Soldier with smartphone Rockwell Collins
Android smartphones will be used by the Canadian Army to digitally link airborne platforms with ground-based joint terminal attack controllers (JTACs).

Smartphones Come to Canada’s Air Defense

Android smartphones will work for the Canadian Army as part of a ground-to-air communications system.

With the help of Rockwell Collins, smartphones will one of the communications links used by Canada’s Army between ground and air defense units. The Canadian Army has selected Rockwell Collins’ Joint-Fires communications solution based on Android smartphones for its digitally assisted close air support (DACAS) system, which will digitally link airborne platforms with ground-based joint terminal attack controllers (JTACs).

As part of the contract, Rockwell Collins will provide hardware and service for 100 Android-based joint-fires systems by the summer of 2017, with the potential for additional follow-on options. The agreement also includes in-country service and support from Rockwell Collins in Canada for up to 10 years. The portable, wearable Android smartphones (see photo) maintain full digital interoperability with a wide range of coalition aircraft and artillery systems.

“Migrating away from hardware solutions to commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) technology drives down cost and provides user-friendly and updatable platforms,” explained Lee Obst, managing director, Rockwell Collins for Canada. “The Android joint-fires solution is a great example of leveraging cutting edge technology for military purposes.”

Rockwell Collins’ joint-fires solutions have been in service with the U.S., NATO, and coalition forces for more than 20 years. System development for the contract will be based in Richardson, Tex., while Rockwell Collins Canada will directly provide support to the Canadian Army.

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