“Entering functional qualification testing in effect means that the design, hardware development, software development and integration phases are all complete,” he says, adding that the company completed CDR last year. “Boeing’s is the only industry offering that has achieved this level of development maturity.”
Boeing says flight tests this summer will validate FAB-T’s functional and operational performance under realistic aircraft dynamics. Test scenarios to be completed this summer involve ground-based and airborne terminals that communicate via the newly-on-orbit AEHF and Milstar satellites to validate operational performance under realistic conditions.
Another recent milestone is the successful demonstration of FAB-T’s integration with the AEHF and Milstar mission control subsystem, which commands both satellite constellations. The test validated FAB-T’s ability to control strategic satellite communications payloads in orbit. The AEHF and Milstar satellite constellations will relay FAB-T communications once FAB-T is operational.
“Boeing’s is the only industry offering that has demonstrated AEHF and Milstar satellite command and control capability, which is a requirement for FAB-T,” Esposito said.
Meanwhile, Raytheon hopes to receive an Air Force contract in the coming months to replace fixed and deployable communications for bomber, tanker, reconnaissance and other alert communications facilities under the Global Aircrew Strategic Network Terminal (GASNT).
“It’s the next significant AEHF opportunity,” Whatmough said.