Satellite Communications

Navy awards $89M contract for submarine communications

The Navy has awarded Raytheon a $89 million contract for 25 more Submarine High Data Rate http://www.defense.gov/Contracts/Contract.aspx?ContractID=5524 (SubHDR) antenna systems, which provide submarine crews with high-capacity communications in the extremely high frequency and super high frequency bands. The contract covers the purchase of the systems for both the U.S. Navy and the United Kingdom according to an 80/20 percent split, so the Navy will get 20 of the SubHDRs and the U.K. five.

The Sub HDR system connects to the Global Broadcast Service http://www.losangeles.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=7853 and other military satellite systems, providing submarines with the ability to send and receive secure voice, video, data, imagery and multimedia—a capability subs lacked until the SubHDR program.

The acquisition process began in 1996 and the first rapid prototype was delivered in June 1998. Initial testing was completed aboard the USS Providence in August 2000 and the first system was deployed in 2001. Since then, more than 100 SubHDR systems have been fielded.

Raytheon, which won the original development contract after a competition, has since been the sole provider of the systems, being awarded a series of contracts for the SubHDR. The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command in San Diego manages the contracts.

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