The US Space Force (USSF) and Missile Systems Center (SMC) has selected Northrop Grumman to continue with its ongoing Protected Tactical SATCOM (PTS) rapid prototype programme.

Last year, the company was chosen for the initial award through the Space Enterprise Consortium to develop and deliver a PTS payload to demonstrate rapid prototyping.

Last December, Northrop completed the preliminary design peer review of the PTS prototype.

It also demonstrated the interoperability of the PTS prototype and tested the prototype design’s advanced, anti-jam performance using the Protected Tactical Waveform (PTW).

The continuation will enable Northrop to proceed with the completion of the design, manufacturing and testing of the payload.

Northrop Grumman communication system vice-president Cyrus Dhalla said: “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.

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“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.”

Furthermore, the company will ‘integrate its payload onto a host space vehicle and conduct its on-orbit demonstration’.

The company noted that flight demonstration set for its PTS payload would occur in 2024.

It will highlight advanced anti-jam SATCOM links as an aspect of the Protected Anti-Jam Tactical SATCOM architecture.

In August last year, Northrop and the USSF concluded a delta Critical Design Review (dCDR) for the Enhanced Polar System Recapitalization (EPS-R) Control and Planning Segment (CAPS) programme.