The US Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) has awarded a contract to Cubic to build and trial an upgrade to the critical circuit card systems, which are integrated on the AN / USQ-167 common data link system (CDLS).
The development effort, which is being executed with funding of up to $1.3m, is claimed to have the potential to radically extend the system life.
Cubic Defense Applications, Communications and Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) division senior vice-president Mike Twyman said: "The navy's CDL system allows naval operators to track aircraft in any location relative to the vessel.
"It also provides 15 different waveforms needed to communicate with [the] US Air Force, army and coalition aircraft sensors in a network-centric manner."
Developed for applications requiring very high data rates and long operating ranges, the AN / USQ-167 dual-terminal CDLS offers CDL RF connection for US Navy aircraft carriers and large-deck amphibious assault vessels.
The system also increases the delivery speed and the volume of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data and video aboard navy vessels, while offering rapid, precise and secure distribution of intelligence data to the fleet.
It also provides encrypted operation in X and Ku-bands for transferring sensitive, voluminous data between vessels and airborne sensors.