Data Link Solutions Improves Battlefield Communications with New Tactical Targeting Network Technology on MIDS JTRS Terminals

Dec 2014

MIDS-JTRS wideband tactical radio photo

— The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command has awarded Data Link Solutions (DLS), a joint venture between BAE Systems and Rockwell Collins, an $89.5 million contract to bring the Tactical Targeting Network Technology (TTNT) waveform to the Multifunctional Information Distribution System (MIDS) Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) terminal. With the addition of TTNT functionality — marking the deployment of this capability for the first time — the enhanced MIDS JTRS terminals can significantly increase operational network capacities, improve network performance, and provide more capable and flexible network designs for the warfighter.

Developed by Rockwell Collins, TTNT is a secure, robust, and low latency IP-based waveform that delivers ad hoc mesh networking to the tactical edge. The ad hoc network enabled by TTNT allows warfighters to communicate directly and securely with one another without a pre-existing infrastructure, such as the framework required for Link 16 communications. The result is a MIDS JTRS terminal that offers the benefits of both Link 16 and the ad hoc TTNT networks. This proven and mature system can instantly and accurately share secure voice, imagery, and data across a dynamic battlespace to address the rapidly changing networking needs of today’s allied forces.

“By allowing the MIDS JTRS terminal to operate the TTNT waveform, warfighters will have access to higher throughput and low latency networking capabilities to meet the demands of new and evolving mission requirements,” said DLS Director Heather Robertson. “TTNT will provide the Department of Defense with a unique and beneficial networking capability that our troops do not have today.”

With its ad hoc IP networking capability, TTNT allows aircraft to enter and exit the communications network without network pre-planning. The masterless, self-healing networking capability ensures that even if a platform node is lost or leaves the area, the network remains active for all the other users.

The TTNT waveform is an enhancement to the MIDS JTRS offering, which is a networked communications system providing a single chassis, multiple-channel radio that significantly reduces the number of different and unique radios needed on the battlefield. The MIDS JTRS is a four-channel JTRS radio that includes Link 16 and Tactical Air Navigation (TACAN) functionality.

About Data Link Solutions

DLS was established in 1996 by two of the world leaders in military communications, Rockwell Collins and BAE Systems, to pursue next-generation Link 16 applications. DLS is a leading supplier of Link 16 terminals and software, as well as logistics and support services for air, land, and sea-based platforms. The company has a heritage of more than 20 years of Link 16 design and production experience, with more than 6,500 Link 16 systems delivered worldwide.

DLS has provided MIDS terminals for more than 40 different platforms in 38 countries. Product offerings include the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System Class 2 family, the Multi-functional Information Distribution System (MIDS) LVT and LVT-3 Fighter Data Link, the MIDS-LVT-2, the MIDS-On-Ship, the URC-138 Link 16 terminal, TacNet™ Tactical Radio and various country-unique data links. DLS is one of the only companies to provide MIDS-LVT variants including the Fighter Data Link, MIDS LVT-2/11, and MIDS-JTRS.