Harris Corp. wins satellite antenna subcontract

Harris Corp. has won a three-year, $37 million subcontract from Lockheed Martin Corp. to provide unfurlable mesh reflectors for Defense Department Mobile User Objective System satellites, the company announced today.

The value of the contract could reach $90 million if the Defense Department produces all five satellites as planned.

Harris of Melbourne, Fla., will provide Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Lockheed Martin Space and Strategic Missiles with spaceborne, unfurlable mesh reflector technology for the satellites.

The reflectors, two per satellite, will be manufactured at Harris facilities in Palm Bay, Fla., as part of the system's geosynchronous satellite's UHF band antenna system. The company's Government Communications System Division will do the work.

The five- and 12-meter reflectors, which are attached to the satellite bus by booms, include gold-mesh reflective surfaces and are stowed for launch much like an umbrella. Once the satellite reaches operational orbit 22,000 miles above Earth, ground controllers will send a command signal to the satellite to unfurl the reflectors.

The Mobile User Objective System is designed to enhance the Navy's satellite tactical communications system, UHF Follow-on, by providing defense forces with critical tactical communications in remote, rugged locations. Initial operation of the system is expected by 2010.

Harris has more than 10,900 employees and annual sales of $2.5 billion. The company ranked No. 16 on Washington Technology's 2004 Top 100 list, which measures federal prime contracting revenue.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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