HUNT VALLEY, Md., Aug. 11 (UPI) -- The U.S. Army has contracted AAI Corp. to integrate unmanned aircraft technologies with a tactical common data link to increase interoperability.
U.S. company AAI was awarded the contract from the Alabama-based Army Unmanned Aircraft Systems Project Office. Under the more than $32 million deal, AAI will enhance the Shadow Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System with the tactical common data link, or TCDL, wide-bandwidth communications architecture.
The TCDL Ku-band digital data link is expected to provide Shadow tactical UAS operators with a common military interface for enhanced interoperability with other military systems.
"The incredible success our customers have experienced with the Shadow tactical UAS during more than 420,000 operational hours continually drives us to make the system more multi-mission capable," Steven Reid, AAI vice president of Unmanned Aircraft Systems, said in a statement.
"The integration of TCDL provides greater flexibility, data security and interoperability to support mission success. It is exciting to help bring battlefield interoperability across U.S. Army manned and unmanned aviation assets."