The US Air Force’s (USAF) Global Aircrew Strategic Network Terminal (ASNT) system has achieved initial operational capability (IOC).

The IOC status was declared Raytheon Intelligence & Space (RI&S). It comes four months after Raytheon installed the first Global ASNT system in April.

The Global ASNT is being developed to provide communications to missile, nuclear bomber and support aircraft crews in contested environments.

The system’s resilient communication capability will allow the USAF to operationalise joint warfighting by securely data sharing across multiple domains, including sea, air, land, space, cyber and electromagnetic spectrum.

Acquisition of this capability will further support the US Department of Defense’s (DoD) vision for Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) and Nuclear Command, Control, and Communications (NC3).

RI&S Surveillance and Network Systems president Denis Donohue said: “Ensuring these critical protected communications capabilities support NC3 and longer-term JADC2 missions is critical to our national security.

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“Our investments in the NC3 mission are delivering direct benefits to the troops and Global Strike Command.

“We’ve delivered and installed more than the four systems required for IOC and have provided training to support the customer’s IOC decision.”

In 2014, an initial $134m contract was awarded to Raytheon to develop and deliver a high-bandwidth satellite Global ASNT terminal for the USAF.

According to the company, RI&S has invested millions in developing, testing, delivering and installing fixed and transportable Global ASNT terminals and spare sets.

Over 100 operators and maintainers have received training under this programme.

RI&S has also established a contractor’s inventory control point (C-ICP) to centrally manage depot operations during the interim contractor support (ICS) period.

Work locations for this programme are primarily Florida and Massachusetts while the major suppliers are from California, Pennsylvania and Texas.