Raytheon to work on submarine communications

For about 60 years, communication technology for submarines has remained unchanged. Communicating while deeply submerged or at speed has been difficult.

New technology that uses expendable buoys could greatly enhance underwater vessels' ability to have reliable long-range communications.

Raytheon Co. said this week it has won a $5.2 million Navy development contract to deliver a tactical paging solution.

The system integrates satellite communications with acoustic technology to enable a commander anywhere in the world to contact a submarine immediately regardless of the submarine's speed or depth.

Raytheon's Deep Siren system employs expendable acoustic buoys that, when contacted through the Global Information Grid, enable long-range communications from a buoy to a submarine. The range is dependent on environmental conditions. Buoys can be launched from multiple platforms.

With current technology, submarines routinely initiate communications or adhere to previously established communication schedules to make contact with commanders.

The new technology is part of the Communications at Speed and Depth effort to provide real-time communications with submarines regardless of their operational profile.

Raytheon teamed with RRK Technologies Ltd. of Glasgow, Scotland, and Ultra Electronics Maritime Systems of Dartmouth, Canada, to deliver the capability.

Raytheon, of Waltham, Mass., ranks No. 6 on Washington Technology's 2007 Top 100 list of the largest federal government prime contractors.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Washington Technology.

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