Raytheon received a $48 million engineering services contract to support the integration and qualification of hand-held devices into platform-mounted WiFi systems secured up to secret.
Loaded with situational awareness and mission planning applications, the mobile devices will improve air-to-ground communication between combat teams, enhancing situational awareness as the mission unfolds.
“We’re helping aircrews and ground forces better communicate and collaborate in real-time on the battlefield,” said Matt Gilligan, vice president at Raytheon’s Intelligence, Information and Services business. “Right now Blackhawk crews and dismounted soldiers rely heavily on voice communications during a mission, and when dynamics are changing in the air and on the ground minute by minute, that’s a huge challenge.”
The contract is part of the U.S. Army’s Air Soldier System (Air SS), the service’s effort to equip their rotary-wing aircrews with wearable electronics that increase their mission effectiveness and survivability.
Under the contract, Raytheon will load mission applications on commercial off-the-shelf phones and tablets to allow air and ground users to access and share current weather updates, friendly force trackers, and secure text messages.