Lockheed Martin, Hughes and TRW combine strengths to form Advanced EHF National Team for U.S. Air Force
SUNNYVALE, CA, 30-MAY-00 -- Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Hughes Space and Communications and TRW today formed a National Team to build the Department of Defense's next generation of highly secure communication satellites known as the Advanced Extremely High Frequency (Advanced EHF) system. Today's announcement follows the DoD's approval to end the previous Advanced EHF competition between one team headed by Lockheed Martin and TRW and another led by Hughes. On the new National Team, Lockheed Martin will serve as overall system integrator and prime contractor, issuing subcontracts to both Hughes and TRW. The roles and responsibilities of each team member will take advantage of their strengths in building highly secure military communications satellites. The MILSATCOM Program Office, located at the Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, CA, will manage the Advanced EHF contract and is the lead agency for ensuring the secure communications capabilities of this system are made available to the warfighter.
The Advanced EHF Program is the follow-on to the DoD's Milstar highly secure communication satellite program, which currently has two Milstar I spacecraft in orbit. Formation of the new team accelerates development of the new system by 18 months. The earlier deployment of Advanced EHF will help bridge the gap in military communication coverage caused by the loss of the third Milstar satellite, launched in 1999.
Under the National Team contract, the production phase of the program is scheduled to begin in April 2001, with the first of five satellites to be launched late in 2004. The estimated contract value of the Advanced EHF program is $2.5 billion.
As envisioned by the Pentagon, the fully operational Advanced EHF constellation will consist of four crosslinked satellites, providing coverage of the Earth from 65 degrees north latitude to 65 degrees south. These satellites will provide more data throughput capability and coverage flexibility to regional and global military operations than ever before. The fifth satellite built could be used as a spare or launched to provide additional capability to the envisioned constellation.
The Advanced EHF National Team benefits the government by combining the capabilities of three of the United States' foremost leaders in secure communications satellites. Earlier deployment of the system will help the military by putting vital tactical capabilities into the hands of U.S. armed forces sooner, increasing both communications capacity and coverage.
Lockheed Martin is proud to lead this critical national initiative and will contribute its systems integration, ground systems and satellite expertise to provide an effective solution to the U.S. military's communications needs for the 21st century, said Anthony Tuffo, president of Lockheed Martin Space Systems' operations in Sunnyvale, CA. Advanced EHF will benefit from the combined team's leadership in related military and commercial technologies to reduce satellite size and cost while significantly boosting performance. Leveraging all of our strengths will also reduce program risks.
TRW will design and produce the satellites' digital processing subsystem, which controls all onboard switching and processing of messages. TRW will also provide the satellites' nulling antenna subsystem, which prevents adversaries from jamming signals to and from the satellite, and the inter-satellite crosslinks with support from Hughes for the crosslink reflectors. The crosslink subsystem enables Advanced EHF satellites to send messages directly to each other, without the need for a ground station.
Our team will be able to take advantage of TRW's unmatched experience in developing four generations of digital switching bandwidth-on-demand payloads, including those onboard the two Milstar satellites currently in orbit, said Timothy W. Hannemann, executive vice president and general manager of the TRW Space & Electronics Group. The Advanced EHF payload will leverage the latest advances in signal processing technology to lower cost, increase performance and reduce size and weight.
Under the National Team arrangement, Hughes will lead the payload effort and will be responsible for payload integration, as well as production of RF electronics and phased array antennas.
Hughes is proud to be part of the National Team and looks forward to providing maximum commercial leverage to our customer by producing a robust, yet cost-effective solution, said Tig H. Krekel, President & CEO of Hughes Space and Communications Company. Our commercial and government program experience in payload system integration, RF electronics and phased array antennas will ensure the warfighter receives a state-of-the-art system in the shortest possible timeframe.
Advanced EHF satellites will provide 10 times greater total capacity and offer channel data rates six times higher than that of Milstar II communications satellites. The higher data rates permit transmission of tactical military communications such as real-time video, battlefield maps and targeting data.
To accomplish this, Advanced EHF adds new higher data rate modes to the low data rate and medium data rate modes of Milstar II satellites'. The higher data rate modes will provide data rates up to 8.2 million bits of data per second (Mbps) to future Advanced EHF Army terminals. That rate is more than 150 times faster than the 56 kilobit-per-second modems of today's personal computers. Each Advanced EHF satellite employs more than 50 communications channels via multiple, simultaneous downlinks. For global communications, the Advanced EHF system uses inter-satellite crosslinks, eliminating the need to route messages via terrestrial systems.
This system will instantly link battlefield commanders with major regional commands and the decision makers in the Pentagon, explained Tuffo. At the same time, it is compatible with the Milstar system, stretching the life of existing equipment and ensuring a smooth transition to the next generation.
The Advanced EHF National Team members have successfully worked together as a team on the current Milstar Program. The last Milstar satellite will be launched in 2002.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, headquartered in Denver, CO, is one of the major operating units of the world's largest defense contractor, Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT). Space Systems is a global leader in the design, development, test and production of space launch systems, ground systems, scientific spacecraft, satellites for commercial and government customers, fleet ballistic missiles and missile defense systems.
Hughes Space and Communications is the world's leading manufacturer of commercial communications satellites, having built nearly 40 percent of those in operation. It also is a major supplier of spacecraft and equipment to the U.S. government. HSC is a unit of Hughes Electronics Corporation. The earnings of Hughes Electronics, a unit of General Motors Corporation, are used to calculate the earnings per share attributable to the General Motors Class H common stock (NYSE:GMH). For more information about HSC, see its website at www.hughespace.com.
TRW Space & Electronics Group builds state-of-the-art communications, scientific and defense spacecraft for military, civil and commercial customers; produces, integrates and tests payloads; develops advanced space instruments; and integrates experiments into spacecraft. TRW Inc. (NYSE:TRW) provides advanced technology products and services for the global automotive, aerospace and information systems markets. Information about TRW is available at www.TRW.com.