Raytheon officials said the company successfully tested its Secure Mobile Anti-Jam Reliable Tactical Terminal with the Air Force’s on-orbit Advanced Extremely High Frequency communications satellite. AEHF-1 has been in space since August 2010 and last month reached its operational position, allowing operational testing to commence. In this testing, SMART-T demonstrated interoperable communications using the AEHF satellite’s eXtended Data Rate waveform, moving data more than five times faster than previous EHF systems, said the officials in a company release. “This increased capability will provide our armed services with more mission flexibility and significantly increased capacity to provide protected voice, data, and video communications supporting strategic and tactical missions,” said Scott Whatmough, Raytheon’s vice president of integrated communication systems. SMART-T is in production and already fielded by the Army, according to the company.
The F-35 Joint Program Office has officially announced plans to issue multiple sole-source contracts to Pratt & Whitney to upgrade the fighter’s F135 engine—a widely expected move after Pentagon officials indicated they would do so earlier this year instead of developing an entirely new engine.