Air Force to get additional communications systems
Boeing will furnish airborne intelligence systems for cargo and bomber aircraft
- By David Hubler
- May 21, 2009
Boeing Co. has received a $3.4 million follow-on contract to provide the Air Force with 46 additional Combat Track II airborne satellite communications systems.
Since 2001 Boeing has delivered nearly 500 Combat Track II kits to the U.S. Air Force in an ongoing effort to provide airborne intelligence systems for cargo and bomber aircraft that enhance situational awareness, increase aircrew survivability and improve airframe effectiveness, company officials said.
The technology provides aircrews with command and control information as well as secure, beyond line-of-sight, encrypted communications between the aircraft and air operations centers worldwide, they said.
The system also provides position reports, supports text messaging, delivers intelligence and threat information to the cockpit, and supports altering tasks as requirements and threat conditions change.
“These systems close critical gaps in the warfighter’s ability to rapidly respond to emerging threats,” said Steve Oswald, vice president and general manager of the Intelligence and Security Systems division of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems.
Boeing builds the systems and also provides engineering, systems integration, depot maintenance support and operational support. The total value of the systems currently in use is approximately $38 million.
The Combat Track II systems are installed on C-130, C-17, B-52 and B-1 aircraft operated by the Air Force Air Mobility Command, Air Combat Command and Air Force Reserves.
David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.