Boeing has tested its Protected Tactical Enterprise Service (PTES) to demonstrate ground-based anti-jamming satellite communications (SATCOM) capabilities for the US Space Force (USSF).

This is the first time PTES has combined all the end-to-end capabilities to assess them aboard an on-orbit operational commercial satellite.

The demonstration was executed by the company’s engineers from the Joint Satellite Engineering Center, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.

The test involved different scenarios in which the operators were trying to access field-deployed equipment leveraging a Protected Tactical Waveform (PTW) user terminal interface.

Through this demonstration, Boeing validated PTW anti-jam capabilities by integrating software-hardware with the US Department of Defense’s SATCOM network.

US Space Systems Command Tactical SATCOM Acquisition Delta chief Charlotte Gerhart said: “This is a significant step forward in demonstrating initial capabilities and nearing delivery of these critical communication tools to our servicemembers.

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“The ability to augment current wideband constellation combined with potential to introduce resilience, will greatly enhance our ability to stay connected in contested environments.”

PTES is initially scheduled to be deployed over the US government’s Wideband Global SATCOM (WGS) fleet, allowing PTES to use WGS’ military features to deliver enhanced jamming resistance and secure connectivity.

PTES is expected to achieve initial operational capability in 2024.

Separately, Boeing announced its plans to commence the production of first 13 MH-139A Grey Wolf helicopters ordered by the US Air Force (USAF) to replace its UH-1N Huey fleet.

For this $285m contract, Boeing is the prime contractor and Leonardo is the original equipment manufacturer.

Boeing MH-139 programme director Azeem Khan said: “Advancing programme from testing and evaluation to production is a major step toward entering MH-139 into service and providing the USAF with additional missile security for decades.”

Delivery of new helicopters is slated to start next year.