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Harris Corp awarded $53M production contract for US Navy MH-60R helicopter data link

11th September 2008 - 00:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS), an international communications and information technology company, has been awarded a $53 million contract modification by the U.S. Navy to produce the Ku-band Common Data Link (CDL) Hawklink system for the MH-60R Light Airborne Multi-Purpose System (LAMPS) helicopter. Hawklink is a high-speed digital data link that transmits tactical video, radar, acoustic and other sensor data from MH-60R helicopters to their host surface ships. The CDL Hawklink program could exceed $350 million by 2015 if the Navy exercises all options to equip as many as 350 aircraft and ships, including Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and Ticonderoga-class cruisers.

During this 3-year phase of the program, Harris and teammate BAE Systems will produce AN/SRQ-4 (Ku) field change kits that will be used to retrofit ships, and to provide AN/ARQ-58 Radio Terminal Sets for MH-60R aircraft. Contract provisions also include integrated logistics support and analysis, sustaining engineering, training, non-recurring and recurring engineering changes, and technical, administrative, and financial data.

Harris is the prime contractor for the CDL Hawklink program. This award is the continuation of a multi-year development effort between the Navy, Harris and BAE Systems that began in 1999 to prove the feasibility of using Tactical Common Data Links for the LAMPS application. As teammates during the development effort, Harris and BAE Systems successfully demonstrated an operational system consisting of both an airborne terminal and a shipboard terminal.

The MH-60R LAMPS helicopter will provide battle-group protection and add significant capability during coastal, littoral and regional conflicts. The AN/ARQ-58 CDL Hawklink will replace: (1) existing C-band AN/ARQ-44 data links on LAMPS helicopters and (2) upgrade existing C-band AN/SRQ-4 links on surface ships with a AN/SRQ-4 (Ku) conversion kit. Current LAMPS-equipped support ship classes include DDG 51, FFG 7 and CG 47.

With the ability to transmit over distances greater than 100 nautical miles at data rates exceeding 21 megabits per second, the CDL Hawklink will eliminate interference through use of Cooperative Engagement Capability; improve fleet interoperable communications; improve bandwidth capability of the LAMPS system; and facilitate transition to a network-centric architecture as the baseline for fleet CDL interoperability.

"We are very pleased to continue the production and testing of the Hawklink system, enabling delivery of the most advanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance networking data links to the Navy," said Wes Covell, president of Harris Defense Programs. "We look forward to continuing our close working relationship with the Navy and BAE Systems."

Harris Defense Programs develops, supplies, and integrates communications and information processing products, systems, and networks for a diverse base of aerospace, terrestrial and maritime applications supporting U.S. Department of Defense missions. Harris is committed to delivering leading-edge technologies that support the military's ongoing transformation to network-centric communications.

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