The US Naval Air Traffic Management Systems Program Office (PMA-213) has fielded the first MRQ-13 communications system onto the US Marine Corps (USMC) AN/TSQ-120D Control Tower.

The system was installed at an AN/TSQ-120D located at Marine Air Control Squadron 1 Company B at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California.

The AN/TSQ-120D temporary air traffic control tower is used by USMC during expeditionary operations to maintain vigilance for potential air traffic conflicts.

According to a Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) statement, the addition of MRQ-13 communications system replaces the tower’s current unsupportable communications subsystem.

The change enhances readiness and introduces commonality across the expeditionary control towers.

Additionally, the new communications subsystem meets the fiscal 2025 crypto-modernisation mandate.

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Commenting on the move, PMA-213 programme manager captain Kevin Watkins said that the rapid acquisition effort is a ‘quick, impactful win for the USMC.’

He added that it ‘squarely aligns with Commandants Force Design 2030 for a more agile and expeditionary Marine Corps Force posture.’

The MRQ-13 communications system is now expected to reach full operational capability and deployed for all Marine Corps Air Squadrons by the end of fiscal year 2022.

PMA-213 is the Naval Aviation Enterprise’s Program Office for all navy and Marine Corps Air Traffic Management Systems. It works to provide appropriate, cost-effective and sustainable decisive air traffic management capability to the forces.

Recently, the US Navy announced that it is working on a new mine countermeasure (MCM) sensor suite for MQ-8C Fire Scout uncrewed helicopter systems.

A land-based demonstration of the MCM prototype is expected to be conducted soon.