The US Air Force (USAF) has awarded a $429m contract to Northrop Grumman for the delivery of extremely high-frequency extended data rate (EHF XDR) payloads for Enhanced Polar System-Recapitalization (EPS-R).
The contract has been awarded by the USAF’s Space and Missile Systems Center, Military Satellite Communications Directorate at the Los Angeles Air Force Base (AFB), California.
Under the deal, Northrop Grumman will be responsible for delivering two payloads designed to provide highly protected communications for troops in the polar regions.
The EPS-R EHF system delivers secure, anti-jam, low probability of detection / intercept communications for soldiers.
Designed to enable hosting on a separately procured satellite with other payloads, Northrop Grumman’s EPS-R payloads will help ensure continuity of protected military satellite communications in the North Polar Region.
Northrop Grumman communications systems vice-president Cyrus Dhalla said: “EPS-R provides communications services to critical national security users.
“We are pleased to support the airforce as a system prime in the timely recapitalisation of the protected, anti-jam communications capabilities in the strategically important polar region.”
In 2013, the company supplied two payloads that were hosted on government-owned satellites to provide next-generation protected EHF communications to military users in the north polar region.
In December 2015, Northrop Grumman also installed the EPS Control and Planning Segment (CAPS) hardware in operational sites at Clear Air Force Station, Alaska, and Schriever AFB, Colorado.
CAPS is an advanced ground system that receives telemetry and provides configuration commands, mission planning and cryptographic planning for the two EPS polar-orbiting payloads.