The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] is enlisting the help of four industry leaders to pursue the first phase of a multi-year, multimillion-dollar U.S. Air Force contract to acquire wideband satellite communication terminals that will provide critical protected communications for the military.
The initiative is called the Family of Advanced Beyond Line-of-Sight Terminals (FAB-T). The Boeing-led team, comprised of the nation's leading satellite systems, communications terminals and high performance data link system providers, includes Boeing Space and Communications of Seal Beach; Harris Corporation's Government Communications Systems division of Melbourne, Fla.; L-3 Communications' Communications Systems West division of Salt Lake City, Utah; TRW, Inc.'s Command, Control and Intelligence Division of Fairfax, Va.; and ViaSat, Inc.'s Communications Systems Group of Carlsbad, Calif.
"A world-class team has been created to bring a new architecture to a very important communications community," said Allen Ashby, vice president and general manager of Boeing's Battle Management/Command, Control, Communications (BMC3) and Strategic Systems division of Anaheim, Calif. "As the team's leader, Boeing brings its experience and knowledge to provide a synchronized system solution that will successfully meet the challenges associated with satellite communications of the future."
Today's military commanders rely heavily on satellite communications to employ and sustain combat forces. For each satellite communications link, there is a single terminal -- or radio system with a special purpose antenna -- that enables information exchange between ground, airborne and space platforms.
FAB-T is a Department of Defense initiative to develop a family of terminals that will utilize a common-design, open system architecture to talk to different satellites. To achieve the goals promulgated by the Program Office to provide a system that is "modular, reconfigurable, scaleable, upgradeable, and growable," the Boeing team has engaged in a broad architecture development activity.
Once operational, FAB-T will provide critical, protected beyond line-of-sight communications capability for warfighters via the new Advanced Extremely High Frequency (Advanced EHF) System, a new class of secure satellites that support military forces. In subsequent increments, FAB-T will enable interchange with other national satellite communications systems such as Wideband Gapfiller and Global Broadcast.
Boeing BMC3 & Strategic Systems, as prime system integrator, will be responsible for the system architecture, software systems, and system engineering integration and testing. Boeing Satellite Systems will provide critical satellite communications interfaces. Harris will oversee the terminal and aperture integration and manufacturing. L-3 Communications will be responsible for high performance component interfaces. TRW will provide Advanced EHF communications interfaces commensurate with their experience on the space segment. ViaSat will be responsible for systems security architecture.
The Boeing Company is the world's leading aerospace company, with its heritage mirroring the history of flight. It is the largest manufacturer of satellites, commercial jetliners and military aircraft. The company is also a global market leader in missile defense, human space flight, and launch services. Chicago-based Boeing has an extensive global reach with customers in 145 countries.