The U.S. military plans to spend $1.6 billion to upgrade its fleet of Shakespeare antennae, which are used to send data back to the war room for intelligence analysts and commanders.
The antennas have been around for years but now are being replaced.
The cost of the replacement is unknown but it is likely to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, said Brig. Gen. Mark C. McInnis, the commander of the Air Force Intelligence Center.
The upgrades are being done in partnership with the Department of Defense and the Department, Defense, of the United Nations.
The first batch of Shakespeare antennas was ordered in 2011 and are expected to be delivered next year.
The new antennas, called “Shakespeare 4G,” have a capacity of 20 megabits per second and are designed to be deployed over a long distance and for multiple purposes, McInnes said.
They are designed for deployment in the United States and in other countries, he said.
The project is being funded by a Pentagon program called the Strategic Capability Initiative, which was established in 2012 under the Obama administration.
The $1 billion is part of the Defense Department’s new $1 trillion strategic capability plan that was announced in February.
The plan calls for upgrading the U.