Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS), an international communications and information technology company, today introduced to the global aviation community the first pure Internet Protocol-based, air traffic control (ATC) voice communications system that can be scaled to support 1 to 800-plus controller positions. The announcement was made during the World ATM Congress being held February 12-14 at the IFEMA Feria de Madrid.
The Harris VCS21™ is a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system specifically designed for ATC voice communications. Its network-centric approach replaces proprietary, Time-Division Multiplexing communications hardware with standards-based, VoIP-enabled voice nodes -- minimizing dependency on traditional point-to-point communications.
VCS21 allows net-centric and legacy voice systems to coexist, enabling a seamless transition during ATC modernization programs of virtually any size and complexity -- from small, single-tower installations to national and multinational voice enterprise systems. The system operates as a fully networked voice enterprise, enabling enhanced capabilities for business continuity planning, asset sharing, and future ATC facilities.
“Harris ATC systems are already deployed in more than 50 countries,” said John O'Sullivan, vice president, Mission Critical Networks, Harris Government Communications Systems. “VCS21 combines the ATC voice functions and algorithms of our proven VSCS, Liberty-STAR™, and IRENA product lines into a modernized, next-generation platform ready for the global market.”
VCS21 is based on the industry-standard Session Initiation Protocol, enabling VoIP communications compliant with EUROCAE ED-137B, Interoperability Standards for VoIP ATM Components. It offers U.S. NextGen and Single European Sky ATM Research features and functions.
Last year, the FAA awarded Harris a 15-year, $291 million contract for the agency’s new National Airspace System Voice System network, which will be based on the Harris VCS21 solution. The network will provide secure, digital communications for pilots, controllers and ground personnel, and is a key element of the FAA’s NextGen transformation to meet increasing traffic needs.
The World ATM Congress is sponsored by the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation, in association with the Air Traffic Control Association, and is backed by leading air navigation service providers and industry suppliers. Additional information is available at
About Harris Corporation
Harris is an international communications and information technology company serving government and commercial markets in more than 125 countries. Headquartered in Melbourne, Florida, the company has approximately $5.5 billion of annual revenue and about 15,000 employees — including 6,000 engineers and scientists. Harris is dedicated to developing best-in-class
products, systems, and services. Additional information about Harris Corporation is available at