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U.S. Army Selects Hughes for Cooperative R&D Effort to Recommend Network Upgrades for Next-Generation, Friendly Forces Monitoring System

Two-Year Study to Support Blue Force Tracking Upgrades as Part of Network Modernization Efforts

Germantown, MD, April 03, 2019Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES), the global leader in broadband satellite networks and services, today announced that it has been awarded a two-year Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) by the U.S. Army for the third phase of the Blue Force Tracking (BFT-3) program. Under the agreement, Hughes and other industry participants will conduct research studies to deliver a series of recommendations for modernizing the BFT system architecture to improve interoperability and resiliency, as part of an Open System Architecture (OSA) consortium working to achieve more flexible network tracking of friendly force locations. Hughes will present recommendations to bolster operational resiliency with emphasis on maintaining communications in contested environments.  

“Hughes is excited to be part of this leading-edge team that will define the open architecture of next generation systems,” said Rick Lober, vice president and general manager of Defense and Intelligence Systems at Hughes. “We look forward to providing a unique perspective to the effort as one of the world’s largest commercial suppliers of satellite communications equipment and services. As a case in point, our advanced waveform technology has led to key breakthroughs in overcoming system jamming, which paired with prototypes of a Flexible Modem Interface (FMI) for military terminals makes Hughes a natural fit to support the Army’s objectives.” 

The OSA results under the CRADA will include modular network architecture recommendations for the U.S. Army to integrate various military and commercial networks and services using new standardized interfaces. This approach is expected to foster innovation through increased competition, eliminating single-vendor dependence on closed networks and yielding truly best-in-class technology solutions for the military. 

“This contract represents great progress in the military’s efforts to achieve greater interoperability across communications platforms,” continued Mr. Lober. “We look forward to working closely with the Army in their effort to upgrade the critical system technology that protects our warfighters and allies.”

The final CRADA reports are expected to precede competitive procurements of the next generation BFT system in 2020 or 2021.

About Hughes Network Systems
Hughes Network Systems, LLC (HUGHES) is the global leader in broadband satellite technology and services for home and office. Its flagship high-speed satellite Internet service is HughesNet®, the world’s largest satellite network with over 1.3 million residential and business customers across the Americas. For large enterprises and governments, the company’s HughesON™ managed network services provide complete connectivity solutions employing an optimized mix of satellite and terrestrial technologies. The JUPITER™ System is the world’s most widely deployed High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) platform, operating on more than 20 satellites by leading service providers, delivering a wide range of broadband enterprise, mobility and cellular backhaul applications. To date, Hughes has shipped more than 7 million terminals of all types to customers in over 100 countries, representing approximately 50 percent market share, and its technology is powering broadband services to aircraft around the world.

Headquartered outside Washington, D.C., in Germantown, Maryland, USA, Hughes operates sales and support offices worldwide, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of EchoStar Corporation (NASDAQ: SATS), a premier global provider of satellite operations. For additional information about Hughes, please visit www.hughes.com and follow @HughesConnects on Twitter.

About EchoStar
EchoStar Corporation (NASDAQ: SATS) is a premier global provider of satellite communication solutions. Headquartered in Englewood, Colo., and conducting business around the globe, EchoStar is a pioneer in secure communications technologies through its Hughes Network Systems and EchoStar Satellite Services business segments. For more information, visit www.echostar.com. Follow @EchoStar on Twitter.