The US Air Force (USAF) has awarded an indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity contract to Harris for the development and delivery of handheld video data-link (HH VDL) radios for its troops.

The five-year contract has a ceiling value of $130m and will help to significantly enhance troop situational awareness and connectivity.

Harris’ HH VDL radio can be used to securely transfer information to and from multiple airborne assets, developing an expanded mobile communications network.

“The ability to securely link air and ground assets with full-motion video and data provides an augmented site picture for commanders.”

This will allow for real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) data such as full-motion video to be delivered from the air to soldiers on the ground.

Under the deal, the company will deliver the HH VDL radios to replace the existing incumbent ground ISR terminals operating at the tactical edge of the battlespace, ensuring improved capability in a more mobile solution.

Harris Communication Systems president Chris Young said: “This award reaffirms our commitment to tactical ISR and extends our networked handheld portfolio and waveform offerings.

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“The ability to securely link air and ground assets with full-motion video and data provides an augmented site picture for commanders, and increases situational awareness for dismounted warfighters across the battlespace.”

Harris equipment will leverage next-generation technology provided by the company through Bandwidth Efficient Common Data Link (BE CDL), which facilitates secure, real-time distribution of time-critical information and full-motion video.

The HH VDL radios will be fully compliant with Cryptographic Modernization Initiative (CMI).