FAB-T Future Not Clear

The Air Force has not committed to procuring Boeing’s Family of Advanced Beyond-Line-of-Sight Terminals, or FAB-T, said Maj. Gen. John Hyten, director of space programs in the Air Force’s acquisition office. “It’s a fairly complicated story, but as we entered into the year, we were not happy with the prime contractor,” Hyten told reporters in the Pentagon. Accordingly, he said, the Air Force in early January notified Congress and Boeing of its “intent to terminate that contract.” However, Boeing responded just a few days later by offering the Air Force a firm-fixed price proposal to finish development and a commitment not to exceed FAB-T production costs, he explained. That offer was simply too good not to consider, so the service will cautiously weigh a formal proposal and therefore has not yet yielded the contract axe, said Hyten. At the same time, Congress has provided funding in Fiscal 2012 for the Air Force to pursue an alternative to FAB-T as “a hedge,” he said. The service expects to issue the request for proposals for the FAB-T alternative this spring and award the contract by the end of this fiscal year, said Hyten, during the Feb. 17 media roundtable. The terminals are meant to provide protected wideband satellite communications to the President and military leadership for command and control of US nuclear forces.