WASHINGTON — Raytheon Co. expects the U.S. Air Force to award a production contract by the end of 2016 for terminals that connect senior Defense Department leaders with the country’s nuclear bomber fleet through highly protected military satellites.
In December 2013, Raytheon won a $134 million Air Force contract to develop the Global Aircrew Strategic Network Terminal. The terminals are designed to connect nuclear bomber bases to the Advanced Extremely High Frequency constellation of highly secure, jam-proof communications satellites as well as the legacy Milstar satellites.
Raytheon already has completed several design and development milestones, including a preliminary design review, the company said.
Air Force officials have said they anticipate ordering 90 terminals, about half of which would be fielded at fixed locations.
“The requirements are in place, designs are progressing and we’re executing on time and on budget,” Scott Whatmough, vice president of Raytheon’s Integrated Communication Systems business, said in a March 4 release.