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Cubic Mission Solutions has been a warded a $325 million (€295 million) 10-year contract to provide 172 Next-Generation Troposcatter (NGT) systems to the US Marine Corps (USMC), the company announced on 6 November.

Cubic will partner with subcontractor Comtech Systems to manufacture and deliver the NGT systems, as well as to provide test support, logistics and training documentation, training execution, fielding support and sustainment.

Cubic’s GATR system is a leader in expeditionary inflatable antennas, while Comtech Systems is a leader in NGT technology. Comtech has designed, installed and maintained more than 90% of the C-band/X-band troposcatter systems worldwide. Together, Cubic and Comtech offer the armed forces a next-generation troposcatter solution that increases bandwidth by an order of magnitude and reduces the size, weight and power (SWaP) by nearly 90%, making it the most mobile and highest throughput beyond-line-of-sight (BLOS) system currently available, according to the company.

The ability to communicate in today’s congested and contested battlespace is critical to saving Marines’ lives and staying one step ahead of the enemy,” commented Roark McDonald, Vice President/General Manager, GATR, Cubic Mission Solutions. “The NGT is one more tool now available to provide high-capacity and highly reliable communications.”

Comtech continues its commitment to providing the most advanced communications technology available anywhere in the world,” added Rich Luhrs, President of Comtech Systems. “The NGT team will provide the Marines with superior communications capability for its warfighters.”

Tropospheric scatter technology has been fielded for decades. It works by pointing two troposcatter systems at each other, separated by distances of more than 200 miles in some cases. Highly focused radio waves are pointed at the horizon. As the radio waves pass through the atmosphere (specifically the troposphere) some of these waves are reflected off particles and captured by the receiving antenna.

Advances in electronics, signal processing and inflatable antenna technology allow Cubic and Comtech’s NGT system to provide the Marines resilient connectivity, with more bandwidth and pack-out to be able to deploy at a moment’s notice. Delivery of the first units to the Marines is expected by the end of 2020.

Cubic’s GATR inflatable antenna technology has laid a strong and exploitable foundation for the type of development now under way with Comtech. (Photo: Mönch archive)

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