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Work Continues On New Satellite Communications Antenna System For B-2 Bomber

The B-2 Spirit stealth bomber is one of the most survivable aircraft in the world. It remains the only long-range, large-payload aircraft that can penetrate deeply into protected airspace. In concert with the Air Force's air-superiority fleet, which provides airspace control, and the Air Force's tanker fleet, which enables global mobility, the B-2 helps ensure an effective U.S. response to threats anywhere in the world. It can fly more than 6,000 nautical miles without refueling and more than 10,000 nautical miles with just one aerial refueling, giving it the ability to reach any point on the globe within hours.
by Staff Writers
Atlanta GA (SPX) May 02, 2008
EMS Technologies has announced its latest contract, valued at $13 million, from Northrop Grumman for the new extremely high frequency (EHF) satellite communications system for the U.S. Air Force's B-2 stealth bomber. Under a planned upgrade program, the new EHF system will allow the B-2 to send and receive battlefield information up to 100 times faster than its current ultra-high frequency (UHF) satellite communications system.

Northrop Grumman is the Air Force's prime contractor for the B-2, the flagship of the nation's arsenal of long-range strike aircraft. The Air Force plans to retrofit all 20 B-2's flying today with the EHF system. With developmental items, production units and spares, the contracts are expected to include a total of approximately 30 systems.

"EMS is pleased to play a role in increasing the B-2's fighting effectiveness by equipping it with worldwide high-bandwidth data connectivity, and contributing to the Air Force vision of an interconnected force," said David Smith, vice president of EMS Defense and Space Systems.

Mark Rhoades, Northrop Grumman's EHF Satcom program director, added, "EMS Technologies has made great progress in reducing the risk on the EHF Satcom system program, a critical step for us moving to the next phase of defining the system's requirements for the Air Force."

At the end of March 2008, EMS completed development of the antenna to demonstrate the feasibility of the system. The latest award funds EMS's Defense and Space Systems (D and SS) Division to continue key risk-reduction work on the antenna design.

EMS has been under contract since the program's inception in 2004, with the dollar value of contracts significantly increasing since then. Last year, EMS received $6 million in B-2-related revenue, more than double that of 2006. This year, EMS expects B-2 work to exceed $20 million.

EMS has begun design of early prototype units and is preparing for the formal system requirements review later this year. The review is a key milestone in the Air Force acquisition process and is followed by the full system development and demonstration phase.

The EHF will make the B-2 compatible with both current and future secure military satellite communications networks, helping ensure continuity of secure, worldwide military communications for allied commanders as the current network of MILSTAR satellites transitions to the new Advanced EHF satellite network.

The B-2's new EHF Satcom system is the latest in a series of modernization programs that Northrop Grumman and its subcontractors have undertaken with the Air Force to ensure that the aircraft remains fully capable for the long term.

The B-2 Spirit stealth bomber is one of the most survivable aircraft in the world. It remains the only long-range, large-payload aircraft that can penetrate deeply into protected airspace. In concert with the Air Force's air-superiority fleet, which provides airspace control, and the Air Force's tanker fleet, which enables global mobility, the B-2 helps ensure an effective U.S. response to threats anywhere in the world.

It can fly more than 6,000 nautical miles without refueling and more than 10,000 nautical miles with just one aerial refueling, giving it the ability to reach any point on the globe within hours.

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General Dynamics And Cisco Systems Advance Battlefield Networking
Taunton MA (SPX) May 01, 2008
General Dynamics C4 Systems and teammate Cisco Systems have successfully integrated Cisco's Unified Communications Manager software into the General Dynamics Itronix GoBook XR-1 computer. This will allow current and future users of the Army's Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T) to access communication services such as telephony, email, voice and text messaging via a fully-ruggedized, small-footprint notebook computer.







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