August 29, 2013 defense-unmanned.com
(Source: Ultra Electronics Advanced Tactical Systems; issued Aug. 28, 2013)
AUSTIN, TX --- Ultra Electronics Advanced Tactical Systems recently completed successful flight testing of its TACPOD mid-tier aerial communications relay node on a US Air Force Remotely Piloted Aircraft.
The US Government flight testing marks the culmination of Ultra’s development and production contract to support Beyond Line of Sight Command and Control (BLOS C2) for the US Air Force Life Cycle Management Center. An earlier TACPOD configuration completed similar flight testing in December 2011.
“TACPOD fielding will provide a substantial capability for the warfighter to share meaningful information to the tactical edge,” according to Ultra’s TACPOD Project Manager, Bryan Jimenez. “This successful flight test series demonstrates the capability of TACPOD and its readiness for the next phase leading to fielding.”
The Tactical Airborne Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence Pod (TACPOD) is a robust non-invasive approach to providing tactical information exchange to tactical edge users on a variety of manned and unmanned aircraft. The TACPOD system’s small size, standard weapons mount interface, modularity, scalability, and plug and play capability provides unprecedented mission adaptability.
The TACPOD system establishes a network that extends Line of Sight and Beyond Line of Sight communications for voice, video and data. It connects forces throughout the battlefield on the ground, in convoys, command centers, ships and aircraft. Using its Battlefield Integrated Gateway for Tactical Exchange (BIGTEX) software, TACPOD relays, bridges, translates, distributes and manages current and legacy voice, video and data. From the lower altitudes of the mid-tier aerial network to the upper-tier aerial network, TACPOD provides persistent communications relay and tactical data link gateway services over widely dispersed and austere environments.
The US Air Force awarded Ultra a contract to provide the TACPOD BLOS Employment Quick Reaction Capability in March 2012. The project will conclude with delivery of multiple, complete TACPOD systems, each incorporating a two-pod mission set, along with ground support and ancillary equipment.
“TACPOD represents a continuation of our commitment to deliver solutions that help customers integrate, share and act on time-critical information,” says Ultra Electronics Advanced Tactical Systems President John McAlonan. “We look forward to fielding TACPOD, providing an affordable persistent communications and interoperability capability to the joint warfighter across a wide spectrum of missions.”
Ultra Electronics, Advanced Tactical Systems specializes in designing, manufacturing and supporting tactical command and control systems, subsystems and products for defense and homeland security applications worldwide. Their products and services are used on aircraft, ships, submarines, vehicles, air operations centers and other key locations throughout the world.