USAF completes Ultra’s TACPOD communications relay node evaluation

29 August 2013 (Last Updated August 29th, 2013 18:30)

Ultra Electronics Advanced Tactical Systems' tactical airborne command, control, communications and intelligence pod (TACPOD) has completed flight testing on a US Air Force's (USAF) Remotely Piloted Aircraft.

Ultra Electronics Advanced Tactical Systems' tactical airborne command, control, communications and intelligence pod (TACPOD) has completed flight testing on a US Air Force's (USAF) remotely piloted aircraft.

Carried out at an undisclosed location, the US Government testing represents the conclusion of the company's development and production contract to support beyond line of sight (BLOS) command and control for the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC).

Awarded in March 2012, the contract covers supply of multiple, complete TACPOD systems, each featuring a two-pod mission set, along with ground support and ancillary equipment.

"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 TACPOD project manager Bryan Jimenez said that the successful flight test demonstrates the TACPOD capability and its readiness for deployment.

''TACPOD fielding will provide a substantial capability for the warfighter to share meaningful information to the tactical edge,'' Jimenez said.

Ultra Electronics Advanced Tactical Systems president John McAlonan said the TACPOD represents a continuation of the company's commitment to offer solutions that help customers integrate, share and act on time-critical information.

''We look forward to fielding TACPOD, providing an affordable persistent communications and interoperability capability to the joint warfighter across a wide spectrum of missions,'' McAlonan said.

A previous TACPOD configuration also completed similar flight testing in December 2011.

Weighing 120lbs, TACPOD is an advanced pod designed to enhance communication between tactical edge users and theatre commanders on a range of manned and unmanned aircraft.

The pod specifically connects forces on the ground, in convoys, command centres, ships and aircraft, by establishing a network that extends line of sight and beyond line of sight communications for voice, video and data in the battlefield.

TAPCOD uses its battlefield integrated gateway for tactical exchange (BIGTEX) software to relay, bridge, translate, distribute and manage both existing and traditional voice, video and data over widely dispersed and often austere environments.

Defence Technology