美国太空部队授出抗干扰卫星通信(SATCOM)原型机第三份合同

内森·斯特劳特(Nathan Strout)

华盛顿—美国太空部队已与洛克希德·马丁公司授予一份合同,以建造新的抗干扰通信卫星原型,使从事该计划的公司数量增加到三家。

根据合同,每家公司将为“演进战略卫星通信”计划开发一个有效载荷原型。ESS旨在成为高级极高频星座的后继者,该星座为战略通信提供安全,可生存的SATCOM。

洛克希德·马丁公司(Lockheed Martin)说:“我们了解任务和威胁,我们致力于为太空部队和我们的战斗机提供最佳的受保护的通信解决方案,以应对不断发展的战略SATCOM计划,这将帮助我们领先于日益增长的威胁。”发言人在一份声明中说。

洛克希德公司是第三家被选为原型开发公司,在11月9日获得了2.58亿美元的合同。此前,洛克菲德9月份授予诺斯罗普·格鲁曼公司2.98亿美元,十月份授予波音公司2.98亿美元。原型将按授予顺序在五年内完成,诺斯罗普·格鲁曼公司和波音公司的期限为2025年5月,洛克希德公司的期限为2025年6月。

洛克希德公司的合同有望成为ESS原型的最终裁决,因为《太空部队2021年》预算文件指出,该服务计划最多签发三份合同。

预算提案中写道:“这种方法将在2020财年授予多达三份合同,专注于降低空间段风险,以最大程度地提高ESS展示出的有效载荷和其他关键技术的能力。”

所有三个原型承包商都将通过后续来源选择,直到最终授予后续合同为止。

预计ESS卫星将与并最终取代高级超高频(AEHF)卫星一起使用,后者的第六颗也是最后一颗已于3月发射入轨道。但是,ESS在一些关键方面将不同于其前身。首先,据太空部队称,新卫星将具有增强的弹性和网络安全能力。

此外,ESS星座将包括极地覆盖-AEHF当前不提供此功能。相反,AEHF依赖增强型极地系统卫星在极地地区扩展网络。

US Space Force awards third contract for anti-jamming SATCOM prototypes

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Space Force has awarded Lockheed Martin a contract to build a new anti-jamming communications satellite prototype, bringing the number of companies working on that program to three.
Under the contracts, each company will develop a prototype payload for the Evolved Strategic Satellite Communications program. ESS is intended to be the successor to the Advanced Extremely High Frequency constellation, which provides secure, survivable SATCOM for strategic communications.

“We understand the mission and the threat, and we’re committed to providing the Space Force and our war fighters with the best protected communications solutions for the Evolved Strategic SATCOM program that will help us stay ahead of the growing threat,” a Lockheed Martin spokesperson said in a statement.

Lockheed is the third company to be selected for the prototyping effort, having been awarded $258 million on Nov. 9. This follows a $298 million award to Northrop Grumman in September and a $298 million contract to Boeing in October. The prototypes are due to be completed in five years in the order in which they were awarded, with Northrop Grumman and Boeing given a May 2025 deadline and Lockheed given a June 2025 deadline.

Lockheed’s contract is expected to be the final ESS prototyping award, as Space Force 2021 budget documents noted that the service planned to issue three contracts at most.

“This approach will award up to three contracts in FY 2020 to focus on reducing space segment risks with the objective of maximizing ESS demonstrated capability for the payload and other key technologies,” the budget proposal read.

All three prototyping contractors will be brought through follow-on source selection until the follow-on contract is ultimately awarded.

ESS satellites are expected to work with and eventually replace the Advanced Extremely High Frequency, or AEHF, satellites, the sixth and final of which was launched into orbit in March. However, ESS will differ from its predecessor in a few key ways. First, the new satellites will have enhanced resilience and cybersecurity capabilities, according to the Space Force.

Also, the ESS constellation will include polar coverage — something not currently provided with AEHF. Instead, AEHF relies on the Enhanced Polar Systems satellites to extend the network over the polar regions.