Northrop Grumman to provide Protected Tactical SATCOM rapid prototype for the Space Force

Northrop Grumman Corporation has been selected by the U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center to develop a Protected Tactical SATCOM (PTS) rapid prototype payload for an on-orbit demonstration of assured tactical communications. The company was selected for the award through the Space Enterprise Consortium.

Northrop Grumman to provide Protected Tactical SATCOM rapid prototype for the Space Force (Picture source: US Space Force)

Protected Tactical SATCOM (PTS) is the Space Force’s planned next generation anti-jamming satellite system, which will provide tactical communications for war fighters all over the world — including the polar regions — using the Protected Tactical Waveform. As PTS is developed, the Space Force plans to begin offering Protected Tactical Waveform communications over the Wideband Global SATCOM system and later commercial satellites systems.

“Since the very first protected communications mission, Northrop Grumman has been advancing technology to stay ahead of threats and help ensure this mission-enabling capability,” said Cyrus Dhalla, vice president, communications systems, Northrop Grumman. “Partnering with the Space Force, our team will demonstrate rapid prototyping by developing and delivering a PTS payload to enhance anti-jamming capabilities for our nation’s tactical forces.”

Space and Missile Systems Center’s acquisition approach emphasized collaboration with Northrop Grumman to define and accelerate a program with streamlined processes, rapid prototyping and non-traditional suppliers. Leveraging four decades of developing and operating protected payloads to support next generation protected SATCOM technology for contested environments, the company is using numerous non-traditional suppliers to help infuse more innovation and affordability into the lifecycle of the program in areas such as cybersecurity, architecture and test. As the next generation in operational capability for the protected communications mission, PTS will represent Northrop Grumman’s capacity for rapid prototyping for quick deployment.