Raytheon Co.’s Navy Multiband Terminal (NMT) is the first advanced, next-generation satellite communications (SATCOM) system to successfully log on to and communicate with the US Government’s Milstar SATCOM system, using low and medium data rate waveforms. The system will provide naval commanders and sailors with greater data capacity, as well as improved protection against enemy intercept and jamming. Raytheon has also demonstrated that its NMT is fully compatible with existing submarine and shore antennas, an important life-cycle cost-savings objective of the NMT program.

This achievement follows Raytheon’s earlier success in developing the first Software Communications Architecture (SCA)-compliant SATCOM system to validate the advanced extended data rate communications waveform. This waveform provides highly protected and high speed communications with the Department of Defense’s (DoD) new Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite constellation planned for operation in 2010. Raytheon’s non-proprietary, SCA implementation of these waveforms meets the DoD’s vision to make them available for future developments, significantly reducing costs. “Raytheon’s designers logged more than 13,000 hours onboard ships and submarines collecting data to understand what matters most to the Navy,” said Jerry Powlen, vice president of Network Centric Systems Integrated Communications Systems. “These achievements demonstrate Raytheon’s ability to continue to provide the Navy with the most reliable, affordable and user friendly advanced SATCOM capability.”

With more than 500 Navy SATCOM systems currently fielded, Raytheon’s NMT solution builds on the company’s extensive experience and innovative solutions in naval communications. NMT, which replaced several existing SATCOM systems developed and maintained by Raytheon during the last 20 years, is expected to be installed in more than 300 ships, submarines and shore stations.

The Navy’s communications program office, which reports to the Navy’s program executive office for command, control, communications, computers and intelligence, is responsible for developing and delivering NMT capabilities to the fleet.

“Our NMT SATCOM design features over 95 percent commonality of parts,” said Powlen. “For our customer, that means it can share a significant percentage of parts between ships, subs and shore stations, without additional investment and logistic costs. In fact, our total life-cycle design even reduces the number of personnel needed to operate and maintain the system, while minimizing the training needed to support it. We consider these critical features for the future.”