The US Army has awarded a follow-on low-rate initial production (LRIP) contract to the Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) to manufacture additional AN / TSQ-135 mobile tower systems (MOTS).

Valued at $17m, the order covers the production of five AN / TSQ-135 MOTS, as well as engineering and sustainment services for the mobile air traffic service system.

In March 2012, SNC received a $56m contract to supply ten MOTS units, along with engineering and logistics services, to the army.

Since November 2012, an early development MOTS has been deployed with the 3rd Infantry Division in Afghanistan, while LRIP MOTS were handed over to the army in March 2013.

Equipped with all necessary secure and non-secure communications radios and support equipment, MOTS supports military air traffic control (ATC) operations worldwide during night or day and in all weather conditions, by networking with other air traffic service and battle command systems.

"The system features an ATC Tower with organic 36kW power generators."

Airlifted by the C-17 Globemaster III aircraft or CH-47 Chinook helicopter, the system features an ATC Tower with organic 36kW power generators, a medium-intensity solar-powered airfield runway lighting system and meteorological sensors.

Fully compliant with the Federal Aviation Administration / International Civilian Aviation Organization regulations, MOTS can also support disaster relief efforts, forest fire mobile operations and temporary tower operations worldwide with minimal logistical requirements.

It is primarily designed to replace the army’s ageing AN / TSW-7A air traffic control tower and provide a global deployable ATC capability to the US Army Aviation.

Image: The AN / TSQ-135 MOTS is a mobile tactical system designed to rapidly set up air traffic services. Photo: courtesy of the Sierra Nevada Corporation.