Raytheon has successfully demonstrated its new protected tactical waveform on a lightweight, low-cost modem that showed sensitive information could be transmitted through low-cost satellite terminals using an unclassified secure waveform.

Carried out as part of the US Air Force’s (USAF) Design for Affordability and Risk Reduction programme, the demonstration marks the first of three phases of the study and is part of the company’s efforts to make military satellite communications more affordable and secure.

It would allow tactical users such as forward deployed forces or remotely piloted aircraft to perform missions more securely and reliably.

During testing, Raytheon showcased the key elements of the protected tactical waveform
similar to advanced extremely high frequency (AEHF) satellite terminals.

In addition, the advanced features and cost benefits were identified and demonstrated such as flexibility across frequency bands, providing users with the required protection using existing and future satellites.

"It would allow tactical users such as forward deployed forces or remotely piloted aircraft to perform missions more securely and reliably."

Providing secure, anti-jam and intercept capabilities, the tactical waveform supports various band terminals including Q, X and Ka.

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Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems business Integrated Communication Systems vice-president Scott Whatmough said, "As the only provider of AEHF production satellite terminals to the military, Raytheon leveraged its protected military satellite communications leadership to meet the affordability, security and flexibility challenge."

The company has been selected to help the US Government map the course for future protected military satellite communication terminals.

Earlier this month, Raytheon completed the critical design review (CDR) of the USAF global positioning system (GPS) next-generation operational control system’s (OCX) Iteration 1.5 software.

The Iteration 1.5 software is designed to help the mission-critical launch and checkout system (LCS) software to support the first GPS III satellite launch.

Image: A USAF’s AEHF satellite. Photo: file image.

Defence Technology