The LAMPS Hawklink is a high-speed, air-to-ground, digital data link that transmits reconnaissance and other data from MK III H-60 helicopters to their host surface ships, such as Arleigh Burke Class destroyers. The Hawklink will enable data, imagery, electronic support measures, communications, and radar information gathered by the helicopter's sensors to be multiplexed and transmitted in excess of >100nm, at a rate of 10.71 to 45 Mbps, to the host ship via the Ku-band link.
Once the near-real-time transmission is received by the helicopter, the data is sent to the surface ship via an on-deck terminal, and distributed throughout the ship for further interrogation and exploitation. The forward look of the helicopter provides ample time for ship processing, interrogation, and decision making necessary to counter threats from over the horizon.
Harris Corporation and BAE Systems are developing the Hawklink Ku-band data link system for the fleet of U.S. Navy ship-based LAMPS helicopters. The U.S. Navy PMA 299 is sponsoring the Hawklink development and production program through a research and development effort that will be followed by a more traditional production contract. The Hawklink evolved from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency-sponsored tactical common data link (TCDL).
The Harris Corporation and BAE Systems TCDL team is one of only two certified contractors worldwide for TCDL-related contracts. The objective of the Hawklink program is to design, develop, and test a production-ready Ku-band system for implementation into LAMPS MK III H-60 helicopters and their complement of LAMPS-capable surface ships, such as the DDG 51, FFG 7, DD 963, and CG 47.
The TCDL Hawklink will upgrade the existing C-band data link with airborne and shipboard equipment, operating at a higher data rate and at a higher Ku-band frequency. The Hawklink is being designed to be common data link-compliant in order to provide interoperability with other common data link systems.