SEAKR Engineering and Lockheed Martin are set to partner to design and build a prototype payload for the US Space Force’s Protected Tactical SATCOM (PTS) programme.

PTS is a next-generation capability and connects troops with jam-resistant satellite communications (SATCOM).

The move comes after US Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) at Los Angeles Air Force Base awarded a $240m contract to Lockheed Martin this month to develop a prototype payload.

The complete system will provide protected communications for US and coalition forces in battlespace by deploying a constellation of dedicated geostationary satellites, commercially hosted payloads, and coalition partner satellites that are integrated through a ground control network.

Under the partnership, SEAKR will help Lockheed Martin achieve developments in PTS’ anti-jamming capabilities through collaboration on the system’s advanced space digital processor.

Leveraging its strength in RF communications, SEAKR will help demonstrate PTS anti-jam capabilities and requirements by building on advanced RF processing technologies employed in its Wolverine RF processing platform.

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SEAKR’s processing systems will offer support to the complete spectrum of payload processing performance requirements.

SEAKR and Lockheed Martin also collaborated on the first commercial protected communications payload on the Hellas Sat-4 / SaudiGeoSat-1 (HS-4/SGS-1) programme.

The government is seeking new collaborations between traditional defence and non-traditional / small business contractors for PTS.

Lockheed Martin has developed and built more than 300 payloads for various missions.

Last month, the company delivered a global positioning system (GPS) III satellite to the US Space Force ahead of an expected launch in April. The satellite was shipped on board a US Air Force C-17 aircraft travelling from Buckley Air Force Base in Colorado.