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Harris Corp. Achieves Uplink to Milstar Using AEHF Navy Terminal

December 6, 2006
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Harris Corp. announced that it is the first company to successfully uplink to a Milstar satellite using an Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) Navy Multiband Terminal prototype system. This milestone follows the company’s announcement last month that it was the first to acquire and track low- and medium-data-rate waveforms on Milstar 6 using the same prototype terminal. An SCA 2.2.1 compliant software programmable modem developed by Harris was instrumental in both successful demonstrations. Once fielded, the terminal will serve as the common element of naval information networks, providing interconnection of individual naval assets with other services and eventually with the Global Information Grid.


In 2003, Harris won a contract to develop four prototypes for the next-generation AEHF Navy Multiband Terminal. The US Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command is scheduled to perform a competitive downselect and issue a contract in June 2007 for the engineering, manufacture and development (EMD) phase of the program. Should Harris win the EMD phase competition, the overall value of the program for the Harris team could exceed $1 B by 2015. “This uplink demonstration marks another defining milestone in the development of next generation, Navy protected SATCOM terminals that offer multiband communication capabilities in a single terminal,” said Sheldon Fox, vice president and general manager of the Department of Defense Program business unit of Harris Government Communications Systems Division. “We now have successfully achieved both uplink and downlink capabilities ahead of schedule—key steps in demonstrating that our next-generation AEHF terminal can communicate successfully with Milstar satellites.”

Acquisition of and uplink with the Milstar satellite was performed at Harris Naval SATCOM Integration and Test Facility in Palm Bay, FL, utilizing a KGV-136, the newest generation cryptographic unit. The successful demonstration was the culmination of two years of Harris-sponsored waveform design and hardware/software development as part of the prototype competition sponsored by the Navy Program Executive Office for C4I.

Coupled with an earlier demonstration of the new, extended data rate (XDR) waveforms and the Milstar downlink capability, this latest demonstration confirms that Harris is on plan to provide US Navy ship, submarine and shore installations with full access to the communications capacity provided by the AEHF satellite constellation. This approach offers the Navy better access to SATCOM assets and increased bandwidth, as well as protection from jamming and interception of transmissions.

The Navy Multiband Terminal Phase 1 program is a 43-month effort to design and develop prototype Q-band SATCOM submarine and shipboard terminals in support of the US Navy’s FORCEnet concept. Additional phases will add high performance Ka- and X-band capabilities to the common terminal. The resulting system will replace current single- and dual-band terminals, yielding significant life-cycle cost reductions and improved reliability.

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