Military helicopter

USAF Awards Persistent $25 Million for WaRTAC

April 20, 2020
The Air Force has awarded Persistent Systems a $25 million contract as part of its WaRTAC program for reliable multidomain communications.

Looking to the smart radios developed by Persistent Systems, the U.S. Air Force has awarded the company a four-year, $25 million maintenance and sustainment contract as part of the Wave Relay Tactical Assault Kit (WaRTAK) program. The program, which began in 2016, ensures reliable multidomain communications for USAF conveys even under adverse conditions, using advanced “smart” digital radios.

The contract might even be considered part of the U.S. military’s overall modernization plans. It builds upon Persistent Systems’ Wave Relay mobile ad hoc network (MANET) advanced radio technology based on high-speed Android computers. These smart radios can respond almost instantly to changes in environmental and threat conditions and maintain reliable interconnection of different signal types. “It [WaRTAK] ties radio, GPS, cellular and satellite internet connections —everything—into our self-healing Wave Relay MANET,” said Adrien Robenhymer, vice president of business development for Persistent Systems.

Using WaRTAK, ground vehicles, aircraft, and individuals receive access to the many different signal types required for reliable convoy communications. They can link by means of TAK, ATAK (an Android computer version of TAK) and WinTAK (a Microsoft Windows version of TAK). The network can also use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), along with high-resolution graphics, to recognize unknown vehicles and identify them as possible threats.

The WaRTAK program began due to the need of the U.S. Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), supported by Persistent Systems for many years, for more advanced communications solutions. “WaRTAK uses our legacy MPU3 and Gen4 equipment. This hardware has been the backbone of the program, operating in extreme conditions and temperatures,” said Robenhymer. “But it’s time to introduce WaRTAK to the newest generation of gear.”

This use of the latest technology is expected to boost WaRTAK capability and reliability while reducing system size, weight and power (SWaP) for both vehicle-mounted and carried systems.

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