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14 Aug 06. Raytheon Company and the U.S. Air Force successfully demonstrated how battle systems — showing future force capabilities using current and near term systems — can work together to benefit the warfighter.

Sponsored by the Air Force Material Command, the Air Force Integrated Collaborative Environment (AF-ICE) Icebreaker 2006 event, held July 17-21, focused on net-centric weapon systems. A mix of 11 government and industry sites used current and conceptual netted weapons systems to conduct operations in the Southwest Asia region and explore possible new mission solutions for the warfighter.

Raytheon’s connection to the AF-ICE network was the only networked industry node demonstrating live/virtual/constructive modeling and simulations resources. Other industry members participated connected to the network as simple clients within the Air Force node at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

Raytheon Missile Systems and Raytheon Network Centric Systems provided modeling and simulation resources including Tomahawk cruise missile models, AFATDS (Advanced Field Artillery Tactical Data System) and infrastructure matched to the event’s scenario objectives. Raytheon successfully demonstrated the utility of net-enabled weapons to provide non-traditional ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) as well as time sensitive strike and dynamic retargeting.

By demonstrating command and control capabilities linked directly to its weapons, Raytheon showed how merged strategic, operational and tactical fires provide a critical link for timely and effective response to the joint warfighter.

“Our support of the warfighter as the only industry node connected to the AF-ICE network for this event is proof of Raytheon’s commitment to the Air Force and joint community’s net-enabled weapons goals. This demonstration really shows the ‘the art of the possible’ in meeting the warfighter’s dynamic targeting needs with today’s systems,” said Mark Hall, Raytheon’s lead and senior manager for AF-ICE. “Icebreaker ’06 provides our customers with a view of how Raytheon can integrate solutions to their future battlefield needs today using current and near-term assets.”

Following on the heels of a recent June 2006 communications breakthrough, Raytheon Company alos announced that the company has achieved another important milestone in troposcatter (TROPO) solutions. Besting its own industry-first 20 megabytes per second (MBps) Ku band TROPO or “over the horizon” communications link, Raytheon successfully demonstrated a 40 MBps link.

This milestone significantly exceeds current TROPO bandwidth rates that today are in the range of 16 MBps. Increased bandwidth enables soldiers to transmit and receive greater amounts of video and voice data information more quickly.

TROPO is the ability to transmit radio waves over the curvature of the Earth, without using satellites, by bouncing signals off irregularities (small changes in humidity, temperature and pressure) in the troposphere, approximately 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) above the Earth’s surface. The U.S. military currently employs TROPO systems for tactical and strategic communications throughout the world.

“Improved TROPO solutions provide our warfighters with access to information without reliance on already overburdened satellites,” said Jerry Powlen, vice president, Network Centric Systems’ Integrated Communications Systems.

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