U.S. Air Force to add video data link radios to extend warfighters' comms reach

MELBOURNE, Fla. Harris Corporation has won a five-year, $130 million (ceiling), single-award contract from the U.S. Air Force to develop and deliver Hand Held Video Data Link (HH VDL) radios that will significantly increase situational awareness and connectivity for warfighters.

According to Harris documents, the newly developed HH VDL radio will enable secure delivery of data to and from multiple airborne assets, thereby creating an expanded, mobile network. Such capability will carry real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance () information – such as full-motion video – to be distributed from airborne assets to warfighters on the ground.

HH VDL radios – which will replace existing incumbent ground ISR terminals that operate at the tactical edge of the battlespace – will use the Bandwidth Efficient Common (BE CDL), which is a communications waveform that enables secure, real-time distribution of time-critical data and full-motion video; the Harris radio will also be fully compliant with the Defense Department's Cryptographic Modernization Initiative (CMI).

Chris Young, president, Harris Communication Systems, said of the HH VDL award: “The ability to securely link air and ground assets with full-motion video and data provides an augmented site picture for commanders, and increases situational awareness for dismounted warfighters across the battlespace.”

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