Raytheon, the only provider of fielded Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite communication terminals that protect the most sensitive military information, has completed production on 39 new terminals for the U.S. Army ahead of schedule.
Since production began in 2007, 67 percent have been deployed to the field.
The Army uses the Humvee-mounted Secure Mobile Anti-Jam Reliable Tactical Terminal (SMART-T) to pass secure data to legacy Milstar satellites. The terminals have been upgraded to communicate with the higher-bandwidth AEHF satellites, the Department of Defense’s primary system to provide highly protected satellite communications. International partners Canada and the Netherlands also employ the AEHF terminals.
The upgrade to AEHF, completed more than a year ahead of schedule, quadruples capacity while increasing security. The advanced version incorporates the military’s eXtended Data Rate (XDR) waveform, enabling tactical military communications such as real-time video, battlefield mapping and targeting data.
Among the many milestones for SMART-T:
- First AEHF terminal to enter production (2007).
- First AEHF terminal to receive National Security Agency certification for the versions used by the United States and international partners’ militaries (2010).
- First AEHF terminal to interoperate with the on-orbit AEHF satellite (2011).
“SMART-T gives the Army a decided edge in securely transmitting battlefield information,” said Scott Whatmough, vice president of Integrated Communication Systems in Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems business.
To train soldiers more effectively on SMART-T, the Army contracted with Raytheon to provide new equipment training at the company’s Largo, Fla., facility, consolidating production, training and fielding in one location. It was the first time in Army history that a weapons system had a training facility embedded with a production plant. It is expected to save more than $9 million by reducing the logistical footprint of production, training and fielding terminals, according to the Army.