Cubic to provide TCDL for British Army's Watchkeeper UAS


Cubic Mission Solutions (CMS) has been contracted by UAV Tactical Systems (U-TacS) to provide additional tactical common data links (TCDL) for the British Army's Watchkeeper unmanned aircraft system (UAS).

The $1.4m contract extension has been awarded as part of the UK Ministry of Defence’s (MoD) Watchkeeper UAS programme.

Under the three-year contract, CMS's high-speed and secure TCDL will facilitate wireless transmission of data and images from the UAS to ground control stations.

The TCDL uses digital signal processing to process high-volume sensor data generated on the air vehicle for transmission to its ground stations.

A simultaneous uplink transmits control commands to the air vehicles and their payload, Cubic said in a statement.

Cubic Mission Solutions president Mike Twyman said: “Cubic’s TCDL is an integral component to the Watchkeeper system as it delivers reliable, real-time data feeds to key decision makers for greater situational awareness and operational flexibility.

"Cubic’s TCDL is an integral component to the Watchkeeper system as it delivers reliable, real-time data feeds to key decision makers."

“We look forward to continuing our strong working relationship with U-TacS in providing extensive networked capabilities in support of UK MoD’s Watchkeeper programme.”

The Watchkeeper provides the UK armed forces with essential intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTR) capabilities in all weather conditions.

The air vehicle is capable of carrying a range of equipment, including day and night cameras and surveillance radars.

U-TacS is responsible for development, integration, test flights and manufacture of the UAS's subsystems, including unmanned aircraft and ground control stations.


Image: The Watchkeeper UAS during its first flight in the UK. Photo: courtesy of Peter Russell LBIPP / MOD.