Northrop Grumman has been awarded a contract by the US Space Force for the rapid prototyping phase of the Evolved Strategic SATCOM (ESS) program to develop a modernised strategic communications space segment with enhanced resilience and cyber security capabilities.
During the rapid prototyping phase, the company will deliver the preliminary design for the ESS space segment and a ground-based demonstration.
The ESS program will seamlessly interoperate with, and eventually replace, the Space Force’s existing Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) system to provide enduring and secure satellite communications to strategic users.
Cyrus Dhalla, vice president of communications systems at Northrop Grumman, said, “Northrop Grumman looks forward to building on more than 40 years of successfully delivering protected satellite communications solutions to our customers.”
As a key component of the disaggregated architecture supporting legacy AEHF capabilities, the ESS program replaces AEHF’s mid-latitude system capability, extending its survivable communications capability to the north polar region.
“ESS is critical to extending our nation’s secure satellite communications infrastructure, as it will provide strategic users with assured, uninterruptable connectivity without fear of discovery anywhere on the globe,” Dhalla added.
As a prime contractor on the ESS program, Northrop Grumman will leverage decades of proven expertise in delivering protected MILSATCOM payloads for programs including Milstar, AEHF, Enhanced Polar System (EPS), and Enhanced Polar System Recapitalization (EPS-R).
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