Ball Aerospace Selected by Defense Innovation Unit to Develop Prototype Antenna for U.S. Navy Ships    

July 21, 2020

Ball Aerospace was selected by the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) to develop a prototype of a new multi-band, low-observable satellite communications antenna to be installed on the U.S. Navy's newest stealth ships, the DDG 1000 Zumwalt-class destroyers.

Ball is leveraging its portfolios of electronically steerable phased array antenna technologies and high-performance stealth technologies to design a solution that can operate over multiple frequency bands, meet existing signature requirements and integrate into the DDG 1000 Zumwalt-class destroyer.

"We are pleased to partner with DIU and the U.S. Navy to explore ways to quickly and cost-effectively increase the capabilities of the DDG 1000," said Dr. Jake Sauer, vice president and general manager, Tactical Solutions, Ball Aerospace. "Our multi-band, multi-beam phased array heritage and conformal antenna expertise directly supports the warfighter by addressing emerging threats and taking on new missions."

The selection of Ball to produce the new antenna prototype is part of DIU's Multi-Domain Tactical Communications (MDTC) program. Under the MDTC effort, Ball will develop the antenna architecture, beamforming approach and prototype.

Ball has five decades of experience designing and building electronically steerable phased array antenna systems for the U.S. military, enabling mission-critical communications for the warfighter. The company's experience covers a variety of frequencies (including L, S, X, Ku, K, and Ka-band) and applications, from aviation and maritime to land and space. Lightweight, low profile and with no moving parts, Ball's phased array antennas provide numerous benefits over traditional dish antennas, including a modular design to enable scalable solutions and fast, seamless and accurate steering and tracking between satellites for reliable connectivity.