Army funds testing of upgrade to communications system

The U.S. Army has contracted Raytheon to conduct certification testing on an upgraded satellite communications system used on its aircraft.
By Richard Tomkins   |   Aug. 12, 2015 at 12:06 PM
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MCKINNEY, Texas, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- Raytheon is to test and certify significant upgrades to its AN/ARC-231 multi-mode communications system used on U.S. Army aerial platforms.

The testing on the system that provides secure voice and data communications is being funded by the U.S. Army following its receipt of the last of 18 engineering development models, or EDM, of upgraded AN/ARC-231s.

The upgrades will allow future modernization of the system to be performed through changes to software only.

The contract from the Army is worth $39 million.

"The completion of EDM deliveries and the start of certification testing mark significant milestones for the AN/ARC-231 upgrade program," said Scott Whatmough, vice president of Integrated Communications Systems for Raytheon's Space and Airborne Systems business. "These are critical steps in the process of ensuring Army aviators have the secure communications capabilities they need to accomplish their missions."

The AN/ARC-231 is a VHF/UHF multi-band tactical communications system that Raytheon says is ready for a seamless transition to the emerging Mobile User Objective System satellite communications networking waveform without compromise to its legacy air-to-air and air-to-ground line of sight and SATCOM communication capabilities.

Testing of the upgraded units will be conducted at Raytheon's facility in Fort Wayne, Ind., and at the U.S. Army Software Engineering Directorate laboratory in Huntsville, Ala.

Successful testing will lead to full cryptographic certification for the upgraded system, Raytheon said.

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