# MIDS to dominate US airborne communications market

ISSN: 0002-2667

Publication date: 1 January 2006

## Keywords

#### Citation

(2006), "MIDS to dominate US airborne communications market", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 78 No. 1. https://doi.org/10.1108/aeat.2006.12778aaf.003

### Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

## MIDS to dominate US airborne communications market

MIDS to dominate US airborne communications market

Keywords: Aircraft communication, Communication technologies

The joint tactical radio system (JTRS) and the multifunction information distribution system (MIDS) will be the most dominant factors within the US airborne communications market over the next 10 years. These programs combined will account for 72.65 percent ($1.994 billion) of the projected$2.743 billion US military airborne communications market, according to Forecast International's “The Market for US Military Airborne Communications Systems.” The MIDS program alone is estimated to be worth $1.168 billion during the period, according to Electronics Systems Analyst Mark Cowell. Since its successful deployment in Afghanistan, demand for MIDS has been high. Able to provide real-time transmission of reconnaissance/ targeting data, MIDS has significantly reduced the time required to detect, identify, and engage targets. Several airborne platforms, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), carry or will be fitted with MIDS. In both Afghanistan and Iraq, datalink- equipped UAVs have been widely used as strike vehicles, as well as for surveillance and targeting. Data Link Solutions (DLS), a joint venture between Rockwell Collins and BAE Systems, and ViaSat, Inc. are both major suppliers of MIDS terminals to the US forces. In December 2004, these two contractors were awarded contracts valued at$82 million and $61 million, respectively, for product improvement of the MIDS terminal to a four-channel JTRS software communications compliant architecture. Although these companies compete to supply the US with MIDS terminals, they will cooperate on the development of the MIDS JTRS terminal. Once developed, ViaSat and DLS will compete to sell MIDS JTRS terminals to the US and its allies. Following MIDS, the JTRS program will account for 28.51 percent ($782.1 million) of the 10-year market share. “JTRS is expected to replace all radios presently used by the US military,” said Cowell.

Under the first cluster of the JTRS program, an airborne variant of JTRS is currently being developed specifically to equip the US Army helicopter fleet. Other airborne JTRS variants will be developed under the Airborne, Maritime and Fixed-Station (AMF) JTRS program.

“Demand for programs such as MIDS and JTRS will be strong during the forecast period as both existing and new-build aircraft will be fitted with these systems,” said Cowell. Worldwide, more than 4,000 military fighter/attack/ jet trainer aircraft will be constructed between 2005 and 2014. Of that number, 1,171 are to be US-built fighters, with 722 (F/A-18, F-22, and F-35) designated for the US When military transports, special mission aircraft, and rotorcraft are combined, more than 11,000 military manned airborne platforms will be built worldwide. UAVs could add roughly 5,000 more potential platforms. As UAVs will need to transmit the data they collect; data links such as MIDS will likely be fitted to each UAV. The US will likely be the recipient of the majority of the UAVs constructed between 2005 and 2014.

Details available from: Forecast Intenational Inc., Tel: +1 203 426 0800; e-mail: monty.nebinger@forecast1.com; web site: www.forecastinternational.com