The U.S. Navy has awarded L3Harris $18 million as part of the Commercial Broadband Satellite Program (CBSP), a continuing effort to bolster sailors’ access to commercial broadband communications while on active maritime duty.
The company’s long-standing commitment to the program and on-time delivery of the systems led to four additional units being added to this year’s contracted activities.
CBSP provides terminal-to-shore, space and terrestrial connectivity, increasing throughput for commercial satellite communications to provide redundancy for military satellite communications. The program includes two U.S. Navy contracts for separate types of terminals, one for Force-Level Variants (FLV) and another for Unit-Level Variants (ULV).
There is so much commonality between the FLV and ULV solutions that the company treats them as a single program to keep production cost low, Roy Paleta, L3Harris Chief Systems Engineer for SATCOM Maritime Programs, said. “The above-deck equipment is fairly different because of the size of the antennas, but the below-deck equipment is nearly 100 percent in common,” he said. “There’s a lot of commonality in sparing and training requirements, as well.”
“The CBSP program is a quality-of-life program,” Lin Vinson, L3Harris Program Director, SATCOM Solutions, said. “Sailors talk to family back home, they stream videos, and they can access NIPRS and SIPRS as they need to.”
The ULV contract is a 10 year, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity award, through which the Navy has deployed more than 150 systems to date. This year’s award will provide the service with 16 new units; work is expected to be completed later this year.
CBSP is used as a secondary service for communications that do not leverage the Advanced Extremely High Frequency Naval Maritime Terminal (NMT). It is also the backup for the NMT if it is unavailable, Paleta said, noting the Canadian and New Zealand navies use CBSP as their primary communications terminal.