HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif., Jan. 12, 2009 -- The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has successfully completed the systemwide Critical Design Review (CDR) for its Family of Advanced Beyond line-of-sight Terminals (FAB-T) satellite communications program, paving the way for implementation of a new data capability.
The CDR, which was conducted Oct. 28-30 for senior military, government and industry officials, demonstrated that the program's requirements are well defined and understood, as required in the FAB-T contract managed by the U.S. Air Force. The Boeing Terminal Test team established log on, downlink, and uplink connections with a Milstar 6 satellite -- a first step toward implementing Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite Extended Data Rate (XDR) capability.
"Our design solution and program management have been validated as we've successfully executed this contract and completed this systemwide design review," said Jim Dodd, FAB-T program director for Boeing. "Formal qualification testing will further validate the terminals' interoperability and satellite interfaces."
The FAB-T system includes software-defined radios, antennas and user-interface hardware that will enable the government to host numerous waveforms that accommodate data rates in excess of 300 megabits per second. Once operational, FAB-T will provide critical, secure beyond line-of-sight communications capability for warfighters via several satellites that support military forces.
Boeing expects to begin deliveries of engineering development modules to the Air Force this year for FAB-T Increment 1, which incorporates airborne operational requirements for the Milstar and AEHF satellite systems. These units will be deployed to the various airborne users for integration with onboard mission systems. Flight testing of these modules is currently planned for mid-2009.
FAB-T Increment 1 is a key enabler of network-centric communications. It will provide strategic forces with a multi-mission-capable family of software-defined radios that use common open system architecture to link to different satellites and enable information exchange between ground, air and space platforms. FAB-T represents a key building block in Boeing's vision of the integrated battlespace of the future, where networked information and communications systems provide a competitive edge to decision-makers and military personnel.
In the next phase, Increment 2, Boeing will develop terminals to support Wideband Global SATCOM satellite operations on surveillance aircraft such as Global Hawk, with other platforms expected to follow.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $32.1 billion business with 71,000 employees worldwide.