REDONDO BEACH, Calif., Dec. 11, 2006 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- A Transformational Satellite Communications (TSAT) team led by Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT) and Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has applied an integrated payload test bed to demonstrate how TSAT will enable new, network-centric missions for the U.S. military such as intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) operations not realizable today.

Building upon the Milstar satellite communications network currently in operation and the Advanced Extremely High Frequency (EHF) system now in production, TSAT will provide protected, mobile, broadband, Internet protocol (IP)-based connectivity to strategic and tactical users around the globe.

The Lockheed Martin / Northrop Grumman demonstrations to U.S. military services and government agencies showed how data from multiple ISR platforms can be fused and disseminated to achieve common situational awareness across command and control centers, warfighters on the ground, sea, and air and decision-makers in the continental U.S. to enable rapid communications on the move for "sensor-to-shooter" operations. The demonstrations included actual satellite brassboard equipment developed on the TSAT Risk Reduction and System Definition contract with user collector and command and control applications and sophisticated network emulation devices.

Test bed demonstrations highlighted the potential for TSAT-enabled network-centric ISR operations currently not possible, including the precision location of non-traditional, low-power target emitters such as cell phones, and the transmission of real-time, conventional and hyper spectral imagery and video from airborne and space-based ISR sensors. Those demonstrations featured collaboration among the Combined Air Operations Center staff, the crew of a command and control (C2) aircraft, an analysis center located in the U.S. and Special Operations Forces on the ground.

The TSAT test bed is the product of collaboration among government and industry. Key TSAT payload technologies - laser communications and a Next Generation Processor Router - were developed under management of the U.S. Air Force Military Satellite Communications Systems Wing, located at the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., and validated by Lincoln Labs, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The team developed the payload brassboard equipment, network and terminal emulators, and operational scenarios to fully represent the end-to-end TSAT system. The test bed simulated Global Hawk airborne ISR equipment, space ISR, along with E2 Hawkeye command and control aircraft equipment interfaced with the TSAT end-to-end system to demonstrate the operational benefits of common situational awareness and sensor-to-shooter connectivity.

The test bed also demonstrated the team's experience in integrating the technologies required for TSAT. Hardware and software have been implemented in the test bed to address flight TSAT requirements, and can be carried forward to the flight unit design, thereby reducing risk in the flight system development.

"We are addressing the system aspects and integration challenges of TSAT head-on," said Rick Skinner, vice president of Transformational Communications at Lockheed Martin. "Beyond the risk reduction of TSAT technologies, our team is going the extra step by demonstrating the integration of these technologies and how this new system enables new mission capabilities for the warfighter."

"With technology risk reduction on track, integration challenges addressed, and a TSAT block approach, which provides substantial weight and power margins on the first block, the execution risk of TSAT is well within that already managed successfully on Milstar II and Advanced EHF," said Stuart Linsky, vice president of Satellite Communications at Northrop Grumman. "Add to that a large base of protected satcom engineering resources available from the Advanced EHF program's transition into production, and we are well prepared to move forward now with TSAT development."

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The corporation reported 2005 sales of $37.2 billion.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $30 billion global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.

  CONTACT:  Bob Bishop
          Northrop Grumman Space Technology
          (310) 812-5227
          (310) 251-0261 (cell)
          bob.j.bishop@ngc.com