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Cubic Receives Subcontract To Develop Data Link Rq-7B Shadow 200 Tactical UAS

An RQ-7B shadow 200 Tactical UAV and it's launch vehicle. Credit: AAI.
by Staff Writers
San Diego CA (SPX) Nov 15, 2006
Cubic Defense Applications has received funding to integrate its advanced Tactical Common Data Link (TCDL) aboard the U.S. Army's RQ-7B Shadow 200 unmanned combat aircraft system manufactured by AAI Corporation. Under its contract with AAI, Cubic will place a compact version of the TCDL aboard the Shadow 200 by next summer for a government-sponsored demonstration of the data link's capabilities.

The Army's Aviation and Missile Command Redstone Arsenal awarded a contract to AAI this summer to develop, demonstrate and test advanced tactical common data link technology as a path toward achieving interoperability and connectivity among various manned and unmanned intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) platforms.

Cubic will modify its existing TCDL technology to install a reduced-size TCDL into a wing pocket of the unmanned aircraft. Engineers are currently working on integrating the TCDL into AAI's OneSystem Ground Control Station.

So far, variations of Cubic's TCDL are being used in several U.S. government programs, including the Navy Communications Data Link System and Fire Scout UAV. Cubic is also developing a combined TCDL-HIDL system for the United Kingdom's Watchkeeper UAV program.

"This contract gives Cubic a chance to demonstrate its TCDL technology on a smaller UAV platform," said Jim Ruane, director of Data Link Applications for Cubic. "TCDL will provide secure, high bandwidth streaming video from the Shadow unmanned aircraft system to the warfighter on the ground. Manned aircraft will also be able to utilize the Shadow sensor data while staying out of harm's way."

Related Links
Cubic Defense Applications
UAV Technology at

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