Ball Aerospace teams with BAE Systems to provide advanced network comms for the US Navy

Boulder, CO-based Ball Aerospace will deliver multi-beam phased array antenna systems as part of a contract win by BAE Systems for the U.S. Navy Network Tactical Common Data Link (NTCDL) System, the company announced February 27.

The NTCDL system enables multiple simultaneous, high-bandwidth communications links, which greatly enhance current mission capability and ship protection, allowing for a future sensor network across the Navy. Ball is building the Ku-band phased array antenna suite for BAE Systems.

“We have worked closely with the Office of Naval Research to develop and mature the technology for these cost-effective phased array antennas which will play a critical role in the NTCDL System,” said Rob Freedman, vice president and general manager, Tactical Solutions, Ball Aerospace. “This is an example of how Ball’s commitment to investment in technology development and collaboration with our customer is providing warfighters with a tactical advantage.”

These multi-beam planar phased array antennas are based on silicon germanium (SiGe) technologies on a single circuit board, which results in a low-profile antenna. The designs leverage technologies and manufacturing techniques developed by Ball for the commercial market. Ball’s internal research and development (IRAD) investments, along with those of the Office of Naval Research (ONR), have enabled this phased array antenna capability to be available to the military market. The antennas will initially be installed on naval aircraft carriers. The system will communicate with a range of intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) platforms.

This contract represents the first phase of the program, which will result in low rate initial production for the hardware with corresponding engineering support. Development and production will be performed at Ball’s manufacturing facility in Westminster, CO.

Source: Ball