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Raytheon Showcases FlexLink Open-System Radio Technology in Project Convergence Demonstration; Phil Jasper Quoted

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A Raytheon Technologies business has demonstrated FlexLink Adaptive Connectivity Solution, an open-system radio technology aimed at furthering the Department of Defense’s Joint All Domain Command and Control objectives.

During the U.S. Army’s Project Convergence exercise, Collins Aerospace‘s FlexLink showed success in connecting defense networks and simplifying U.S. Army interoperability and cross-platform communication, the Arlington, Virginia-based organization announced on Thursday.

“Providing resilient communications across networks is key for reducing decision-making time and supporting effective operations in any highly contested environment,” said Phil Jasper, president of mission systems for Collins Aerospace.

In conducting the test, FlexLink was installed on Army UH-60M helicopters and was able to create a joint command and control network at distances of over 200 nautical miles. The presentation connected four joint service and coalition networks, all of which operate at different security levels using a multi-level security cross domain solution to enable integrated communication across the battlespace.

“We demonstrated that our ready-now open systems radio can be integrated with existing platforms,” Jasper stated.

The technology is the first open-systems radio prototype to be integrated into Army platforms and was designed with modular, open systems architecture to ensure that capabilities may be added or updated efficiently and cost effectively.

FlexLink is said to provide resilient network connectivity and assured positioning, navigation and timing to connect the battlespace across numerous DOD communication networks including advanced tactical datalinks, legacy narrowband line-of-site, both wideband and narrowband SATCOM, high frequency, commercial mesh networking waveforms and new directional line-of-site resilient capabilities.

The demonstration marks a milestone in the Army’s Project Convergence initiative, which is the branch’s portion of the DOD JADC2 strategy. 

Two other Raytheon Technologies businesses, Raytheon Intelligence & Space and Raytheon Missiles & Defense, participated in Project Convergence exercises alongside Collins Aerospace. Capabilities demonstrated by the group include intelligent gateway technologies, zero trust cybersecurity offerings and the improved Multi-Functional Lightweight Command Launch Unit.

Raytheon has participated in a number of recent efforts to support the JADC2 program. In August, the company reached initial operating capability for an updated beyond line-of-sight communications system designed to provide secure data sharing technology to the Air Force.

Earlier this week, the branch selected Raytheon Intelligence & Space to develop a Common Tactical Edge Network to bolster its advanced battle management system. CTEN will allow operators to enable distributable battle management command and control in contested environments, which aligns with DOD goals for JADC2.