In looking to create more secure, jamming-resistant satellites for the Military purposes, The U.S. Space Force has recently awarded a $298 million contract to Northrop Grumman for this very purpose. Further explained, this contract between the U.S. Space Force and Northrop Grumman is tied directly to the rapid prototyping phase of the Evolved Strategic SATCOM (ESS) program that is in the process of developing an updated “strategic communications space segment with enhanced resilience and cybersecurity capabilities.”
Recently, there have been vocal concerns raised by U.S. authorities with regards to the infrastructural capabilities of their respective satellite systems. In fact, an example of this can be seen when the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency warned about the potential present dangers of the Chinese and Russian militaries viewing space communications as a critical part of modern warfare.
Through the assistance of Northrop Grumman, the company says that they will be delivering the preliminary design for ESS’ space segment paired with a ground-based demonstration during the rapid prototyping phase. As explained by Northrop Grumman’s VP of communication systems Cyrus Dhalla, “Northrop Grumman looks forward to building on more than 40 years of successfully delivering protected satellite communications solutions to our customers.” Furthermore, Dhalla continues to state that “ESS is critical to extending our nation’s secure satellite communications infrastructure, as it will provide strategic users with assured, uninterruptible connectivity without fear of discovery anywhere on the globe.”
This new and improved ESS program will first interoperate with and then eventually replace the Space Force’s current Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite system created by Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin.
With Northrop Grumman boasting their “decades of proven expertise in delivering protected MILSATCOM payloads” for programs that include the likes of Milstar, AEHF, Enhanced Polar System (EPS), and Enhanced Polar System Recapitalization (EPS-R), this is an innovation worth looking out for, with its hopes being to bring about a better and safer way forward surely not only to be met but far exceeded deep into the future.