Flight demo showcases AMF JTRS maturity
Jan. 26, 2011, Mesa, Ariz. - A Joint Tactical Radio Internet-Protocol (IP) communications network has successfully transmitted data and video to ground-based radios from its first airborne platform.
By Carey Fredericks
The Lockheed Martin Airborne & Maritime/Fixed Station Joint Tactical Radio System (AMF JTRS) team, with support from Boeing, conducted this significant test that provides a new capability to connect joint forces on the battlefield. This also marked the first airborne demonstration of AMF JTRS onboard the AH-64D Apache (Block III architecture) helicopter.
AMF JTRS will be a secure (NSA Type 1), software-programmable, multi-band/multi-mode, mobile ad-hoc network that will give joint U.S. forces simultaneous voice, data, and video communications. With its ability to reprogram and configure communications through a software-centric architecture, AMF provides an affordable forward and backwards compatible solution for the DoD.
"These early AMF JTRS integration activities onto the Apache Block III test platform validate the technical maturity of the system hardware and software," said Mark Norris, vice president for Joint Tactical Network Solutions with Lockheed Martin's IS&GS-Defense. "It underscores the critical role that AMF JTRS will play by providing IP networking, as well as the ability to dynamically use multiple waveforms as mission needs require and the ability to cross band and interconnect legacy systems."
During the demonstration at Boeing's Mesa, Ariz., facility, Lockheed Martin's team integrated an AMF JTRS Small Airborne Joint Tactical Radio enabled with the Wideband Networking Waveform (WNW) onto an Apache helicopter. Ground and aerial nodes interfaced in a dynamic joint tactical mobile ad hoc network using IP-based communications. AMF JTRS then transmitted live streaming video and real-time situation awareness data from the Apache's onboard infrared camera to multiple ground-based radios.
The Apache flight is part of an incremental approach that complements on-going lab-based testing to validate AMF JTRS hardware and software capability in an operationally-relevant environment. Lockheed Martin's AMF JTRS team plans to perform an extensive "live fly" exercise with multiple aircraft and ground nodes in 2011. The Lockheed Martin AMF JTRS team includes BAE Systems, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon.
AMF JTRS will be integrated into airborne, shipboard, and fixed-station platforms. The radio network includes multiple configurations providing two-channel Small Airborne Joint Tactical Radio (for airborne) and four-channel Maritime/Fixed Station Joint Tactical Radio (for shipboard and fixed-station platforms). Over the program's lifetime, an expected 28 waveforms (new and legacy) will be incorporated into the AMF JTRS network.