Hughes Network Systems, LLC, the global leader in broadband satellite networks and services, today announced it has been awarded a Data Link Modernization (DLM) contract by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc. (GA-ASI) to provide new advanced satellite communications (SATCOM) systems for the U.S. Army’s MQ-1C Gray Eagle Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). Under the contract, Hughes will provide advanced, ruggedized HM400 modems that integrate with the DoD’s waveform technology to support the wide range of unique mission requirements of the U.S. Army – including operations in contested environments.
Hughes will provide both air and ground modems for the U.S. Army Gray Eagle Extended Range UAS platform with ongoing software upgrades to maintain continuous operational resiliency. Hughes will work with Comtech Telecommunications Corp. on the production of ground equipment and waveform technology in support of the program.
“We are very excited to support GA-ASI with a modern, cost-effective and open systems architecture with the speed, flexibility and resiliency necessary to meet the next generation of mission requirements for the Army and other DoD users,” said Rick Lober, vice president and general manager of the Defense Division at Hughes. “This contract reinforces the commitment of both General Atomics and Hughes to serving the U.S. Army with enhanced communications capabilities for mission-critical unmanned platforms.”
This contract is a testament to the growing success of the Hughes airborne solutions for unmanned systems as it follows a previous contract to upgrade communications on the MQ-9B SkyGuardian, a type-certifiable variant of GA-ASI’s Predator® B Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA).