries have funded 108 EMD terminals and associated support equipment. MIDS customers include the European EF2000, the French RAFALE, and the U.S. F/A-18, F-16 and F-15. International production is expected to exceed 5,000 terminals. Earlier program deliveries included 11 MIDS simulators that are being used to integrate the capability into an array of combat systems.

MIDSCO Inc. is a U.S. chartered, international joint venture corporation located in Fairfield, N.J. MIDSCO's multinational management and technical staff is composed of professionals from its five member companies, which include ENOSA, GEC-Marconi Hazeltine, MID SpA (formerly Italtel), Siemens and Thomson-CSF.

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