Rockwell Collins to provide the DOD a cross-platform datalink capability for mobile devices

Solider with PCAS

Rockwell Collins has been awarded a Digitally Aided Close Air Support (DACAS) agreement from Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx). Click to enlarge

  • Project awarded by Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx)
  • Solution will be available to all military branches to save money, facilitate quick start programs and reduce rework

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (March 14, 2017) -- Rockwell Collins has been awarded a Digitally Aided Close Air Support (DACAS) agreement from Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx). DIUx increases the Department of Defense’s (DoD) access to the leading-edge technologies and talent that reside in the commercial sector, with the ultimate goal of accelerating innovation into the hands of men and women in uniform. 


Under the agreement, Rockwell Collins will provide the DoD an open source aggregation framework to enable cross-platform data link communications on mobile devices for Windows® and Android®. By enabling software engineers to quickly develop and integrate modules that can communicate with close air support platforms and call for fires (artillery) platforms, this framework will increase the military’s ability to coordinate and execute air support, call for fires and greatly enhance situational awareness for troops on the ground. Phase one of the agreement will focus on the Variable Message Format (VMF) and Cursor On Target (CoT) message formats, in addition to Link 16. Production work will be performed at Rockwell Collins’ facilities in Richardson, Texas.


This new solution will be utilized by all U.S. Government agencies, thus resulting in a decrease of development costs across the DoD enterprise. This capability will allow various agencies within the DoD to increase and maintain their VMF and CoT messaging capability.


“By using a commercial open source model, the entire DoD will gain synergies in quality, customizability and elimination of ‘from scratch’ development -- thus reducing costs and increasing interoperability,” said Brad Haselhorst, vice president of Business Development, Government Systems for Rockwell Collins. “Moving in this direction will allow warfighters to communicate more efficiently and quickly, thereby enhancing safety.”


About Rockwell Collins

Rockwell Collins is a pioneer in the development and deployment of innovative aviation and high-integrity solutions for both commercial and government applications. Our expertise in flight deck avionics, cabin electronics, mission communications, simulation and training, and information management is delivered by a global workforce, and a service and support network that crosses more than 150 countries. To find out more, please visit


Media contact

Kailen Brant

Connectivity & Network Services, Flight Support Services, Cabin Interiors

Mobile: +1.301.639.4109


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