US Army airborne radio upgrade allows more data sharing for thousands of Chinooks, Apaches, Black Hawks

Thanks to Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN), the U.S. Army helicopter fleet will benefit from the first major radio system upgrade since 2005. The radios will meet the government's data security requirements and work seamlessly with legacy communications systems, making installation easy and saving millions in integration costs.

In a recent software demonstration at the Army's Redstone Arsenal Engineering Lab in Huntsville, Alabama, Raytheon's newest RT-1987 radio successfully interfaced with the multiple flight management systems that control the radio and provide status updates to the aircrew.

"This demonstration proves that the Raytheon radios work with the legacy system and enable greater data sharing and increased security," said Scott Whatmough, vice president of Integrated Communications Systems in Raytheon's Space and Airborne Systems business.

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Along with supporting all of the legacy capabilities of the existing radio, the upgraded version will include two significant features – modern cryptography capabilities that offer data security and seamless support of the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite communications network, providing more than ten times the capacity of the legacy system it replaces.

The RT-1987 radio is the newest member of Raytheon's SkyFire family of software-defined radios for rotary and fixed wing, manned and unmanned aircraft. It meets the requirements of Joint Tactical Radio System software standards.

The SkyFire radios implement the Software Communication Architecture (SCA), making it easy to port a waveform from the government repository. SkyFire radios support numerous additional capabilities, including the new Soldier Radio Waveform (SRW) which was demonstrated to the Army last year.

The equipment upgrade is backward compatible with existing equipment installations to minimize platform modifications, simplify installation and significantly reduce aircraft upgrade costs.

Source: Raytheon Corporation (NYSE: RTN)
Date: Jul 13, 2014