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Satnews Daily
April 20th, 2017

Encore for XTAR... $9.8 Million Contract Keeps US Navy's UAS Connected

MQ-4C Triton Making the World’s Oceans Smaller by Northrup Grumman

XTAR, LLC has kept the US Navy happy with their services. As a result XTAR has been selected once again by the US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) to supply X-band satellite bandwidth for the MQ-4C Triton UAS.  The blanket purchase agreement has a ceiling of $9.8 million and consists of a one-year base with four one-year options.

The MQ-4C Triton is an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) developed under the Navy’s Persistent Maritime Unmanned Aircraft Systems program. Designed and manufactured by Northrop Grumman for the US Navy, the MQ-4C is intended to provide real-time intelligence and reconnaissance in a maritime environment.

Triton’s communications payload is built to specifically leverage X-band and military Ka-band frequencies. Founded in 2001, XTAR, LLC is the first commercial satellite operator to provide services in the X-band frequency. XTAR is a privately owned company backed by majority shareholder Loral Space and Communications of New York.

Philip Harlow, President and COO at XTAR stated that XTAR’s space segment is naturally suited for this type of application. X-band service on-demand provides the US Navy with the flexibility they need and the reliability they require while remaining extremely cost effective.

X-band services will continue to be provided to the Patuxent Naval Air Station in Maryland on the XTAR-LANT North America spot beam.

Representing the Navy, Lieutenant Commander Franklin Huebel of NAVAIR commented that this commercial satellite service fills a mission-critical connectivity requirement needed for the development of Triton's next-generation intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability.