Raytheon Awarded $442M U.S. Air Force Contract Action for Force Element Terminal (FET) Development Effort

Raytheon is awarded a cost-plus-incentive-fee undefinitized contract action, worth around $442 million, by the U.S. Air Force for the Force Element Terminal (FET) development effort.

This contract provides for the design, development, testing, integration, and logistical support of a FET system that will transition the B-52 and RC-135 hardened communication terminals from the Military Strategic Tactical Relay (Milstar) satellite communications (SATCOM) satellite constellation to the Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite constellation.

The majority of the work will be performed at Raytheon’s facilities in Marlborough, Massachusetts; and Largo, Florida, and is expected to be completed by August 2023.

According to a Pentagon announcement, this award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Fiscal 2019 and 2020 research, development, test and evaluation 3600 funds, in the amount of $5,812,581, are being obligated at the time of contract award. The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Hanscom Air Force Base, Bedford, Massachusetts, is the contracting activity.

The FET development effort is part of the U.S. Air Force’s Family of Advanced Beyond Line-of-Sight Terminal (FAB-T) program.

The FAB-T provides strategic nuclear and non-nuclear command and control with EHF, wideband, protected, and survivable communications terminals for beyond line-of-sight communications. U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) uses the FAB-T to perform satellite Telemetry, Tracking, and Commanding (TT&C) functions for the AEHF/constellation, including management of the satellites, communication networks, and cryptologic keys.

FAB-T is part of the terminal and control segments of the AEHF satellite system and is designed to operate with AEHF Low Data Rate (75 – 2,400 bits per second (bps)) and Extended Data Rate (up to 8.192 Megabits per second) waveforms.

FAB-T consists of ground and aircraft communication terminals with two terminal types — Command Post Terminal (CPTs) and Force Element Terminals (FETs).

• The CPT is intended to replace existing airborne (E-4B and E-6B), ground-fixed, and ground-transportable Milstar command post terminals. The CPT will include satellite and network control functions, end-user telecommunication device interfaces, and the ability to operate the terminal from a distant location using a remote node.

• The FET is intended to be installed in airborne force elements (B-2, B-52, and RC-135). The FET is a program requirement but is currently neither funded nor on contract for development and production.

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