Raytheon [RTN] will demonstrate its solution for the Air Force’s next-generation command and control system for strategic nuclear forces next summer.

Raytheon Vice President for Integrated Control Solutions Scott Whatmough said recently the company will demonstrate a “very robust prototype” of its Family of Advance Beyond Line-of-Sight Terminals (FAB-T), which will provide the critical link enabling nuclear command and control using the Milstar Extremely High Frequency (EHF) and Advanced EHF (AEHF) waveforms. The Air Force awarded Raytheon a $70 million contract Sept. 7 for ground fixed and transportable Command Post Terminals with Presidential and National Voice Conferencing and Tracking, Telemetry and Commanding capabilities.

“It will not have been through a qualification test, it will not have been through formal production, but it will be representative of the final configuration and suitable for some of the testing required to go on the aircraft,” Whatmough said.

Whatmough said Raytheon’s solution will involve its software running on a hardware configuration to go into the airborne and ground platforms for FAB-T. Whatmough said with Raytheon about 80 percent complete with FAB-T functionality, the goal is to put the final 20 percent into the system.

“Take the hardware configuration and convert it from what is now a design (that is) designed for shipboard and ground applications and repackage it into an airborne configuration so that we can meet the install requirements for the airborne platforms.”

Whatmough said the Air Force has a September 2015 deadline for a “fully working, tested terminal.”

Whatmough said Raytheon has developed protected satellite communication systems for the Defense Department over the years in DoD’s Secure Mobile Anti-Jam Reliable Tactical Terminal (SMART-T), the Air Force’s Minuteman Minimum Essential Emergency Communications Network program upgrade (MMPU) and the Navy’s Multiband Terminal (NMT). Whatmough said Raytheon developed FAB-T’s required Presidential and National Voice Conferencing requirement when it developed SMART-T.

“It’s an important aspect of our design that we’ll be able to just port that over and integrate into the FAB-T solution,” Whatmough said.

The Air Force originally awarded the FAB-T production contract to Boeing [BA] over Raytheon in 2002, but became concerned Boeing wouldn’t be able to deliver, so it re-opened the competition, allowing Raytheon to get back in the FAB-T business.