When defense leaders choose technologies to support military fighters in the theater, they must check several different boxes to ensure that the right solutions are implemented. This includes reliability, accessibility and adaptability. The goal is to provide technology that meets the needs of the military fighter, maximizes readiness and lethality, and minimizes interruptions when updates need to be made. A long-standing relationship that illustrates this dynamic is that between the U.S. Navy and Collins Aerospace, in particular the use of ARC-210 software-defined radio.
Recently Collins Aerospace reached important stage from 50,000you delivery of Air Combat Electronics (PMA-209) to the Naval Air Command (NAVAIR), illustrating a strong and reliable link between organizations. So what components contribute to the foundation of such a relationship, and what can industry and defense leaders learn?
We spoke with Dr. Joseph Blank, Director, Tactical Airborne Communications, Mission Systems, at Collins Aerospace, about this news, and he quickly pointed out the importance of adaptability and open communication and collaboration. “The ARC-210 program was created in the 1990s with the Department of Defense and has stood the test of time because of our ability to anticipate customer needs and provide leading-edge communication technologies,” Dr. Blank explained. “And open lines of communication with the department were crucial to this delivery.”
Perhaps the most differentiating part of the ARC-210 program is the “future-proof” radio design, which has maintained shape, form, and function throughout its six iterations. “This approach ensures that regular updates can be made quickly, and combatants have the necessary communication and anti-jamming technology with simple software updates and replacement hardware replacements,” said Dr. Blank.
The latest iteration of the radio “brings the latest encryption and anti-jamming technologies, as well as the integration of next-generation network waveforms, which include the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) and second generation tactical UHF radio for NATO (SATURN), ”According to Collins Aerospace press release.
According to Dr. Blank, the reliability and ease of upgrading will continue to be priority factors for maintaining a strong connection with the Ministry of Defense and effective implementation of their communication needs. This is especially important as the need for bandwidth increases in the theater and the combat space becomes more contested and congested. Dr Blanc also explained that the ability to create new or modernized waveforms quickly points to the obvious need for an open systems architecture (PART), another factor contributing to continued innovation throughout the combat space.
“As a market leader in air communications, Collins Aerospace continues to commit to bringing tomorrow’s technology to the military fighter today,” he said. Ryan Bungee, Vice President and General Manager, Communication, navigation and guidance solutions in the official announcement. “We are proud to reach this important stage, continuing our legacy to provide our military and allied countries with reliable communication when it is most important.”