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Reinventing the wheel () extending capabilities and talking with the next generation
DARPA recently released a broad-agency announcement for the Fixed Wireless at a Distance program that aims to overcome perceived limitations of today's MANETs. With budgetary constraints at the forefront, can existing solutions from companies like Lockheed Martin and Raytheon be adapted or will we see a new development effort being implemented with all the associated pitfalls? Extending capabilities using existing platforms is a viable option as demonstrated by Thales providing ISR pods for use on the Mirage 2000D. In other areas this is becoming a necessity if legacy platforms are going to be able communicate with next generation platforms with Longbow commencing delivery of the UTA datalink for the Apache Block III helicopter that will enables aircrews to control the sensor and flight path of Unmanned Aircraft Systems.