The US Marine Corps (USMC) is seeking solutions for a new prototype for the airborne pod variant of its Fused Integrated Naval Network (FINN) programme, designed to upgrade overall interoperability between US Navy (USN) and the marines’ tactical data links.
The FINN airborne pod prototype being sought by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory’s Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) directorate “will provide a persistent [network] gateway that receives, bridges, translates, processes, and distributes information between other FINN nodes and the end-user nodes connected to them”, according to a 10 August service solicitation.
Designed for deployment aboard the General Atomics’ MQ-9B Reaper unmanned aerial system (UAS), the FINN airborne pod must be capable of cross-banding Internet Protocol (IP) and non-IP based data transfers, transmitted on current and legacy data link technologies, the solicitation stated.
A General Atomics MQ-9B Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle staged at the US Army Yuma Proving Grounds on 7 November 2019. USMC engineers are developing a Fused Integrated Naval Network (FINN) pod prototype to be integrated on to the MQ-9B. (US Marine Corps )
The pod technology aboard the new FINN prototype must also have beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) transmission capability. The prototype pod must also enable real-time data translations between users across Link-16, Tactical Targeting Network Technology (TTNT), Bandwidth Efficient Common Data Link (BE-CDL), the Intelligence Broadcast System (IBN), and National Security Agency Type-1 certified TrellisWare Tactical Scalable MANET-X (TSM-X) waveforms, as well as the Next Generation Waveform (NGW) developed by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), the document added.