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Northrop Grumman designs protected tactical SATCOM payload prototype for the Space Force


Northrop Grumman Corporation has been selected by the U.S. Space Force’s (USSF) Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) to proceed with its ongoing Protected Tactical SATCOM (PTS) Rapid Prototype program, with a flight demonstration of the company’s PTS payload set to occur in 2024.


Selected for the initial award through the Space Enterprise Consortium, this continuation enables Northrop Grumman to proceed with the completion of the detailed design, manufacturing and testing of the payload. The company will also integrate its payload onto a host space vehicle and conduct its on-orbit demonstration.


“Northrop Grumman’s selection to continue its Protected Tactical SATCOM rapid prototyping reflects our close collaboration with SMC and allows us to further support the Space Force’s critical mission,” said Cyrus Dhalla, vice president, communication systems, Northrop Grumman. “Our digital engineering approach has enabled the rapid pace of our analysis and demonstrations, which have validated that the Space Force can deliver significantly enhanced anti-jam performance to the warfighter.”


Northrop Grumman completed the preliminary design peer review of its PTS prototype in December 2020. The company has also demonstrated the interoperability of its prototype with the government’s PTS test terminal, and has successfully validated the advanced, anti-jam performance of its design using the Protected Tactical Waveform, an anti-jam communications waveform that allows access to secure, protected communications by the tactical warfighter.


Through this program, Northrop Grumman builds on more than four decades of experience in delivering protected military SATCOM mission capabilities. The company’s flight demonstration of the PTS payload will feature advanced anti-jam SATCOM links as an element of the Protected Anti-Jam Tactical SATCOM architecture, which includes space, ground and gateway segments.

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