Collins Aerospace Awarded $36M USAF Contract to Develop Beyond-Line-Of-Sight Satellite Communications Pod

Collins, which has a Richardson-based secure communications division, will develop the pod with capability to connect with commercial and military satellites in low, medium, and geostationary orbits. The pod's goal: to enhance situational awareness and enable faster, better decisions "across the battlespace."

Collins Aerospace—whose secure communications division is located in Richardson—has been awarded a $36 million contract from the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory to develop and demonstrate a beyond-line-of-sight satellite communications pod.

The pod aims to provide warfighters “resilient, high-bandwidth, low-latency communications and data directly to the cockpit.”

Collins is a business of RTX, which rebranded from its former name of Raytheon in June and has a sprawling Intelligence and Space division in McKinney.

According to RTX, Collins’ platform-agnostic pod will bring together military and commercial satellites to add resiliency to host platforms. It will have the capability to switch between services from different vendors “with little or no hardware modification, while still providing the ability to utilize future constellations as they come online.”

The pod will be designed to work with commercial and military satellites in low earth orbit, medium earth orbit, and geostationary orbit.

‘Designed for survivability’

“It’s critical in a contested environment that the warfighter can communicate with operators regardless of communication path,” Ryan Bunge, vice president communication & networking solutions for Collins Aerospace, said in a statement. “This resilient communications terminal is designed for survivability in degraded environments to offer military leaders enhanced situational awareness to make better decisions faster across the battlespace.”

Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Collins Aerospace has a global team of 73,000 employees focused on the design and deliver of “smarter, more connected solutions for passenger safety and comfort, mission success, space exploration, and operational efficiency and sustainability.”

Arlington, Virginia-based RTX, which operates Pratt & Whitney and Raytheon as well as Collins Aerospace, has more than 180,000 global employees and had sales of $67 billion in 2022.

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