Raytheon has been awarded a new $11.8m contract by the US Office of Naval Research to develop an advanced, cross-domain communication and engagement network for the US Navy.

The deal will see Raytheon research and develop networking technologies with the aim of enabling greater sensor interconnectivity, as well as improving integrated fires capabilities for naval operations.

Raytheon’s communications and interoperability for integrated fires (CIIF) will have the capability to offer situational awareness for force-wide integrated air and missile defence.

The CIIF will allow new and existing naval vessels, aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and expeditionary forces to communicate and share major information across data links.

The data links help connect one platform to another via radio frequencies in order to both transmit and receive digital information.

"CIIF brings the navy closer to full spectrum awareness, and ties together information from land, sea and air-based sensors in ways never before possible."

Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems Advanced Technology vice-president Colin Whelan said: “CIIF brings the navy closer to full spectrum awareness and supports distributed lethality.

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“Battlefield commanders need instant access to as much information as possible to protect critical assets and save lives.

“CIIF ties together that information from land, sea and air-based sensors, across the services in ways never before possible.”

CIIF will also leverage existing and planned sensor networking systems integrated on board naval vessels and aircraft, as well as in the US Marine Corps’ expeditionary systems and land-based test sites.

It also offers a greater information flow of integrated fires data, supporting higher fidelity situational awareness and data dissemination capability across the battle force.