Northrop Grumman has received a contract to developmentally and operationally test the US Army’s multi-role tactical common data link (MR-TCDL).

The 30-month, $69m contract was granted to Northrop Grumman to support the army’s communications-electronics research, development and engineering centre (Cerdec).

The MR-TCDL system will provide warfighters with critical real-time networking connectivity by enabling extremely fast exchange of data via ground, airborne and satellite networks.

Vice president of Network Communication Systems for Northrop Grumman, Roger U Fujii said that the company was dedicated to advancing and evolving tactical data systems for the military.

“This opportunity will assure combat commanders that they will receive all the information they need with reliable and predictable networking connectivity,” said Fujii.

Northrop Grumman will integrate the MR-TCDL system on a Nasa WB-57 aircraft and a Gulfstream II aircraft. The company will verify that the system meets the army’s requirements and fly the system in operationally realistic scenarios.

The Northrop Grumman team includes L-3 Communications Systems-West, Science Applications International Corporation and Nasa.

By Daniel Garrun.