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05 Nov 15. The U.S. Air Force has cleared its Milestone C decision briefing allowing Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) to start low-rate initial production of communications terminals for the Family of Advanced Beyond Line of Sight Terminal (FAB-T) program.
The Milestone C review marks the beginning of the production phase of the program. Raytheon will produce both airborne and ground terminal variants, deliver spares and provide training, installation and logistical support, under an exercised contract option of the previously awarded production program.
“Starting low-rate production is a significant achievement for the FAB-T program,” said Scott Whatmough, vice president of Integrated Communications Systems for Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems business. “Our focus during production will remain on delivering an affordable, reliable and capable solution that meets the requirements of this critically important mission.”
FAB-T is a highly secure satellite communications terminal that allows the President of the United States, senior military advisers and combatant commanders to receive and transmit voice, data, imagery and video across the world to support various military operations.
The terminals, which provide access to and command and control communication links to the Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite communications system, will be manufactured at Raytheon’s facility in Largo, Florida. Raytheon’s Marlborough, Massachusetts, site will also provide support.
17 Oct 15. India-Russia hi-tech defence venture planned. A joint venture for the development of hi-technology defence and aerospace equipment is reportedly being established between Indian financial entities and Russian sovereign wealth fund Rusnano Management Company. Rusnano will create a INR130bn (USD2bn) fund with “equal contribution” from Indian institutions, according to India’s Economic Times. An unnamed Russian source involved in the deal is quoted as saying Russia “will invest up to 49% in the joint venture company and the rest will be owned by the Indian partner”. Russia will “transfer critical technology” to the joint venture, which is wholly part of the Make in India initiative, according to the source. The venture will reportedly focus particularly on modernisation contracts, although no further details have been provided. (Source: MPI – Hawk Information)
04 Nov 15. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC) recently demonstrated its Freedom 550(TM) gateway radio terminal performing as a communications relay among fourth- and fifth-generation aircraft during an Open Mission Systems (OMS) flight trial led by Lockheed Martin. The demonstration further validated the Air Force’s OMS acquisition initiative — an approach based on open architecture design –quickly taking advantage of new or improved capabilities, regardless of supplier, at a reduced cost. It also verified that Northrop Grumman can integrate an OMS solution with another prime contractor’s system. During the flight test at Edwards Air Force Base, California, the Northrop Grumman Freedom 550 terminal was used as part of a gateway to link a fifth-generation F-22 Raptor, which uses the stealthy Intra-Flight Data Link (IFDL), with a fourth-generation F-18 Hornet communicating via Link-16, the standard data link used by many military platforms. The Freedom 550 was on board a Lockheed Martin U-2 Dragon Lady, providing the IFDL connection to the F-22, and used OMS standards and applications to integrate with the rest of the OMS systems on the platform.
“The foundation of this successful achievement — particularly under a quick-reaction timeline — was Northrop Grumman’s proven products in fifth-to-fifth and fifth-to-fourth gateways and our work with the OMS collaboration working group,” said Jeannie Hilger, vice president and general manager, communic