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Rockwell Collins-Cubic team announces successful flight tests of miniature Common Data Link prototype in smallest Tier 2 type platform


The team of Rockwell Collins (NYSE:COL) and Cubic Defense Applications, Inc., a defense unit of Cubic Corporation (Amex: CUB), announced that their new Mini-Common Data Link (CDL) system has been successfully flight tested on a AAI-Aerosonde Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) platform. This demonstration brings CDL capability to one of the smallest Naval Air Systems Command Tier 2 class platforms and follows successful flight tests on a King Air aircraft and Killer Bee UAS.

During the testing, which was witnessed by a representative of the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC), the Mini-CDL demonstrated bi-directional communications with the USMC’s new Team Portable - CDL (TP-CDL) terminal. The Mini-CDL prototype, which weighs less than 1.5 pounds, also demonstrated interoperability with the Department of Defense’s existing CDL Rev. F compliant systems. Additional lab testing validated interoperability with the 10.71B waveform.

“Our solution offers superior data link performance and flexibility for reduced cost, size and power consumption,” said Bruce King, vice president and general manager of Communication Systems for Rockwell Collins.

“The integration of this new cutting-edge technology into AAI’s Aerosonde will provide this small, expeditionary unmanned aircraft system with greater capabilities, increased interoperability and the ability to integrate more sophisticated sensors,” said Steve Reid, AAI’s vice president of Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

“These tests are an important step in the development of the Mini-CDL system,” said Rick Lober, senior vice president and general manager of Cubic’s Communications and Electronics business unit. “The flight tests demonstrated the prototype’s interoperability type with CDL-compliant equipment, which will enable small UAVs to operate in a DoD-standard communications environment with larger unmanned and manned systems. This is an important capability for our U.S. Marine Tier 2 offering. A Request for Proposal is expected later this year.”

During the tests, the aircraft successfully transmitted high-bandwidth streaming video from an on-board video camera to the ground station below. The air terminal achieved data rates up to 10.7 Mbps, approximately three times the speed of a typical cable modem. The Mini-CDL is designed to operate at rates up to 45 Mbps and achieves interoperability with other vendors’ units through compliance with the current DoD CDL waveform specification.

Cubic Defense Applications (CDA), one of Cubic Corporation’s major segments, is a world leader in realistic combat training systems, mission support services and defense electronics. The corporation’s other major segment, Cubic Transportation Systems, designs and manufactures automatic fare collection systems for public mass transit authorities.

Rockwell Collins (NYSE: COL) is a pioneer in the development and deployment of innovative communication and aviation electronics solutions for both commercial and government applications. Our expertise in flight deck avionics, cabin electronics, mission communications, information management and simulation and training is delivered by 20,000 employees, and a global service and support network that crosses 27 countries. To find out more, please visit

AAI Corporation designs, produces, and supports aerospace and defense systems through its direct and indirect wholly owned subsidiaries, AAI Services Corporation, Aerosonde Pty Ltd, ESL Defence Limited, McTurbine Inc., and Symtx, Inc. Its high-technology products and services include unmanned aircraft systems, training and simulation systems, automated aerospace test and maintenance equipment, armament systems, aviation ground support equipment, logistical and engineering services, and maintenance, repair, and overhaul activities. For more information, visit


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