Helicopters Magazine

General Dynamics gets successful test of Link 16 system for AW159

General Dynamics Mission Systems–U.K. has worked closely with Leonardo Helicopters to develop and integrate a Link 16 datalink system for the first export variant of the AW159 Wildcat helicopter.

July 25, 2016
By General Dynamics

The advanced Link 16 datalink system is one of the most advanced for a rotary platform, providing a full Command and Control surveillance solution. Link 16 is a multinational datalink system that allows Armed Forces to exchange their tactical picture in near-real time.

In 2015, the Link 16 system for the export variant of the AW159 helicopter successfully completed the Standard Conformance Test, which is a detailed, independent review of the datalink system conducted by a U.S. military organization, the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC). This will allow the Link 16 datalink equipped AW159 to join an open live network.

In recent months, the export variant of the AW159 helicopter has flown with an operational Link 16 datalink system, and it has provided valuable feedback to the teams delivering the datalink system in terms of navigational accuracy and network stability.

Steve Rowbotham, vice president of General Dynamics Missions Systems–U.K., said: “We are delighted to continue working closely with Leonardo Helicopters in the delivery of world-leading systems for its first export variant of the AW159 helicopter. General Dynamics Mission Systems-UK has a pedigree in the delivery of Link 16 datalink systems, alongside other advanced avionic systems, for customers worldwide and we will continue to develop these systems to meet our customers’ requirements.”


General Dynamics Mission Systems–U.K. is also delivering the Tactical Processors and Security Enhanced Data Transfer Units for installation on Leonardo Helicopters first export variants of the AW159 helicopters. Both products are currently integrated into the U.K. Ministry of Defence Leonardo Helicopters AW159 Lynx Wildcat helicopter platforms.

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