Harris Corp. has delivered the first 12 of 39 Large Aperture Multiband Deployable Antenna (LAMDA) terminals to be used by the US Marine Corps and US Air Force for multiband, mobile satellite communications. The order for 39 LAMDA terminals is part of a $42 M contract awarded to Harris in 2004 by the US Army that also includes 25 Lightweight High Gain X-band Antenna (LHGXA) terminals.

The LAMDA is an enhanced version of the field-proven LHGXA, a rugged, highly mobile tactical antenna deployed and operated by military personnel worldwide.

The LAMDA provides field units with user-friendly, large aperture tri-band (C-, X- and Ku-band) antenna that withstands the rigors of harsh operating environments.

The terminal supports tri-band operation by using interchangeable antenna feeds that can be rapidly installed by operators in the field. The LAMDA operates with the Defense Satellite Communications System, the Wideband Gapfiller System, NATO, Skynet, XTAR and Intelsat satellite constellations.

“These deliveries represent another key milestone in the LAMDA program, and we expect to continue delivering three systems per month going forward,” said Sheldon Fox, vice president and general manager of Department of Defense Programs, Harris Government Communications Systems Division.

“The LAMDA demonstrates Harris’s ability to expand its proven technology and expertise in satellite communications terminals to a new solution that offers enhanced operational flexibility, greater data rates, improved link reliability and significant satellite-lease cost savings. In addition to its use by US forces, we think LAMDA is ideal for international military applications as well.”

Of the 39 LAMDAs currently under contract, 21 will go to the Marines and 18 to the Air Force. Harris has to date delivered nine LAMDAs to the Marines and three to the Air Force. The LAMDA purchases are being made under a larger umbrella contract to the US Army that also covers the purchase of the LHGXA.

The LAMDA incorporates a 4.9 m (16 ft.) diameter reflector mounted on an HMMWV-towable trailer, yet has the equivalent performance characteristics of a 20 ft. reflector due to its shaped, offset-fed design. Rugged, yet lightweight outer panels allow a three-person crew to set up or tear down the antenna in less than 45 minutes.