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Release No: 119-98
March 18, 1998


The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency - Defense Information Systems Agency Advanced Information Technology Systems Joint Program Office, acting as the contracting and technical agent for the Defense Airborne Reconnaissance Office, last week signed agreements with two contractor teams for the second phase of the Tactical Common Data Link (TCDL) program.

The team of Harris Corp., Melbourne, Fla., GEC Marconi Hazeltine Corp., Wayne, N.J., and TSI TelSys Inc., Columbia, Md., was awarded an $8,050,000 modification to an existing agreement. The Harris Corp. team is providing $2,050,000 of this total as their cost-share.

The team of L3 Communications, Salt Lake City, Utah, and Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was awarded a $6 million modification to an existing agreement.

During the 18-month second phase, each team will build, test, and demonstrate prototype airborne and surface terminals, and deliver five airborne terminals and one surface terminal.

The TCDL program will develop a family of interoperable digital, secure, data links that will support both unmanned and manned airborne reconnaissance platforms. The TCDL system will initially be tested on a Predator unmanned air vehicle, and may be used by other systems, including Outrider, Hunter, Pioneer, Guardrail, Airborne Reconnaissance Low, or Navy P-3 platforms. TCDL will support these systems with air-to-surface transmission of radar, imagery, video and other sensor information at data rates of up to 10.7 megabits-per-second at ranges of up to 200 kilometers. The TCDL program's goal is to lower the cost, increase the availability, and increase competition for common data link interoperable equipment. The program is emphasizing an open systems architecture of state-of-the-art communications technology using commercial items and industry standard interfaces. The programmable features of the TCDL design will enable maximum flexibility in the data, while still allowing the system to interface with legacy common data link systems already in use by DoD.

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