Raytheon Demos Next-Gen BLOS Communication System for US Army

Raytheon Intelligence & Space recently announced the completion of a five-week demonstration of its transportable, beyond-line-of-sight Troposcatter communications system for the US Army.

The “point-to-point” system is wireless and allows the sharing of voice data and command/control information in satellite communication-denied environments. 

Raytheon describes the next-generation system as “a critical communications capability that supports the Department of Defense’s Joint All Domain Command and Control vision to connect the battlespace across every domain.”

Raytheon president of Communications & Airspace Management Systems Denis Donohue said, “The modernized Troposcatter system delivers more capability with increased throughput performance and low latency at a significantly lower cost. The solid-state power amplifier technology reduces overall size and weight, while increasing performance.” 

Describing it as a “force multiplier,” Donohue touted the system’s ability to provide communications links across great distances, a significant leap in technology over legacy military communications systems.

Function, Features, and Development

The Troposcatter system offers broadband communications and delivers high performance with only a single antenna. However, additional antennas can be set up “for diversity” and to establish more stable, secure links, enhancing system performance. 

The automated system can establish “link connectivity in less than 40 minutes” using “radio-scattering effects in the lowest part of the atmosphere, allowing for [beyond-line-of-sight communication], eliminating the need for multiple, expensive line-of-sight relays and limited satellite resources.”

The Troposcatter is small and portable and can be set up quickly during demanding missions. The platform also offers “lower latency” and cost than satellite communications. 

During development, Raytheon tested several versions of the system “in multiple operational environments at 7 different locations across various distances, including some in mountainous terrain at distances approaching 120 miles [193 kilometers].” 

The US Army will field an initial batch of 19 systems with the likelihood of further units being deployed.

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