Bell Textron Bell AH-1Z Viper and H-1Y Venom Helicopters
Bell Textron Bell AH-1Z Viper and H-1Y Venom Helicopters

Northrop Grumman Awarded $30 Million Contract to Procure Link 16 B Kits for UH-1Y and AH-1Z Helicopter

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Woodland Hills, California, is awarded a $30,919,420 firm-price-incentive-fee contract to procure 25 Link 16 B kits; three Link 16 B kit spares; and two Link 16 flight training device B kits in support of UH-1Y and AH-1Z helicopter modification efforts for the U.S. Navy. This contract also provides Link-16 systems engineering, program management, and logistics support. Fiscal 2021 aircraft procurement (U.S. Navy) funds in the amount of $30,919,420 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The U.S. Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

Link 16 is a military tactical data link network used by NATO and nations allowed by the MIDS International Program Office (IPO). Its specification is part of the family of Tactical Data Links. With Link 16, military aircraft as well as ships and ground forces may exchange their tactical picture in near-real time. Link 16 also supports the exchange of text messages, imagery data and provides two channels of digital voice (2.4 kbit/s and/or 16 kbit/s in any combination). Link 16 is defined as one of the digital services of the JTIDS / MIDS in NATO’s Standardization Agreement STANAG 5516. MIL-STD-6016 is the related United States Department of Defense Link 16 MIL-STD.

Bell Textron Bell AH-1Z Viper and H-1Y Venom Helicopters

Northrop Grumman are a Tactical Data Link (TDL) solutions provider with 60 years of experience in the design and development of TDLs, network planning, management and control systems for every echelon of battlefield network communications. The company deep understanding of network protocols, messages, and operational use has resulted in a mature and robust link management product suite. Our TDL solutions are currently employed world-wide, used by both Defense and Industry to conduct TDL operations using a wide variety of over 30 interfaces and protocols, such as Link 16, Link 11, Joint Range Extension Application Protocol (JREAP), Variable Message Format (VMF) and Link 22.

The AH-1Z Viper attack helicopter is equipped with an integrated advanced fire control system and the capacity to support multiple weapons configurations. The UH-1Y Venom multi-role utility helicopter replaced the UH-1N Huey and includes the latest in technology and production techniques to continue the legacy of the venerable and battle-proven H-1 helicopter design. Additionally, the AH-1Z and UH-1Y share 85 percent parts commonality, designed to significantly reduce life-cycle costs and the aircraft’s logistical footprint, while increasing the maintainability and deployability.