How to Lower the Cost and Risk of a New Tactical Data Link Solution

By using a proven, easy-to-use, comprehensive technology suite, ROI is increased, and greater capability is delivered with less downtime incurred.

The successful adoption of a new tactical data link (TDL) solution relies on effectively combining technology, software, integration, testing, certification, and training. Shortfalls in any area introduce schedule and program risks that drive costs higher. 

This white paper guides the reader through the critical decisions associated with adopting and sustaining a new TDL solution and how the right vendor can simplify the process and add greater capability while reducing risks to deliver a greater return on investment (ROI).

It is tempting to favor the lowest-cost TDL solution that meets the immediate/minimum mandatory requirements and functionality. Unfortunately, this is a short-sighted approach. In fact, a purchasing strategy focused on minimum requirements and lowest price almost always costs far more than a strategy focused on the total cost of ownership (TCO) over the long term. The short-term strategy simply doesn’t consider the factors that cause costs to skyrocket after purchase.

Choosing TDL solutions with the next one to two decades in mind rather than the next one to two years significantly reduces the risk of unforeseen and unexpected costs. With this approach, government and commercial defense organizations can break out of the endless cycle of updating incompatible software that adversely affects the entire TDL solution life cycle.

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Steven Horsburgh

Steven Horsburgh

Director of Product Management & IT

Dr. Horsburgh is the Director of Product Management & IT at the Tactical Communications Group of Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions.  After obtaining his Ph.D. in Physics, he has 30 years of research and development experience designing solutions to complex, large, data-driven applications for commercial and military use.  He has 12 years of experience with Tactical Data Links software design and development in engineering and management positions.  Before joining Curtiss-Wright, Steve worked in satellite communications and data management for the Naval Research Lab, Mission Research Corporation, and ATK. Subsequently, he joined Tactical Communication Group, LLC (TCG) to architect, design, and manage agile research and development projects related to Tactical Data Links, including Link 16, VMF, CoT, and CESMO.  Curtiss-Wright acquired TCG in March 2019, and Steve continues to manage R&D, Marketing, and Information Technology projects.

Brian Bass

Brian Bass

Director of Operational Support

Brian Bass is the Director of Operations Support at the Tactical Communications Group (TCG) of Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions.  Brian is a U.S. Air Force Veteran, joining the service in 1986 as a Security Policeman, ultimately becoming a commissioned officer after earning his bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University in 1990.  He began working with tactical data links in the military 29 years ago and has since instructed, planned, tested, and operated data links in 20 countries with numerous tactical platforms.  Brian is a United States Air Force Weapons School graduate and the United States Navy Carrier Airborne Early Warning Weapons School.  Before joining Curtiss-Wright, Brian supported the Joint Staff at the Joint Interoperability Division as the contract program manager, Joint Interface Control Officer instructor, and lead Link 16 engineer. Today as the Director of Operations Support, Brian manages a talented team of military veterans and tactical data link experts responsible for the installation and training of TCG systems worldwide.