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Harris Gets Follow-On Production Contract For Military Tactical Communications System

An illustration of the MIDS network that will revolutionize battlefile communications.
by Staff Writers
Melbourne FL (SPX) Mar 07, 2007
Harris Corporation has received a four-year, $33.5 million follow-on contract from ViaSat, Inc. for additional hardware for integration into the Multifunctional Information Distribution System terminals that provide U.S. military forces with secure, jam-resistant digital tactical 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 completed assemblies for ViaSat's Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) Low Volume Terminal (LVT), which provides U.S. military forces with voice and data transmission capabilities based on the Link-16 protocol for digital tactical communications.

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

The MIDS LVT Link-16 protocol provides combat aircraft with integrated information from the battlefield, including threat and targeting data in near real-time. All U.S.-allied nations are strong potential customers for the MIDS application.

"The MIDS program combines the very best of Harris Corporation's proven expertise in communications systems integration, and highlights the success of the strong, long-term relationship we have with ViaSat," said Sheldon Fox, vice president and general manager of Department of Defense Programs, Harris Government Communications Systems Division. "The ViaSat/Harris team continues its commitment to providing superior, interoperable, tactical communications solutions to the warfighter."

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

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