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Data Link Solutions selected to provide BAE Systems’ FireNet tactical systems for US Navy.

| Naval News Navy 2024

The U.S. Navy has awarded Data Link Solutions, a joint venture between BAE Systems and Rockwell Collins, a contract to provide small form factor (SFF) Link 16 radios, which will be fulfilled using BAE Systems’ FireNet Link 16 tactical systems. FireNet is a scalable, secure, and open system architecture communications solution with a unified tactical network to enable Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) operations.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 SWaP-C open architecture radio enables Link 16 connectivity for JADC2 operations (Picture source: BAE Systems/Rockwell Collins)

Warfighters today operate in network-centric, information-intensive environments that demand wide data bandwidth, network diversity, and constant connectivity. Large volumes of accurate, reliable information need to be exchanged in real-time to maintain situational awareness. The FireNet system delivers that edge with additional narrow, wide-band, and tactical data link capabilities.

“We have developed a first-of-its-kind small form factor system that enables full Link 16 connectivity. FireNet is scalable and modular to give our service men and women a battlefield advantage in network-centric environments across domains,” said Amber Dolan, director of Adaptive Communications and Sensing at BAE Systems. “Using the government’s program of record waveform, we can reduce lifecycle costs, quickly deliver updated capabilities, and enhance mission survivability across manned and unmanned fleets.”

The FireNet system is Crypto Modernization 1 compliant and offers the highest transmit power available in an SFF radio for current and future fleets. The system addresses size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C) demands and its applications can extend across rotary-wing aircraft, unmanned vehicles, maritime vessels, and space platforms. It enables additional line-of-sight voice, data, and network communications from very high frequency to S-Band.

With more than two decades of expertise in the radio market, BAE Systems’ narrowband and broadband communication technologies span airborne, maritime, and ground applications across the radio frequency and visible spectrum. These battle-proven, highly reliable systems also feature multi-band, secure anti-jam voice, data imagery transmission, and network-capable communications. The company’s family of products merges the latest generation wideband, high-speed hardware, and software technologies to provide warfighters with the communication solutions they need in the modern battlefield.

Work on the FireNet system will take place at BAE Systems’ Wayne, New Jersey; Austin, Texas; Fort Wayne, Indiana; and Hudson, New Hampshire sites. Qualification and certification will begin in 2024.

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