Military radios of the future: Collins Aerospace developing open architecture terminal for USAF

New approach to radio development that allows rapid fielding of new capabilities to meet mission needs.

Software Programmable Open Mission Systems Compliant (SPOC) radio for the USAF. Image credit:Collins Aerospace

Collins Aerospace Systems, a unit of Raytheon Technologies Corp. is developing a Software Programmable Open Mission Systems (OMS) Compliant (SPOC) radio for the U.S. Air Force as part of a $18.9 million competitive contract awarded in 2019. The SPOC radio program calls for an open-architecture approach to military radio development that will allow the Air Force to rapidly insert new communications waveforms, cybersecurity updates and integrate third-party software to meet the needs of the mission. The program has completed both major milestones Preliminary Design Review and Critical Design Review on time and on schedule and ready for the 1Q21 demonstration.

“We’ve been delivering open architecture solutions for military avionics for decades, and we’ve leveraged that expertise to develop more open, modular communications and connectivity systems that will help our customers keep pace with evolving threats and technologies,” said Ryan Bunge, vice president and general manager, Communication, Navigation and Guidance Solutions for Collins Aerospace.

The Collins Aerospace three-channel SPOC radio will be capable of operating three different radio waveforms simultaneously to maintain critical connectivity. These waveforms include Link 16, a mesh network Advanced Tactical Data Link (ATDL), Bandwidth Efficient Common Data Link (BE-CDL) and Mobile User Objective System (MUOS).

The SPOC radio will enable the Air Force to field new capabilities while maintaining connectivity to legacy systems on air and ground platforms with a single unit through the added flexibility of field reprogrammability. This consolidation of legacy systems into a single unit will reduce mission weight associated with data link and communication systems while reducing lifecycle costs.

For over 85 years, Collins Aerospace has remained a world leader in the design, development, expertise and integration of airborne and ground communication systems including over 20 years of providing data link equipment to the U.S. military.

Source: Collins Aerospace