Harris Corp. has been awarded a 15-year, $291 million contract to provide the communications network that will serve as the cornerstone of NextGen — the FAA’s initiative to transform the U.S. air traffic control system.
Under the National Airspace System Voice System (NVS) contract, Harris will provide a secure, Internet Protocol-based voice communications network based on its VCS21 family of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) voice communication solutions. NVS will be installed in air traffic control (ATC) facilities across the U.S., creating a voice network for communications between air traffic controllers, pilots and ground personnel.
The VCS21 hosts the features of legacy ATC systems, including the current Harris Voice Switching Control System (VSCS), onto an IP platform with enhanced management and control capabilities, company officials said. VSCS was awarded to Harris in 1992 and is operational today.
Harris will integrate voice communications systems at ATC facilities nationwide. The company also will provide remote radio equipment and network integration and management services.
“The Harris VCS21 solution replaces legacy technology with a dynamic, IP-based network that has the flexibility and security to support the FAA’s migration to NextGen,” said John O’Sullivan, vice president, Mission Critical Networks, Harris Government Communications Systems. “We combined our substantial research and development with COTS technology demonstrated in other demanding applications to ensure the FAA receives a proven solution without associated development costs.”
Harris has a long history of developing and integrating system solutions for the FAA in support of the NAS. The company is the prime contractor for the FAA Telecommunications Infrastructure (FTI) program, which provides voice, data and video communications for NAS operations and mission support functions. FTI securely connects more than 4,300 national and international FAA and DoD facilities, manages over 26,000 services, and supports more than 50,000 users. In addition to FTI and VSCS, FAA programs developed by Harris include the Weather and Radar Processor, which provides weather information to air traffic controllers in the en-route air traffic control environment; OASIS, which provides integrated weather briefing and flight planning capabilities for preflight weather briefings and in-flight updates; and the Alaskan Satellite Telecommunications Infrastructure program, which provides voice and data communications between the Alaskan ARTCC in Anchorage and 64 regional FAA sites.
For more information: Harris.com