Recently, the Royal Netherlands Air Force’s 301st Squadron successfully demonstrated a helicopter pilot’s ability to cooperate with other airborne systems using an L3Harris ROVER 6i transceiver and a surrogate unmanned test-bed aircraft from Dutch air contractor AEC Skyline. This demonstration opens the doors for NATO allies to integrate MUM-T capabilities with ROVER 6i for broader interoperability. The MUM-T concept is a standardized systems architecture and communications protocol that enables live and still images gained from the sensor payloads of Unmanned Aircraft Systems to be shared across the battlespace. Through datalinks, MUM-T connects manned platforms with UAS, enhancing situational awareness, decision-making, and mission effectiveness. The proven L3Harris ROVER family of transceivers has been in service for 15 years.
“We’re market-leading in terms of the interoperability we deliver – the number of different platforms our radios can receive data from – as well as our Size, Weight and Power, and usability. The Tactical Network ROVER came out seven years ago; there’s no other radio like it on the market in terms of Size, Weight and Power, and the number of platforms it gives you access to. As the Netherlands is introducing new unmanned aircraft systems and AH-64E with its inherent level 4 MUMT capability, L3Harris looks to help maximize the MOD’s technological capabilities. The Apache now becomes one platform in several connected platforms,” he said. “We’re working directly with the Netherlands MOD on their helicopter fleet – their non-Apache helicopters – to fit them with datalinks, so now they can share data with the Apaches as well,” Daniel Jerdan, L3Harris Business Development principal, said.
The technology provides real-time full-motion video and other network data for situational awareness, targeting, battle damage assessment, surveillance, relay, convoy overwatch operations, and other situations where eyes-on-target are required. Netherlands’ use of the ROVER capability to perform MUM-T missions extends beyond the national capabilities and opens interoperability and coalition engagement opportunities across Europe’s defense organizations. All NATO allies have requirements for the ability to share data across a broad array of platforms. With a future concept of “swarming” unmanned aircraft, the ability to share data in real-time is paramount, and that is what the MUM-T capability provides. The ability to share real-time data between manned and unmanned airborne platforms is a game-changer in terms of the situational awareness it provides the aircrew and their ability to share that data with ground users. That common situational awareness is genuinely revolutionary.
L3Harris Technologies (L3Harris) is an American technology company, defense contractor, and information technology services provider that produces C6ISR systems and products, wireless equipment, tactical radios, avionics and electronic systems, night vision equipment, and both terrestrial and spaceborne antennas for use in the government, defense, and commercial sectors. They specialize in surveillance solutions, microwave weaponry, and electronic warfare. It was formed from the merger of L3 Technologies (formerly L-3 Communications) and Harris Corporation on June 29, 2019, and was expected to be the sixth-largest defense contractor in the United States. As of 2019, L3Harris is organized under four business segments: Integrated Mission Systems, Space & Airborne Systems, Communication Systems, and Aviation Systems.