Hughes Network Systems has received a contract to support the development of mission management system and joint hub for US Air Force’s (USAF) $383m next-generation Satcom ground system.

The contract was awarded by Boeing and involves the company developing mission management, system control, networking and ground hub platforms.

These subsystems will support anti-jam satellite communications capability for the USAF’s Protected Tactical Enterprise Service (PTES) programme.

The PTES will provide a joint ground-based platform for protected communications services for tactical troops through the Wideband Global Satcom (WGS) satellite constellation, commercial satellites, and the Department of Defence’s (DoD) Protected Tactical Satellites that use the Protected Tactical Waveform (PTW) in future.

Hughes is required to design PTES sub-systems for the first phase of Protected Anti-Jam Tactical Satcom (PATS).

“The company began the contracted work at the end of last year and is expected to complete it by the end of 2025.”

Hughes vice-president and PTES programme manager Dr Rajeev Gopal said: “Hughes is developing a state-of-the-art, containerised software design for PTES data, control and management functions with scalable architecture to enable the use of advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques.”

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Boeing is the prime contractor for the PTES programme. The company was awarded a seven-year contract by the USAF in November for the development of the joint ground system for the programme.

The company began the contracted work at the end of last year and is expected to complete it by the end of 2025.

Hughes Defense and Intelligence Systems Division (DISD) general manager Rick Lober said: “Hughes looks forward to working with Boeing and the USAF in applying its more than four decades of experience in developing Satcom networks and management systems for commercial and government enterprise applications.

“Hughes is committed to building and supporting secure global communications networks, and our team is dedicated to helping provide the DoD a highly resilient, tactical network that will enable mission success in contested environments.”