Navy chooses Continental Electric to upgrade electronic components at submarine communications sites

CHARLESTON, S.C., 9 Sept. 2016. RF and microwave experts at Continental Electronics Corp. in Dallas will maintain and upgrade electronic components a U.S. Navy high-power communications system that sends one-way text messages to submerged nuclear ballistic missile submarine forces.

Navy chooses Continental Electric to upgrade electronic components at submarine communications sites
Navy chooses Continental Electric to upgrade electronic components at submarine communications sites
CHARLESTON, S.C., 9 Sept. 2016. RF and microwave experts at Continental Electronics Corp. in Dallas will maintain and upgrade electronic components a U.S. Navy high-power communications system that sends one-way text messages to submerged nuclear ballistic missile submarine forces.

Officials of the Space and Naval Warfare (SPAWAR) Systems Center Atlantic in Charleston, S.C., announced an $11.4 million contract to Continental Electronics late last week to replace several electronic components in the high-power Fixed Submarine Broadcast System (FSBS).

Continental Electronics will replace the helic coils that make up part of the antenna matching network, as well as the system's pure water cooling loop system, two grid variometers that make up part of the AN/FRT-64 VLF transmitter, and power supply in the FSBS very-low-frequency and low-frequency (VLF/LF) transmitter equipment.

The FSBS consists of 10 land sites worldwide that transmit data streams at a slow 50-baud pace to submerged Ohio-class nuclear ballistic missile submarines. The low frequency and high power of the signal can penetrate sea water to enable submarines to remain submerged while receiving messages from national command authorities.

Command authorities also communicate with submerged submarines using the Take Charge and Move Out (TACAMO) aircraft, which uses a long trailing-wire antenna to transmit messages to submerged submarines.

Related: Navy asks industry to upgrade integrated submarine communications system software

The Navy shore VLF/LF transmitter facilities transmit a 50 baud submarine command and control broadcast which is the backbone of the submarine broadcast system, Navy officials say.

The VLF/LF radio broadcast provides good performance in atmospheric noise), global coverage, and seawater-penetrating properties. The submarine VLF/LF broadcasts operates frequencies from 14 to 60 kHz and consists of high-powered multi-channel MSK Fixed VLF sites and multi-channel LF sites located at 10 sites worldwide.

VLF/LF transmitter sites are located at Naval Communication Station Harold E. Holt near Exmouth, Western Australia; Awase, Okinawa; Lualualei, Hawaii; Jim Creek Naval Radio Station near Oso, Wash.; Stockton, Calif.; LaMoure, N.D.; Cutler, Maine; Aguada, Puerto Rico; Keflavik, Iceland; and Sigonella, Italy.

On this contract Continental Electronics will do the work in Dallas and should be finished by August 2019. For more information contact Continental Electronics online at www.contelec.com, or the SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic at www.public.navy.mil/spawar/Atlantic.

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