EADS Defence & Security Systems Division (DS) and the National Acquisition Division of the Spanish Ministry of Defence have signed a contract worth more than €8 M to accomplish technical support to the Spanish Interoperability Management Cell. Link 16, NATO's secure, real-time data link is one of the most vital prerequisites for network-enabled operations and thus a key for successful transformation of all armed forces.

The technical support to be given by EADS under the contract will safeguard the interoperability among all the Spanish Armed Forces’ platforms that implement the Link 16 communication system. In particular, EADS CASA Military Air Systems (MAS), a business unit of DS, will define and analyze the requirements of all current and future platforms.

The objective of the two-year contract with the potential for extension is to perform the necessary tests to precisely demonstrate the integration among various different platforms through the connection of ground test rigs or through real exercises. For the latter case EADS CASA Military Air Systems will also provide three mobile ground control stations. The comprehensive analysis and test tasks will be conducted by experts from the MAS facilities in Getafe and at Torrejon Air Force Base.

Pablo de Bergia, president of EADS CASA Military Air Systems, commented, “Thanks to this contract Spain has reached the highest Link 16 operational capacity. Such a level was previously only achieved by the United States and the United Kingdom. Meanwhile our data link team has elaborated the highest degree of expertise in this field and puts forward continuous efforts to maintain and even further develop the technological advances of our company not only in Spain but in Europe.”