Raytheon Intelligence & Space to connect military aircraft and commercial space networks

New phased-array antenna will allow the US Air Force to take advantage of space internet services.

Image credit: Motto

Raytheon Intelligence & Space, a Raytheon Technologies business, was awarded a $13.1 million contract for a U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory program aimed at connecting military jets to emerging commercial space internet services.


“Raytheon is developing a phased-array antenna that will help the U.S. Air Force take advantage of emerging commercial space internet satellites in low-Earth orbit,” said Van Andrews, senior director for advanced radio frequency programs at RI&S. “The military can tap into any number of new space internet services like any other customer. The sheer number of satellites – potentially thousands – could allow communications at speeds much faster than currently available to military aircraft.”


Raytheon’s design is for the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Defense Experimentation Using Commercial Space Internet, or “Global Lightning,” program. The new phased-array antenna will allow an aircraft to seamlessly jump between different satellites. The hardware will be designed to meet the size, weight, and power constraints of military aircraft. The program calls for a flight demonstration in 2022.


Source: Raytheon Intelligence & Space