Harris will modernize Army satellite terminals

Harris Corp. will provide satellite modernization services to the Army under a 10-year, $600 million contract.

The award calls for the company to assist the Army’s Modernization of Enterprise Terminals (MET) program. The next-generation military satellite communications terminals developed for the MET program will provide the worldwide backbone for high-priority military communications and missile defense systems.

As prime contractor, Harris will develop, test and certify four unique terminal configurations during a 30-month, first test phase. In addition, Harris will provide production hardware under the five-year base and five-year option contract, the company said.

The Melbourne, Fla., contractor also will support field activities such as site preparation, installation, testing, operations and maintenance. The program will be managed by Team DCATS - Project Manager, Defense Communications and Army Transmission Systems, Harris officials said.

The award calls for Harris to replace up to 80 AN/GSC-52, AN/GSC-39, AN/FSC-78 and other aging strategic satellite communications terminals around the world with new, simultaneous X- and Ka-band terminals capable of interfacing with the new Wideband Global Satellite constellation as well as with legacy satellite systems, the officials said.

The hardware will include various fixed ground terminal configurations; a hardened, transportable terminal; and a small terminal suitable for rooftop mounting.

The new terminals will support Internet Protocol and Dedicated Circuit Connectivity within the Global Information Grid, providing critical reach-back capability for the warfighter, they added.

The advanced, strategic terminal architecture achieves a high level of equipment and integration commonality which reduce acquisition and logistics costs, said Wes Covell, president of Defense Programs at Harris Government Communications Systems.

Harris’ MET program partners include General Dynamics Satcom Technologies, O'Neil & Associates, a supplier of logistics and interactive, electronic technical manuals; and Janus Research Group, an innovator in training simulation.

The first terminal is scheduled for completion in early 2011.

Harris ranks No. 13 on Washington Technology’s 2008 Top 100 list of the largest federal government prime contractors.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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