Defense

US Space Force awards third contract for anti-jamming SATCOM prototypes

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Space Force has awarded Lockheed Martin a contract to construct a brand new anti-jamming communications satellite tv for pc prototype, bringing the variety of firms engaged on that program to 3.

Under the contracts, every firm will develop a prototype payload for the Evolved Strategic Satellite Communications program. ESS is meant to be the successor to the Advanced Extremely High Frequency constellation, which offers safe, survivable SATCOM for strategic communications.

“We understand the mission and the threat, and we’re committed to providing the Space Force and our war fighters with the best protected communications solutions for the Evolved Strategic SATCOM program that will help us stay ahead of the growing threat,” a Lockheed Martin spokesperson mentioned in an announcement.

Lockheed is the third firm to be chosen for the prototyping effort, having been awarded $258 million on Nov. 9. This follows a $298 million award to Northrop Grumman in September and a $298 million contract to Boeing in October. The prototypes are because of be accomplished in 5 years within the order by which they have been awarded, with Northrop Grumman and Boeing given a May 2025 deadline and Lockheed given a June 2025 deadline.

Lockheed’s contract is predicted to be the ultimate ESS prototyping award, as Space Force 2021 funds paperwork famous that the service deliberate to subject three contracts at most.

“This approach will award up to three contracts in FY 2020 to focus on reducing space segment risks with the objective of maximizing ESS demonstrated capability for the payload and other key technologies,” the funds proposal learn.

All three prototyping contractors shall be introduced via follow-on supply choice till the follow-on contract is in the end awarded.

ESS satellites are anticipated to work with and finally change the Advanced Extremely High Frequency, or AEHF, satellites, the sixth and remaining of which was launched into orbit in March. However, ESS will differ from its predecessor in a number of key methods. First, the brand new satellites could have enhanced resilience and cybersecurity capabilities, in keeping with the Space Force.

Also, the ESS constellation will embrace polar protection — one thing not presently supplied with AEHF. Instead, AEHF depends on the Enhanced Polar Systems satellites to increase the community over the polar areas.





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