[Via Satellite 07-22-2015] A Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and TeleCommunication Systems (TCS) team has completed the Critical Design Review (CDR) for the information assurance elements of the Low Cost Terminal (LCT) project. LCT is an initiative to develop an affordable terminal for protected communications through the Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite system, leveraging existing commercial technologies and designs to minimize costs.
Earlier this year the companies integrated and tested a prototype LCT designed for protected comm-on-the-move applications with the AEHF payload engineering model, proving its interoperability with the AEHF anti-jam satellite systems. Completion of the CDR clears the way for the team to build hardware and software for the information assurance element, or end cryptographic unit. The contractor team is planning to test the terminal with an AEHF satellite by the end of 2015 and anticipates full certification in 2016.
Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and TCS are jointly funding the development and contractor portion of LCT certification. To date, LCT has been an industry-funded development.
“We recognize that the [Department of Defense] DOD has a significant unmet need for the type of protected communications that only the Milstar and AEHF satellites can provide,” said Mike Bristol, president of TCS Government Solutions Group. “The air, land and mobile variants of the LCT satisfy that need with a very cost-efficient solution.”
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