Earlier this month was the testing of the low cost terminal, an industry funded project that was tested off the Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite. Engineers working on the project state that this is a remarkable milestone that has shown the capability of using cheap tactical terminals to initiate connections between the top personnel in the U.S. Department of Defense. The communications would be a lot more secure than current generation communications and can help deliver an assuredly high level of data integrity and security. The initiative was spearheaded by a collaborative team from Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman Corporation.
The Need for LCT
The AEHF system currently allows users from the defense sector to create a secure passage of communications between them in order to conduct any tactical orders or supervise any data at high security levels. These functions can include identifying targets, real time video streaming and viewing, map analysis, and nuclear commands. The AEHF is already in orbit and performing these functions, but holds a lower volume limit than what could be achieved using LCT. LCT can enable a large number of tactical command and defense personnel to maintain connection and communications between themselves across a much wider network while still holding the same assured security levels on their network even while communicating across turbulent or contested regions.
Low Cost and High Function Addition
The VP of communications systems over at Northrop Grumman, Cyrus Dhalla, stated that the new milestone set through the successful testing of the LCT can usher in a new age of low cost and highly secure communications, by leveraging all technologies and designs that have existed, as well as key investments that were pooled. The test can also ensure a more commercial procurement model for the technology, allowing tactical users to communicate through a highly protected network that is immune to jamming and has a lower detection probability than conventional communications systems.