Northrop Grumman awards $9.3 million contract to ViaSat for Blue Force Tracking satellite network upgrade

CARLSBAD, Calif., 11 April 2007. ViaSat Inc. has been selected to develop the satellite ground equipment for the follow-on Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below - Blue Force Tracking (FBCB2-BFT) satellite network upgrade.

Apr 11th, 2007

CARLSBAD, Calif., 11 April 2007. ViaSat Inc. has been selected to develop the satellite ground equipment for the follow-on Force XXI Battle Command Brigade and Below - Blue Force Tracking (FBCB2-BFT) satellite network upgrade.

ViaSat will build a prototype network and terminals designed to increase network capacity and improve accuracy over the current system under an initial $9.3 million contract from Northrop Grumman Corporation, the Army's system integrator for FBCB2.

The FBCB2 network is a digital command-and-control system that provides battle command and situational awareness information from brigade down to the soldier/platform level using GPS navigation signals and communication satellites.

ViaSat and the RF Communications Division of Harris Corporation have cooperated in winning this effort. Work under the contract is scheduled to be complete in one year, and production and delivery of FBCB2-BFT replacement terminals may begin as early as 2008.

System improvements to be implemented by ViaSat include providing a prototype network operations center, upgrading a satellite ground station hub, as well as design, development, test, and delivery of new transceiver prototypes for aircraft and land vehicles.

The FBCB2 system, built by Northrop Grumman's Mission Systems sector, relays information to users who can view regularly updated troop positions on screens in their vehicles and differentiate between friendly and enemy forces. The system also provides for the delivery of messages and other types of information to ground vehicles including tanks, armored personnel carriers, and infantry fighting vehicles, as well as U.S. Army rotary wing aircraft.

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