Raytheon to help upgrade command and control for U.S. land-based nuclear missile forces

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah, 1 Oct. 2013. Military communications experts at the Raytheon Co. will help upgrade satellite communications capabilities at launch control centers for U.S. land-based nuclear ballistic missile forces under terms of a contract announced late last week.

Posted by John Keller
Posted by John Keller

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah, 1 Oct. 2013. Military communications experts at the Raytheon Co. will help upgrade satellite communications capabilities at launch control centers for U.S. land-based nuclear ballistic missile forces under terms of a contract announced late last week.

Experts at the Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems segment in Marlborough, Mass., will provide installation, maintenance, and logistic support for the Minuteman Minimum Essential Emergency Communication Network (MEECN) program and Minuteman MEECN program upgrade under terms of a $33.4 million contract from the U.S. Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

MEECN provides assured communications between the U.S. president and strategic nuclear weapons forces in time of war, and is designed to operate through nuclear explosions and the effects of atomic blasts, electro-magnetic pulse (EMP), and radioactive fallout.

The system helps the president keep control of U.S. Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) forces, nuclear bomber forces, and Navy nuclear missile submarines through the Nuclear Command and Control System (NCCS) during a nuclear weapons exchange.

The Minuteman MEECN program upgrade modernizes existing Minuteman ICBM launch control center EHF satellite communications (SATCOM) to provide an Advanced EHF (AEHF) capability and give missile combat crew members the ability to control SATCOM terminals in launch centers to switch rapidly among various satellite constellations.

AEHF is an extended data rate (XDR) waveform that provides more secure transmit and receive at higher data rate frequencies than the low data rate frequencies used on Military Strategic and Tactical Relay (MILSTAR) satellites. The AEHF terminal will provide receive and report-back capability.

The current MEECN upgrade program, called Global Aircrew Strategic Network Terminal (Global ASNT), provides secure, survivable inter-site, intra-site, and mobile VLF and Advanced EHF communication to bomber, tanker, reconnaissance units, and mobile support teams with nuclear weapons responsibilities.

Raytheon will do the work in Marlborough, Mass., and at other installation sites, and should be finished by September 2016. For more information contact Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems online at www.raytheon.com, or the Air Force Nuclear Weapons Center at www.hill.af.mil.

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