SEOUL, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Data Link Solutions, a joint venture between Rockwell Collins and BAE Systems, has won a $5.5 million contract to provide multifunctional information distribution systems for South Korea's F-16 jets.
Data Link's MIDS-low volume terminal is an advanced Link-16 command, control, communications and intelligence system. It uses high-capacity, jam-resistant digital communication links for exchange of near real-time tactical data and voice information.
"This contract enables a critical military requirement for the (South Korean) air force F-16s to meet their data link network requirements," DLS Director Mike Beltrani said.
The terminals support key theater functions such as surveillance, identification, air control, weapons engagement coordination, and direction for all the services and allied forces, DLS said.
The system is used by the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army platforms, as well as platforms used by the militaries of France, Italy, Germany and Spain.
The MIDS-LVT has two major line-replaceable units, the receiver-transmitter and the remote power supply. It can be used for a wide variety of airborne, ground and maritime applications, DLS said.
The U.S. Navy manages production of MIDS-LVT units which began in October 2001.
Work is being done in Wayne, N.J., and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Deliveries to South Korea began last year and will continue up to 2014.
In November, South Korea issued a request for proposal for a major upgrade to upgrade 134 of its F-16s with active electronically scanned array radars.
South Korea's Defense Acquisition Program Administration issued the request for proposal to Northrop Grumman for its Scaleable Agile Beam Radar and to Raytheon for its Advanced Combat Radar.
Jim Hvizd, Raytheon's vice president of international business development, said South Korea's RFP is "the culmination of seven years of activity" developing its RACR from the APG-79 AESA installed on Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft.
Northrop is the incumbent F-16 radar supplier, a report by FlightGlobal aviation Web site said. Northrop has been working on its SABR technology for five years.
Around 50 percent of the contract value will be in offset work back to South Korean businesses, FlightGlobal reported.
In early January, Yonhap news agency cited the U.S. 7th Air Force in reporting that the Air Force will deploy 12 F-16CM fighters to South Korea to maintain stability in the region.
Around 240 personnel from the 55th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron and their aircraft were to be stationed at a U.S. air base in Gunsan, 160 miles south of Seoul. The personnel and aircraft will be there for around three months, the Air Force said.
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