Northrop Grumman has secured a contract from the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to enhance connectivity for Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2).

The new contract for satellite communications (SATCOM)-enabled Freedom Radio development expands the AFRL award that Northrop Grumman received in December 2019.

The SATCOM-enabled Freedom Radio is to enable a broad set of integrated communications and networking mission functions across multiple domains.

The contract is aimed at demonstrating a SATCOM-enabled networking radio in a suitable mission environment designed to provide ‘secure and resilient’ mission data.

The networking radios allow troops to quickly assess information and improve situational awareness. It also helps the US Department of Defense (DoD) discover its JADC2 network vision.

Northrop Grumman communications solutions vice-president Jenna Paukstis said: “Through this Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) contract, we will be able to mature an open architecture, SATCOM-enabled Freedom Radio solution designed to help create a truly interconnected JADC2 network architecture across air, land, sea and space.

“Our SATCOM-enabled Freedom Radio will allow warfighters to quickly gather and share information from space assets to help them make more informed decisions via an interconnected JADC2 network.”

Later this year, the company intends to conduct a proof-of-concept (POC) demonstration for its SATCOM-enabled Freedom Radio.

During this demonstration, third-party vendor technologies will be integrated into Northrop’s core open architectures to support the capability investments by the DoD for JADC2 efforts.

Northrop’s Freedom Radios are currently used on several platforms to support combat troops across multiple military branches.