Harris Corp. (News - Alert) has been awarded a 15-year, $291 million National Airspace System (NAS) Voice System contract to provide the communications network that will serve as the cornerstone of NextGen (News - Alert).
The contract calls on Harris to provide an Internet protocol-based voice communications network based on its VCS21 family of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) voice communication solutions, according to company officials.
An initiative of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA), NextGen aims to transform the U.S. air traffic control system to meet future requirements. NextGen is seen as a comprehensive overhaul of the National Airspace System to make air travel more convenient and dependable, while ensuring the flight is as safe, secure and hassle-free as possible.
The NAS Voice System (NVS) is the key voice communication component, as well as an essential ingredient for NextGen, according to FAA.
The VCS21 hosts the features of legacy ATC systems, which includes the current Harris Voice Switching Control System (VSCS), onto an IP platform with enhanced management and control capabilities.
Awarded to Harris in 1992, VSCS is now operational.
"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 for Mission Critical Networks at Harris Government Communications Systems (News - Alert).
In addition to integrating voice communications systems at ATC facilities nationwide, the company is also expected to provide remote radio equipment and network integration and management services.
“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,” O’ Sullivan said.
Melbourne, Florida-based Harris is an international communications and information technology company serving government and commercial markets in more than 125 countries. The company has a long history of developing and integrating system solutions for the FAA in support of the NAS.
Recently, Maryland selected the company for first responder communications. The company is expected to design and deploy a Project 25 (P25) Phase2 standards-based radio system and provide greater coverage, including in-building.
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Edited by Braden Becker