Navy Plans Northrop Autonomous Helicopter Datalink Support Extension

Jeff Brody

The U.S. Navy has indicated its intent to award Northrop Grumman (NYSE: NOC) an order to continue non-recurring design engineering work on a tactical datalink intended for the military branch’s MQ-8C autonomous helicopter.

Procurement of the non-recurring services are necessary in the integration and fielding of the Link-16 TDL technology into MQ-8C vehicles equipped with radars, the service branch said Tuesday in a presolicitation notice.

Link-16 datalink terminals are intended to help sensors transmit tactical information to military assets.

The Navy intends for MQ-8C radar systems to detect various surface vessel types and share data via the new TDL network.

According to an initial sources sought notice, the service wanted to procure Link-16 terminals that weigh no more than 100 pounds, run on at least two built-in channels and transmit across a minimum range of 100 nautical miles.

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