Data link system

Cubic Global Defense (CGD) has announced the successful operational assessment of its wide band line of sight (WBLOS) data link system, incorporated into Northrop Grumman‘s MQ-8C Fire Scout.

The MQ-8C Fire Scout is a combat proven, unmanned helicopter system that offers real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), target-acquisition, laser designation and battle management to tactical users, without depending on manned aircraft or space-based assets.

Cubic’s data link system for the MQ-8C Fire Scout features the company’s two miniature multiband transceivers (MMT), enabling simultaneous Ku-band transmissions.

“Cubic provides compact, secure wide-band communications and networking solutions for use on manned or unmanned platforms.”

The MMT is a fast, compact, software defined radio that can be programmed and can operate with a standard, bandwidth-efficient common data link (CDL), and other waveforms.

The new data link will ensure the transfer of mission-critical data at high-speeds from the aircraft to ground forces and surface ships, leading to enhanced situational awareness before, during and after combat operations.

Cubic Global Defense communications, intelligence and surveillance systems executive vice-president Mike Twyman said: "Cubic provides compact, secure wide-band communications and networking solutions for use on manned or unmanned platforms.

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"The successful completion of the operational assessment of MQ-8C Fire Scout is a testament to our strong working partnership with Northrop Grumman."

Cubic was contracted by Northrop Grumman in 2012 to provide this multiband digital data link system for its MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopter, under which Cubic has delivered more than 20 units in production and spares to date.

Image: Northrop Grumman’s MQ-8C unmanned helicopter. Photo: courtesy of US Navy.