Navy Picks Rockwell Collins, Leonardo DRS to Field Tactical Combat Training System Increment II
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — The U.S. Navy has selected Rockwell Collins and Leonardo DRS to supply their encrypted, next-generation tactical training system, Rockwell Collins said in a March 31 release.
The initial $142 million contract, for its Tactical Combat Training System Increment II (TCTS Inc-II) program, is for the development of an airborne, ground and ship-based encrypted training capability. It will include integration with other fielded equipment and combat systems to support the training of U.S. Navy and Marine Corps aviation forces, to include aircrew for F-35, F/A-18 and other front-line combat aircraft. Coupled with this initial development program are options for low-rate and full-rate production.
The objective of the TCTS Inc-II program is to provide a Department of Defense and National Security Agency-approved encrypted tactical training system. The system provides the first certified, Multi-Level Security (MLS) training equipment packaged in both airborne and ground equipment, allowing for tethered and autonomous operations. MLS provides secure interoperability between combinations of fifth-generation and fourth-generation aircraft, bringing significant training benefits to all participants in a simulated, high-threat combat environment. It has five times more network capacity than current air combat training systems. It uses the existing training range frequency spectrum for enhanced live player training fidelity and to increase the number of players participating in Live, Virtual and Constructive (LVC) training.
“TCTS Inc. II fills gaps from the currently fielded air combat training equipment by enabling the world’s air forces to securely migrate to LVC training to increase warfighter readiness at a reduced cost,” said Troy Brunk, vice president and general manager, Communication, Navigation & Electronic Warfare Systems for Rockwell Collins. “As we develop the advanced training capabilities, we will be flight testing on our Eastern Iowa Range to reduce technical risk and time-to-field for the Navy.”
“This next-generation program couples our history of delivering advanced airborne training systems with Rockwell Collins’ advanced CRIIS [Common Range Integrated Instrumentation System] technologies to pave the way for the most advanced training instrumentation available for our warfighters,” said Larry Ezell, vice president and general manager, Airborne and Intelligence Systems for Leonardo DRS.
Technical achievements already made in the CRIIS program are directly applicable to the TCTS Inc. II such as simultaneous MLS certification, site installation accreditation, data link frequency authorization and flight worthiness certification of airborne subsystem packages. These achievements support an improved schedule and reduce risk for the TCTS Inc. II capability, which can be leveraged by other nations, services and platforms to provide highly-relevant operational training at low risk.