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SHF Tri-Band Advanced Range Extension Tactical Terminal

The SHF Tri-Band Advanced Range Extension Tactical Terminal (STAR-T) is a HMMWV mounted multichannel satellite terminal. It has a tri-band capability in the SHF range. The STAR-T terminal will operate over commercial and military SHF systems and will interface with both commercial and military switching systems. It will provide the required range extension for TRI-TAC systems at EAC and non-terrestrial communications connectivity between EAC and ECB.

The STAR-T is under development as the replacement for the current Army multichannel tactical ground terminals, AN/TSC-85 and AN/TSC-93, at Echelons Above Corps (EAC). Assuming multilevel security (MLS) is in place at EAC, the STAR-T will also replace EAC TROJAN SPIRIT II terminals. The increased trunking capability added by STAR-T will significantly improve the Army's operational capability by expanding the efficiency and capacity of the WIN and reducing terminal size and maintenance costs of currently fielded systems.

The STAR-T will be HMMWV mounted and C-130 roll-on/off capable. It will operate over military and commercial SHF satellites and will provide range extension for both commercial and military switching systems. The terminal will provide data, imagery, and voice communications at various data rates up to four T1 or E1 (2.048 Mb/s) circuits per trunk group for a total aggregate data rate of 8.192 Mb/s.

There will be two versions of the STAR-T; a standard version and a switched version. The switched version will contain an embedded switch capable of terminating 35 local subscribers. Follow-on ancillary equipment will allow the switch to terminate up to 280 subscribers. The standard version will not have an embedded switch,. It will be configured at a later date to allow the switch to be installed if necessary.

STAR-T will provide communications connectivity for split based operations between the theater and the sustaining base. DSCS SHF satellites will be used as much as possible to provide anti-jam protected links for all users. If current and future DSCS satellites cannot provide the total required throughput, then selected links will use commercial satellites to satisfy the requirement. The determination will be based on location of the terminal in theater, distant end location and type of traffic. The STAR-T will satisfy the connectivity requirements for the following requirements:

  • Range extension for WIN systems at EAC and non-terrestrial communications connectivity between EAC and Echelons Corps and Below (ECB). This also includes connectivity to and from CONUS.
  • Range extension augmentation for Intelligence and Electronics Warfare (IEW) community to include imagery, video, databases, and data dissemination.
  • Range extension augmentation for selected Combat Service Support (CSS) elements to include databases and video.
  • Joint Task Force (JTF) and contingency requirements as mission needs dictate.
  • Range extension augmentation at ECB when deployed without EAC support and non-terrestrial communications connectivity to the WIN between ECB and EAC.

STAR-T will be employed as follows:

  1. Theater TACSAT companies will deploy up to twenty standard STAR-T's, which will replace AN/TSC-85B and AN/TSC-93B TACSAT terminals. These terminals will provide range extension connectivity between selected EAC node switches and key headquarters as METT-T needs dictate. Links will also be provided to the supported corps/deployed units for entry into the EAC switched network. Depending on the size of the deployment, a number of terminals will provide connectivity back to CONUS DSCS strategic terminals or commercial satellite interfaces for entry into the Defense Communications System (DCS). Links to other services, joint/allied headquarters, staging bases, and other locations will be provided based on METT-T. The terminals will operate in a mix of point-to-point and multi-node configuration. The multi-node capability will reduce the number of terminals required at nodes requiring multiple connectivity.
  2. An EAC signal battalion will deploy up to eight standard STAR-T's to augment EAC IEW communications requirements. These terminals will replace EAC TROJAN SPIRIT II terminals. They will provide connectivity between CONUS and within the deployed EAC area of operations that cannot be met by the EAC TACSAT company and associated switched network. The increased efficiency of the EAC switched network combined with MLS will reduce the number of terminals required to support this mission. This concept assumes MLS is in place at EAC by the time of fielding.
  3. The Power PAC3 (PP3) company will deploy up to thirteen STAR-Ts with embedded switching capability. These terminals will have an integrated switching capability unlike standard STAR-T's. The PP3 company will support Army contingency missions. In most deployments it will provide communications support for ARFOR Headquarters during initial entry into a theater. The PP3 company will also deploy up to six Liaison teams for supporting headquarters (joint, allied, etc.). As follow-on forces and EAC communications assets arrive in theater, the PP3 company may redeploy to support other missions. The PP3 company will have additional communications assets to include single channel TACSAT, High Frequency (HF) radios, and Line-of-Sight (LOS) systems. The switch carried by the PP3 STAR-T will support local subscribers as well as terminate transmission groups from LOS and other STAR-T's. The switch will significantly reduce the air frames required for initial entry/power projected missions. The PP3 terminals will be operated by a crew of three (two TACSAT (31S) and one switch (31F) operator(s)).

Satellite links between WIN switches will be at data rates of 1.544 Mb/s to 4.608 Mb/s. CONUS links will be from 1.554 Mb/s up to 8 Mb/s depending the throughput requirements. Links to adjacent units (allied, etc.) will normally be smaller than 1.544 Mb/s.

Technical Characteristics

Frequency Range:

    3.9 GHz-6.2 GHz (C Band)
    6.2 GHz-10.9 GHz (X Band)
    15.25 GHz-17.25 GHz (Ku BAND)


    Four T-1 (1.54 Mb/s) circuits or four E-1 (2.048 Mb/s)
    Circuits for a total aggregate of 8.192 M/bs


Milestones: To be determined

Sources and Resources

  • Signal company fielding new satellite system in Kuwait by Pfc. Christopher P. Swartz (Army News Service, April 15, 1998) -- The 269th Signal Company of Fort Huachuca, Ariz., is fielding the newly developed AN/TSC-143 Triband, which comprises voice and Internet communications.
  • Satellite Transport Systems Chapter 5 Warfighter Information Network (WIN) Master Plan (Version 3 - June 3, 1997)
  • FM 24-24 SIGNAL DATA REFERENCES: SIGNAL EQUIPMENT Section V. Multichannel Satellite Communications Terminals

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Page last modified: 21-07-2011 13:05:27 ZULU