Raytheon Technologies successfully demonstrated solutions needed to connect defense networks and simplify U.S. Army command and control systems during a recent Army Project Convergence exercise.
Key among those technologies was FlexLink, an open-system radio technology developed by the company’s Collins Aerospace business that’s designed to connect multiple air and ground platforms.
During the exercise, FlexLink was installed on U.S. Army UH-60M helicopters and was able to establish a joint command and control network at distances exceeding 200 nautical miles. The demonstration was key to validating the Army’s Project Convergence concept, which is the service’s contribution to the Defense Department’s Joint All-Domain Command and Control initiative.
The FlexLink solution is the first open systems radio prototype to be integrated onto U.S. Army platforms. The demonstration bridged four joint service and coalition networks, all operating at different security levels using a multi-level security cross domain solution to allow for integrated, connected communication across the battlespace.
“We demonstrated that our ready-now open systems radio can be integrated with existing platforms,” said Philip Jasper, president of mission systems for Collins Aerospace. “Providing resilient communications across networks is key for reducing decision-making time and supporting effective operations in any highly contested environment.”
FlexLink Adaptive Connectivity Solution for communication, navigation and surveillance delivers network connectivity and assured positioning, navigation and timing to connect the battlespace. The system is able to operate across a variety of U.S. Department of Defense communication networks, from advanced tactical datalinks to legacy narrowband line-of-sight, both wideband and narrowband SATCOM, high-frequency, commercial mesh networking waveforms, as well as emerging directional line-of-sight resilient capabilities. FlexLink was designed using modular, open systems architecture to allow capabilities to be added or updated quickly and cost effectively.
Three Raytheon Technologies businesses – Collins Aerospace, Raytheon Intelligence & Space and Raytheon Missiles & Defense – were selected to participate in the Project Convergence 22 Technology Gateway at Yuma Proving Ground. The businesses demonstrated a variety of capabilities including intelligent gateway technologies, zero-trust cybersecurity solutions and an upgraded Multi-Functional Lightweight Command Launch Unit.