Contract keeps pilots connected

Harris Corporation has been awarded $30.7 million by Northrop Grumman to design and develop hardware components for the Intra-Flight Data Link system for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.


Harris Corporation has been awarded a six-year, $30.7 million contract by Northrop Grumman Space Technology to design and develop hardware components for the Intra-Flight Data Link (IFDL) system for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF).


Harris estimates that its avionics work on the F-35 JSF program could exceed $2.5 billion by 2026.


Under terms of the contract, Harris will provide the remote electronics for the aircraft, including the phased array antenna and antenna interface hardware for Northrop Grumman Space Technology’s IFDL system.


According to Harris, Northrop Grumman’s IFDL system utilises data link design and software-defined radio technology to enable advanced communications within and among formations, or flights, of F-35 aircraft.


The contract runs until 2009, with initial delivery of flight-ready hardware expected in 2007. Successful testing of this system could lead to production contracts for 2,593 aircraft to be used by the US Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and the United Kingdom.