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Service Life Extension Program Breathes New Life into an Aging Warrior with an Upgrade to the AN/TSC

May 2, 2012

By Andrew Toussaint & James Collery (LRC)

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - The AN/TSC-93 Tactical Satellite, or TACSAT, System's Service Life Extension Program, referred to as SLEP, recently produced the AN/TSC-93E, Lynx.

The Lynx is a TACSAT system that provides a secure and interoperable communications terminal serving a wide range of Department of Defense applications. The latest TSC-93 model, the E-Model Lynx upgrade, extends the service life of this valuable and critical program until 2025.

Lynx provides the Warfighter with optional point-to-point or multi-point trucking facilities. Working through the Defense Satellite Communications System, DSCS, satellites, either short- or long-range communications can be quickly established without mid-point repeaters or extensive site preparation. Each terminal is completely self-contained with full communications capability within 20 minutes of arrival at the objective site.

Although the TSC-93 has been around since 1978, the adaptability of its existing items and systems to changing technology ensures that the program remains a critical asset with current and future applications for SATCOM user requirements. The Lynx provides the Army with a model of success for replacement of aging and obsolete technology with new and modern functionality.

All new components and technologies adhere to DoD's Reliability, Availability, and Maintainability (RAM) policy. The Lynx team is proactive in seeking feedback from the user community. Modifications and upgrades are vetted through Warfighter feedback that is evaluated through engineering and logistics processes. This formed the catalyst for a successful effort to re-energize a program and system that has been in existence since the 1970s.

Major components of the system include the terminal that is housed in an S-250 Shelter, M1102 Heavy Chassis Trailer with the TACSAT Power Pallet, 2 each (Dual) 10KW Tactical Quiet Generators MEP803A, Power Synchronization Switch, Silver Eagle Fifth Wheel Tactical Trailer, and 2 each Humvees.

Innovation and ingenuity have led to the development of two Army firsts: The Humvee Tactical Fifth-Wheel Trailer and the Humvee Dual 10K Generator Trailer system. This new configuration successfully achieves the Army's up-armor requirements by distributing the weight of the LYNX shelter over the axle allowing the vehicle to tow significantly more pounds.

Additionally, the generator trailer has a built-in fuel cell with capacity that is designed to shift fuel system usage when fuel is low. This provides the system, and the Soldier, Warfighter with more than 40 hours of continuous operation. The generator trailer is a product of LRC C3T Directorate's SLEP working with Tobyhanna Army Depot's Production Engineering Directorate.

This innovation has positive implications for both the Army and the DoD because the Tactical Fifth Wheel Trailer and Dual 10KW Generator Trailer's ability to support existing and future systems.

Additionally, the Lynx is C-130 aircraft transportable in a ready roll-on/roll-off configuration. With an overall look at the operational capabilities, survivability, mobility, maneuverability, size, and weight of the Lynx configuration, the most significant and overarching goal achieved is the improved safety and protection of the Soldier.

To date, several events were completed including Digital Tracking Receiver completion of all X band and appropriate certification testing, as well as verification that the system will fit inside the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft.

The Fifth Wheel Trailer is safety certified and environmentally tested by the Army Test Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. Environmental testing included rigorous temperature testing environments, taking into account the environments to simulate environments the equipment will need to operate in when in us.

Cecilia Black, director for the LRC C3T Directorate, March 19, in conjunction with representatives from of C3T, Tobyhanna Army Depot, and the Army Test and Evaluation Command, among others attended the rail impact test March 19.

Vehicles were tested and certified in areas such as rail and internal air transportability and certification process. This achievement was a joint effort between CECOM C3T, Tobyhanna Production Engineering, and the Commercial-Off-The-Shelf manufactures.

The SLEP office has already initiated procurement of 50 each modification kits to begin fabrication of the 5th Wheel Tactical Trailers for improved center of gravity. The future seems bright for the Lynx, its Fifth Wheel Trailer, and the Dual 10KW Generator Trailer set.

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