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Raytheon to demonstrate military satellite capabilities for U.S. Air Force
by Ryan Maass
Marlborough, Maine (UPI) Dec 21, 2016

Orbital ATK completes Zombie Pathfinder target test for U.S. Army
Dulles, Va. (UPI) Dec 22, 2016 - Orbital ATK completed its first demonstration for its next-generation Zombie Pathfinder short-range ballistic missile target for the U.S. Army.

Zombie Pathfinder targets are designed to represent a different class of threats, allowing the U.S. Army and other partners to test a variety of weapons. The first demonstration took place at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

The project supports NASA's Sounding Rocket Program, a 40-year effort to develop solutions for carrying scientific instruments and other payloads into space along a parabolic trajectory. Orbital ATK Technical Services Division vice president John Pullen called the demonstration a milestone for the program.

"We're delighted with the flight test and look forward to working closely with the Army to further realize the vision of the Zombie Pathfinder program," he said in a press release. "Orbital ATK has been at the forefront of providing low cost targets and we anticipate this market as a growth area. This successful demonstration reinforces our ability to provide affordable and reliable ongoing operational support in the future."

Orbital ATK has operated the Zombie Pathfinder for the U.S. Army and NASA since 2010. The company has since clinched five target missions, and expects additional orders in the future. A demonstration for targets capable of longer ranges is scheduled for 2018.

Raytheon has received a $37 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to demonstrate Wideband Global Satellite Communications capabilities.

The demonstration supports the Protected Tactical Services Field Demonstration program, which seeks to improve anti-jam security abilities using constellation and commercial satellites.

During the demonstration, Raytheon plans to showcase how reusing antenna and other existing equipment can boost security while cutting costs for the program.

"In today's global environment, affordable, protected and resilient satellite communication is crucial," Raytheon's Brian Gray said in a press release. "Raytheon is uniquely qualified to deliver a reliable and affordable terminal for this critical mission."

Raytheon adds the new system will benefit commercial and government satellite communication capabilities, and enhance security for military users.

The U.S. Air Force refers to the Wideband Global SATCOM satellite, or WSG, as the backbone of the branch's communications. The system is designed to provide high data and long haul communications for warfighters and international partners.

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